The shy girl: “I was kind of an outcast in high school. Flamenco found me. Even before I went to my first class, I knew I was going to be doing this for the rest of my life. I didn’t talk much, and flamenco became my language. It expresses any emotion you could feel.”
The footwork: “The feet are another instrument. The shoes are leather, with nails in the toe and heel. Audiences like to see a lot of fast, heavy moves, but it’s hard to make that interesting musically.”
The lyrics: “Even Spaniards don’t understand them a lot of times.”
The hair clip: “It has really long teeth. Once the baggage-check workers at the airport were like, ‘This could be used as a weapon.’”
The jitters: “I get very nervous before any show. I start to forget the choreography; I have to pee a lot. It’s a good thing—it means you still have this respect for the art form.”
The outift: “Ruffles and fuller skirts used to be the norm. Now you see a lot of polka dots. That comes from when poor women would patch the holes in their skirts with another color. I’m not a big polka-dot fan.”
The hard part: “It’s so difficult to be still onstage—just to be. But the audience can’t appreciate what you’re doing if you’re constantly moving.”
Theatre Flamenco of San Francisco, Nov. 3 at The Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts; Nov. 9–11 at Cowell Theater, S.F.