On the 1st of August 2009, the students of Academy “Pacqui La Bailaora” in Ronda staged a show as part of the Noches de Ronda festivities that had run through most of July and the first week of August.
A larger crowd than there were seats turned up, leaving the organising team running frantically to make sure everyone was accommodated, and then the show began. From the first clap of the flamenco dancer’s hands the atmosphere became electric.
People in the back rows desperately tried to peer over the rows in front to get a glimpse of the footwoork, all manner of amateur and professional cameras appeared, some even leaving their seats to get better photos from the sidelines.
This was a show to remember, made more memorable because the dancers were students, local Rondeños we see in town every day, yet giving everything they had to make this a special evening. Pacqui, the lady who owns the academy didn’t perform, nor did she sing, she simply stood amongst the musicians and clapped, lending real support and a reassuring smile to her students.
As a member of the audience I sat enthralled as the dancers stomped their feet, clapped their hands, and danced at the same time. The noise from a single stomp echoed and reverberated around the patio, but with three or four dancers stomping several times per second the noise was deafening, at times drowning out the singer whose voice was carried on some of the largest speakers I’ve ever seen.