Flamenco dancer and guitar player in front of sunset

Flamenco Dance in Spain (Ultimate Guide)

Who doesn’t love Flamenco Dance in Spain?…

It’s so colorful, exciting, and vibrant … awakening basic gypsy passions in all of us.

But, how long has it been around?…

Where did it originate?…

What are the different types?…

You’ll find the answers on this page, along with a video clip of the amazing Joaquin Cortés dancing flamenco.

Perhaps you’d also like to view flamenco dancing photos?…

Well, you’ll discover several colorful pictures of flamenco dancers on this page.

But, for now, let’s learn a little about flamenco, and then view that powerful video clip of the exceptional Joaquin Cortés …

Flamenco Dance in Spain

How long has flamenco been around and where did it originate?

Flamenco is a song, music and dance style which developed in Andalucia round the end of the eighteenth century.

Nowadays, as you well know, it’s popular throughout Spain – not to mention the rest of the world.

It’s the result of a variety of influences – Arab, Jewish, African – but, in particular, that of the Gypsy community in southern Spain, otherwise known as flamencos.

What are the different types?

Originally, flamenco consisted of unaccompanied singing – cante.

Later, the songs were accompanied by guitar (toque), hand clapping (palmas) and dance (baile).

The toque and baile are often found without the cante – although the song remains the heart of the flamenco tradition.

Different areas and provinces of Andalucia have their own individual characteristics.

However, a convenient – though not uncontended – form of classifying the different types of flamenco is to divide them into three groups.

The deepest, most serious forms are known as cante jondo or cante grande – originating from the province of C�diz.

Light, frivolous forms are called cante chico.

And, forms which don’t apply to either category are classified as cante medio.

What about actual Flamenco Dance in Spain?

The women’s dance is characterized by graceful movements of both the hands and body, plus heel tapping, whilst the men’s dance is based mainly on heel tapping.

Female dancers also have to learn how to make use of the Spanish shawl and fan in flamenco dance, while both men and women will learn the art of castanettes.

Who are famous flamenco artists?

Two well-known, present-day flamenco dancers include Joaquín Cortés and Antonio Canales although – over the years – there have been many celebrated flamenco artists …

Guitar: Vicente Amigo, Paco de Lucia, Luís Maravilla, Carlos Montoya, Ramón Montoya, Moraito, Sabicas, Tomatito.

Voice: Camarón de la Isla, Antonio Chacón, José Mercé.

Dance: Carmen Amaya, La Argentina, Lola Flores.


Flamenco Dance in Spain – Joaquin Cortés Video

When you think of flamenco dancing, I expect you visualize raven-haired girls dressed in spectacular, long, flouncy dresses, kicking their heels.

So, for a change, and because I’m a fan of the amazing Joaquin Cortés, I thought we’d choose a video clip showing him dancing …

The video lasts about 4 minutes.

Click on the arrow to start it. And, if you want to stop it before the end, just click again on the two short, horizontal lines you’ll find on the lower left-hand side.


“Check out more articles about Spanish music, dance and literature at the links on our main Spanish music page, here.”

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