Spanish Flamenco Arts and Culture Trip


-Photo courtesy of Leo Finkelstein

-Photo courtesy of Leo Finkelstein

When March 21 rolled around, it was time for sophomore students to go on their first-ever Spanish field trip. First announced in January, the trip was highly anticipated by students excited and curious to find out what was to come. In the weeks prior to the trip, Spanish Teacher Danielle Leighley introduced students to the culture by showing videos of traditional flamenco dances and foods. Students learned that flamenco dances developed over many years from the gypsies, Moors, and many other places. This type of dance became popular in the early 19th century and served as café entertainment in southern Spain.

The trip started with all attendees meeting in the cafeteria, excitement filling the room. The bus ride there took an hour; students spent their time on the bus socializing and laughing. After arriving at a townhouse in Greenwich Village, students walked upstairs into a big room with many tables set up and a stage at the far end. Students sat at the tables and began enjoying tapas, traditional Spanish starters: tortilla de patatas (egg and potato omelet) and ensalada Espanola (Spanish salad).

After students were settled in, a brief video clip was shown of the history of flamenco. Next, a man and woman started dancing while another woman sang. They tapped their shoes, spun in circles, and showed students something most had never seen before. While all the excitement was going on, plates of traditional Spanish chicken and rice were served. Some students were delightfully surprised by the extravagant, unfamiliar spices in the rice.

Continuing on with the festive activities, it was time for the students themselves to participate in the cultural dances and music. Six chosen students went on a stage to attempt the dance that was previously shown. After many tries at the dance, the professional was content with how quickly the students all learned it. As some of the students were dancing, the majority stomped their feet and clapped along to the beat. Sophomore Ella Asch exclaimed, “I had so much fun! My favorite part was watching my peers try to dance. I would totally go again, and it was a trip to remember.”

The day was quickly coming to an end and the last course was being served. The students were given flan, which is a traditional custard and caramel dessert. After dessert was served, it was unfortunately time for students to return to school. On this trip, students were able to experience the food and music an individual would normally enjoy in Spain. When asked on how the trip went, Leighley responded, “I was so excited to finally take my students on a cultural field trip. We all really enjoyed the food, music, and dancing. It was almost like we were in a small flamenco café in Sevilla. We hope to go on many more cultural trips in years to come.”