Frequently asked questions
We hope to have covered as much as possible in our FAQ. If, however, you have a question which hasn’t been answered, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Who are your flamenco classes for?
Absolutely everyone! We welcome men and women of all ages; children can start from the age of 5.
Flamenco is an extremely inclusive art form and we assure you that our classes are very diverse.
I have never danced before. Can I attend?
Of course! We offer courses for absolute beginners which require no previous experience. We also run regular taster sessions for anyone keen to understand what to expect from our classes. Although we are sure you will catch the flamenco bug after attending one of these tasters, there is never any obligation to carry on should you change your mind.
Our beginners’ tasters are listed in the workshops section of the website. If you cannot see one coming up right now, join our mailing list and we will let you know once a new session has been scheduled.
When do your courses start?
We run different courses for different levels throughout the year – our current timetable is the best place to start. If you’ve missed the start date of the course you’re interested in, don’t panic! It may still be possible to join and we advise you get in touch with us for advice.
To keep up to date with new and upcoming courses, as well as special workshops and events, do sign up to our mailing list.
Where do the classes take place?
Our three main venues are Jubilee Hall in Covent Garden, The Place in Euston, and DW Sports in Aldwych, but we may occasionally make use of other Central London locations for special courses and workshops.
The relevant venue for each course will be clearly specified on the timetable.
All of our venues are of a professional standard and have been selected for their location and proximity to public transport, and facilities – they offer spacious studios with high ceilings, full length mirrors, changing rooms and showers.
For details and directions please click here.
We also offer classes in Bracknell.
How do I book/register?
With the exception of some special courses and workshops which we expect to become very busy, formal registration is not required and you can simply turn up and pay on the first day as long as you have established the level suitable for you. If you choose to stay on and pay for a block of classes in order to save, we will discount your initial drop-in payment from the total.
Some classes are very popular and we will always do our best to advise of this beforehand – in some cases, advance booking may be required and we will make this clear in the course description. If in any doubt, contacting us is always your best bet!
How much do your classes cost?
Prices vary depending on the class and payment method you choose, and they will be listed next to the relevant courses in our timetable. Paying for a block of lessons works out cheaper than paying for individual classes.
We strive to bring you high quality tuition in a professional setting whilst keeping our prices competitive. All classes are accompanied by live guitar music.
Who will teach me?
Only excellent, experienced tutors. You can meet some of them here.
What levels do you offer and which one is suitable for me?
We offer a comprehensive selection of levels. You will note that our Beginners courses are split into three subcategories to accommodate students moving on from their very first choreographies. This means that not all levels will be visible in our timetable at all times – if you’re in any doubt, don’t hesitate to contact us.
We understand that choosing the right course can seem a daunting task but please do not be discouraged by the number of levels on offer – they merely reflect our students’ diversity! If you are not sure which level to attend, contact us for advice. We will normally recommend that you try a couple of classes until you find the one that suits your needs. Once your teacher gets to see you in action they will be better able to advise on which class is the best for you.
N.B. Courses for complete beginners will always be clearly marked.
Complete beginners: for those interested in getting started in flamenco
Beginners: for those who have completed 5-6 weeks of Complete Beginners’ classes
Elementary beginners: for those who have completed one full term of classes or have danced at a beginners level elsewhere
Improvers: for those who have danced flamenco for at least 1 year
Low intermediate: for those who have danced flamenco for at least 2 years
Intermediate: for those who have danced flamenco for at least 3 years
High intermediate: for those who have danced flamenco for at least 5 years
What should I wear?
You don’t need any special attire for your first class – if you have them, court shoes, or any other type of a comfortable, thick-heeled shoe would work well – expect a lot of stomping! Gentlemen, you may wear anything other than trainers; ladies – feel free to bring a flared maxi skirt although it is by no means necessary.
Once you’ve tried the class and decided to continue, your teacher will be able to advise on what to acquire for the rest of the course. This will depend on your level and ambition – it is entirely possible to keep things cheap but you may find yourself so passionate about this beautiful art form that you’ll want some semi-professional gear to keep. And we’ll be more than happy to help you source it at competitive prices.
