BASIC FLAMENCO DANCE TERMS
Braceo: The working and positioning of the arms particular to Spanish dance technique, which includes the continuous movement of one or both arms passing from one position to another.
Compás: The rhythmic cycle and foundation for all flamenco dance. The most common cycles are in 4/4 meter, and combinations of 3/4 and 6/8 meter. To be en compás means to have mastered being within these self-contained units.
Contra tiempo: Counter time/counter rhythm accentuation and syncopation typical of flamenco. These rhythms are produced by stamps of the feet (gólpes de pies) in combination with palmas, by oneself or with others.
Escobilla: Extended flamenco dance sequence of footwork combinations, performed to demonstrate the dancer's virtuosity.
Golpe: The whole surface of the foot strikes full upon the floor. The foot makes an audible sound on the floor. A stamp.
Jaleo: Encouraging words and sounds flamenco performers shout as other flamencos are performing. Aficionados (knowledgeable observers, participants, or participant/observers of flamenco) also often shout jaleo. Familiar flamenco jaleos include: ¡olé!, anda, vamos ya, alla, and eso es.
Llamada: Literally means to "call". In flamenco terminology, it is the means by which a flamenco dancer notifies or cues the guitarist or singer of a forthcoming change of rhythm or the next section of the dance being performed.
Marcando/Marcar/Marcaje: To keep time/marking time with the feet/arms.
Muñecas: The gentle rotary motions of the wrists and fingers typical of flamenco.
Palmas: Rhythmic hand claps that accompany flamenco dancers, singers and guitarists. Generally speaking, palmas accompany in regular rhythm or counter time (contra tiempo). They are performed as sordas (dry and muffled/cupped) or secas/claras (striking, strong, and dry).
Pitos: Rhythmic finger snaps performed in either regular or counter time by dancers and singers.
Planta: The striking or placing of the ball of the foot on the floor with the instep arched. The ball of the foot may either make or not make an audible sound on the floor.
Punta: The tip of the toe strikes the floor behind or in front of the standing leg and immediately rebounds to approximately the ankle of the standing leg. The point of the toe makes an audible sound on the floor.
Tacón: The drop of the heel from the planta or gólpe position. The heel makes an audible sound on the floor. The heel does not leave the floor until another step is initiated.
Talón: The whole foot lifts from the floor and strikes the edge of the heel upon the floor. The heel does make an audible sound on the floor, though not as audible as the tacón. The heel also immediately rebounds to approximately the middle of the calf of the standing leg.
Taconeo: Term in Flamenco dancing used for heelwork. Rhythmic patterns made with the heels.
Zapateado: Term in flamenco dancing used generally for footwork. The term is sometimes used interchangeably with taconeo. Zapateado is also the name of a rhythmic flamenco dance.
12 Count Compás Structure
| (6/8) 12 1 2 3 4 5 | (3/4) 6 7 8 9 10 11 |