- McDermott Scholars
- The McDermott Scholars Award covers all expenses of a superb four-year academic education at The University of Texas at Dallas, in concert with a diverse array of intensive extracurricular experiences, including internships, travel, and cultural enrichment.
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Flamenco. One of the many Spanich stereotypes. However, although flamenco is no longer a popular dance form among the majority of Spanish people, those who still take an active part in flamenco approach their art form with a passion, energy, and dedication that is admirable and that helps them excel in their art form.
During my semester in Castellón, Spain, I took flamenco classes at a local dance studio and attended a few flamenco performances. Since my first class and first performance, I found this Spanish art form captivating. Although some of the flamenco footwork is similar to tap, which I’ve danced for many years, the deep emotion and simultaneously powerful but elegant movement in flamenco dance were unfamiliar to me. Gradually though, I started to realize why I fell in love with flamenco: it was because of how even the most uncoordinated student in class danced with all of her heart and lots of Spanish flare, because of the clapping, cheering, and huge smiles on everyone’s faces that conveyed everyone’s passion about their dancing, and because of how the dancers executed every movement with such technical strength and fervor, but also a grace and pride about their art form.
I think that it would be of much value if we applied these defining aspects of flamenco to our everyday life. What I’ve learned from my experience with flamenco this past semester is that passion, enthusiasm, and most importantly, a little attitude that sets you apart from the crowd are vital to succeeding in a field and having fun while doing so.
Although it is a weekend, my roommates and I woke up early today to make it to Casa Rosada on time for our tour. It’s still surprising to me that foreigners like us could visit the executive branch of the Argentine government with such ease. Though we were only allowed into a few of the rooms inside the building, it was a very unique opportunity, and after today, we could all say that for a brief moment, we stood on the same balcony that Eva Peron used to address the crowds gathered outside during her husband’s reign.
After the tour, I visited Husain’s host family while my roommates left for a spot of shopping. Though it was the first time we met, Husain’s family invited me to join them for lunch, and I had a great time talking to the kids and learning about their day-to-day lives. After lunch, we shifted to the living room and watched a very important club football game against River Plate and Belgrano. Although the family’s favorite team, Boca Juniors, did not play in the game, it was enough that Boca’s arch-rivals, River Plate, lost the game for the family celebrate with hilarious songs and cheers.
By the time we were done with the merrymaking, it was time for evening tea, and I got a chance to once again talk to the parents about Argentine culture, and later, play catch with the kids. Although I did not initially plan on staying so long, I had a great time with the family and learned so much from them. It was not easy to say good-bye, but I promised to return before leaving. After numerous hugs and kisses on the cheek, Husain and I headed over to my host family’s house for dinner.
Our host mother had a dinner party that very night and gave my roommates and I permission to invite a few of our friends. However, we were in charge of cooking dinner and fortunately for me, my roommates are talented chefs and only required a very little of my assistance to create a thoroughly American meal consisting of rice, gumbo, potato salad, chocolate chip cookies, and ice cream. It was during dinner, while talking to our host mother’s friends, that I realized how much I have come to appreciate the way of life in Argentina.
I’m truly fortunate to meet so many people who continue to make my experiences in this country so wonderful. Overall, today was a fantastic day, and I am thrilled that I had a chance to meet so many such incredible people and learn so much about their culture and day-to-day lives.