There are plenty of suppliers out there but quality and suitability can vary greatly. Buying cheap shoes on the internet can seem like an attractive option but low quality products can result in foot injuries. Think about longevity too – whilst beginners’ shoes might last you a year (depending on use), professional handmade ones can keep as long as a lifetime! Talk to your teacher who will be happy to advise.
N.B. Dancewear shops will often offer character/latin dance shoes which look similar to flamenco ones, but are in fact different. Again, talk to us and we’ll gladly help.
How do I pay?
Do I need to commit to a full course?
Although you are most likely to notice progress with regular attendance, you are of course welcome to attend on a drop-in basis.
If you’ve been thinking about starting out but can’t seem to convince yourself to take the first step, why not try one of our no-obligation tasters for beginners? These one-off classes normally precede a new beginners course and are a great introduction to the art of flamenco, and to our school. Tasters are listed in the workshops section. To be notified of new sessions as they become scheduled, join our mailing list.
Will I get an opportunity to perform?
Every year, students of all levels perform during our Gala Flamenca show, and you will be welcome to take part!
Do you offer any classes in Spain?
Yes! We have just launched Flamenco in Paradise, our flamenco retreats in San José, Almería.
Can I hire you for my party/workplace activity?
Absolutely. You can find more detail about our private and corporate hire offers here.
What else does Ilusión Flamenca offer?
We are much more than a flamenco school! Ilusión Flamenca prides itself on being a champion of Spanish culture in London and you will find us at performances, festivals and parades all over the city – and whilst some of these feature our professional dancers, many include students themselves.
Our shows and events section lists all the upcoming performances, excursions and informal gatherings. Apart from the regular juergas and sevillanas clubs, parties where all students can get together, eat, drink and practice their dance moves, we frequently organise trips to Spain – so far, we’ve taken our students to such gorgeous events as the Feria of El Puerto de Santa María and Feria de Jerez, amongst others.
For those who can’t make it to Spain, we make sure to bring the feria to London! Every year we host the Feria de Londres with live music, dancing and constantly-flowing sangria. For a taste of the fiesta, take a look at the video from our 2017 edition:
Do you offer gift vouchers?
Yes. Contact us for details.
Do you sell flamenco shoes and skirts?
We do! We have a selection of women’s shoes and skirts, as well as men’s boots, for you to choose from. We are thrilled to be able to offer great value for money, and the best possible quality. We are happy to arrange for you to try items on, or order anything custom-made. Our suppliers are reliable shoemakers based in Spain. Please contact us for more details.
What is flamenco?
Flamenco is emblematic of the culture of Southern Spain – it is an art form drawing on a number of folkloric traditions of Andalucía: Moorish, Christian, Jewish, African and Gypsy influences mingle within it.
Flamenco, as an established tradition, can officially be traced to the 18th century, although its aforementioned influences had developed throughout the entirety of our cultural history. Today, it is practiced all over the world.
In 2010, UNESCO declared flamenco an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:
What are the different elements of flamenco?
Dance (baile) is only one of the elements making up the flamenco expression. Historically, the essence of flamenco lay in the song (cante), which began in the form of palo secos, the accompaniment-free oldest styles of cante known today.
Dance (baile) and song (cante) are complemented by guitar (toque) and the elements of jaleo, including hand-clapping (palmas) and cheers of encouragement.
What are sevillanas?
Sevillanas are the traditional music and dance of the city of Sevilla, Andalucía. With their roots in the Castilian seguidillas, they were influenced by flamenco in the nineteenth century and have since become the quintessential dance of every Southern fiesta. You will see partygoers at Spanish ferias and weddings perform sevillanas with much flair, despite very few of them having any professional dance education – and this, really, is the essence of sevillanas: they are the dance of the people.
Sevillanas are danced in pairs, and follow a prescribed choreography, although the most skilled – or simply passionate – dancers will add scores of their own embellishments.
Watch the participants of one of our sevillanas refresher classes in action: