‘Flamenco for Kids’ is led by Ricardo Garcia, who plays the guitar, and two dancers. All three have a pleasant manner with the children, breaking down the movements and rhythms in an accessible way for the young audience to understand. Fans of “Dora the Explorer” will enjoy that explanations are given in both English and Spanish!
The show begins with the dancers demonstrating sevillanas as Ricardo plays guitar. They explain the two types of hand clapping and invite the audience to clap along. Some children are then invited onto the stage to learn simple footwork and arm movements before everything is put together as a final “performance.”
Initially just twenty children were invited onto the stage, ten with each dancer, but others quickly joined them as they discovered that there isn’t sufficient space to copy the footwork if you stay in your seat. The dancers accommodated the extra children, although it meant that not everyone was able to wear a costume for the final performance and very few got the chance to try castanets.
The show is upbeat and uplifting, but it is fairly fast paced which makes it difficult for younger children to join in. While children of all ages are encouraged, some of the pre-school children present were clearly frustrated as they tried to master stamping and clapping irregular rhythms. Being onstage while parents remain in the auditorium may also be difficult for some. School age children will gain more from the show in terms of being able to learn some flamenco, while more confident younger children may still enjoy the experience of being on stage.