Rina Orellana (Rall) is one of the most well-known former members of FatChance (woah, wait…isn’t everyone a former member of FCBD now?). More specifically, she was one of the original members–a petite powerhouse you fall in love with the minute you see her dance. (pictured below left, photo by Natasha Reed)
She has since moved on to flamenco and applied all that same power, dedication, and poise to her work there; and it will come as no shock that she is as accomplished and thoughtful in her work there as she was in the bellydance world. She keeps a blog about her experiences in teaching and performing flamenco, which I enjoy reading when I get the chance. I was just lucky enough to read THIS POST in which she emphasizes the love of learning over the perfection of performance. As you might imagine, you can plug in “bellydance” and related bellydance terms and get the same result:
“That first class for many students is such an overwhelming experience. The new compás, the coordination, the footwork, the aire. Some stop soon after because flamenco is so difficult. They wanted to DANCE not work on a gazillion other things.
But would a new student of piano expect to play a concerto after six weeks? Of course not. Most would study intensely to gain a certain level of proficiency. Others would happily play at a beginner level forever because it’s just a hobby.”
“If we were perfect at flamenco NOW, then there would be nowhere else to go afterward. It’s the process of learning flamenco that is so rewarding. We must accept where we are in flamenco proficiency and enjoy it.”
As a student, our job is to enjoy the journey. Take our time, process every stage of our growth, and really sink into the details. Any teacher worth their salt, as Rina clearly is, will emphasize this. Performances are brief. Classes and rehearsals are where the real meat of dance lies. If you don’t love your time learning and pushing yourself in the classroom, you won’t ever truly love dancing on a stage.