A'lante

Flamenco Dance

Kara Leal: Contrastes de lo Cotidiano

Posted By on October 23, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Kara Leal: Contrastes de lo Cotidiano

The balance between work life and dance life…is there one? I am not sure. This writing assignment was given to me three weeks ago and I am just now getting the chance to devote some moments to this little blog. There have been lots of inhibitors…time, content, the nervousness of writing that have all kept me away from the keyboard, but here I am, and here we go.

Every day I wake up before the sun rises and all I can think of is GO! I rush into work at 8am and go about my day with a cup of caffeine, my printed agenda, meetings galore ahead of me, and some on-the-run banter with co-workers.

As the day progresses, I find little moments that remind me of the beloved dance form I took on not too long ago. My boss tapping his feet in a sort of rhythmic llamada that entices me to break out into silent palmas por bulerias. A boring walk down the long gray hallway suddenly becomes the perfect place to practice escobillas. With all the motion, deadlines, computer screens, and public speaking events that wrap me up throughout the day, I find myself exhausted around 7pm but happy to be leaving the office and moving onto my next adventure – flamenco class.

Although there are days when I would love to go straight home, put my feet up, and relax, there is nothing that releases the stress and pent-up energy better than the first 30 minutes of intense footwork exercises. My mind goes blank. Concentration and stamina take over. I will myself to try harder, push my body to its limits and continuously learn and improve every step of the way. At the end of class, we move onto company rehearsal. The musicians show up, a feeling of excitement enters the room as the music begins to complement our movements and the pieces come together. Steadily practicing for our upcoming shows, finding our places, learning how to dance and feed off of each partner, I become a student again and get to transform creativity into my arms, feet and silhouette.

Often, we leave rehearsals around 10:00 at night. I go home, eat a wonderful dinner with my husband who so patiently waits for me, have some laughs with my brother and roommate, snuggle with my dogs and fall asleep around midnight.

The next day, I wake up and it starts all over again. I work at a start-up and the running joke is that there is no work/life balance. It comes with the gig. The job is your life. Most are shocked when I tell them I dance 10 to sometimes 14 hours a week. There are times when I can’t make flamenco class because I am on a huge project or it all seems so intense that I have to choose one over the other. I haven’t figured it out. I do know however, that dancing has always made me more complete and flamenco is one of the most beautiful art forms I have seen.

To be constantly challenged and to push myself to the next level is something I do not want to give up on. I am extremely privileged and happy to be dancing with A’lante, to have the support of my family and fellow dancers, and to constantly try to strike this balance that is life.

 

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