Sonia and Ismael offer regular classes in New York City and special workshops throughout the US and around the globe.
Classes are available for every level: from Absolute Beginner to professional dancers and singers. At all levels, these classes offer access to authentic Flamenco. Ismael accompanies Sonia at every class, helping the student master not just dancing but truly understanding the artform.
Classes cover a variety of different types of dances (palos) and technique. All palos taught in Ismael’s cante class support Sonia’s Flamenco dance classes. Cante classes help students gain a deeper understanding of each dance, learn the structure of each palo in greater detail, and reinforce the dance training.
If you prefer personal attention or a customized workshop, you can request private lessons in both Dance and Cante.
Workshops can be customized to organizational or personal needs.
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This class is the perfect introduction to flamenco. No prior experience is required. Students will learn basic technique including: footwork, arm movements, and “marcajes” (marking steps). Students will gain an understanding of flamenco rhythms, music, and structure. At the Beginner Level, each technique, step and movement is reviewed many times, so students may join the class at anytime
BEGINNER General Class
This class focuses on general flamenco technique for those who have a basic understanding of flamenco. A minimum of one year’s experience is required. Footwork, arm movements and “marcajes” are all explored in greater detail and at a faster pace than in Absolute Beginner. The class will continue the study of flamenco rhythms, “compas” and music, and students use short choreography sequences to strengthen their technique. At the Beginner Level, each technique, step and movement is reviewed many times, so students may join the class at anytime.
BEGINNER ADVANCED General Class
This class focuses on general flamenco technique in the advanced beginner level: footwork, arms, “compas” (rhythm), and “marcajes” or marking steps. While the class does not focus on choreography, we will use short segments of choreography to gain a deeper understanding of the music, structure, and artistic concepts. The “palo” or type of flamenco song changes every few weeks. So, it is never too late to join the class! Many classes feature live “cante” and guitar.
INTERMEDIATE ADVANCED General Class
This class focuses on general flamenco technique in the intermediate level: footwork, arms, “compas” (rhythm), and “marcajes” or marking steps. While the class does not focus on choreography, we will use short segments of choreography to gain a deeper understanding of the music, structure, and artistic concepts. The “palo” or type of flamenco song changes every few weeks. So, it is never too late to join the class! Many classes feature live “cante” (song) and guitar.
This class spends more time developing each choreography. The “palos” or type of flamenco song do not change until a full choreography has been taught. Many classes feature live “cante” (song) and guitar. This is a chance to further develop your knowledge of the music and structure of flamenco. Students who participate in this class will also have an opportunity to perform in our student shows.
To be part of this classes you should attend the general classes at the appropriate level at least once a week.
This class is dedicated to students who want to perform in the student shows. We will review our growing repertoire of choreography, allowing students to improve on dances they’ve already learned or giving students another chance to learn choreography they missed the first time around. This class is an important opportunity to learn about the art of performing, staging, the structure of each palo, and the way the choreography works with the music and song. The level of this class varies depending on what palo we are reviewing at the time. Students will receive email-updates as the palos change. The class often features live singing and guitar.
This class breaks apart the mystery and complexity of “Bulerias” (a traditional and often improvised type of flamenco song). Students will learn how to improvise in relation to the singing through simple steps, an exploration of the “Cante”, and structure. We will review several different types of Bulerias and their variations. The class often features live singing and guitar.
This class breaks apart the mystery and complexity of “Tangos” (a traditional and often improvised type of flamenco song). Students will learn how to improvise in relation to the singing through simple steps, an exploration of the “Cante”, and structure. We will review several different types of Tangos and their variations. The class often features live singing and guitar.
This class is to answer your questions, solve your problems and as a group take on the challenges of dancing Tablao style. Dancing in a tablao is the goal of many dancers who study Flamenco: but this type of improvisation and thinking on your feet can be hard to practice. Free-form in style, this class does not feature specific choreography or steps. Rather, students bring the steps they have, the patas and the palos and Sonia & Ismael will guide the class through transition and help students find the confidence to dance, perform and improvise. Advanced Beginner level is necessary for this exciting and innovative class!
I have never danced before – can I start Flamenco classes?
You can start Flamenco. We will be starting an Absolute Beginner class that will teach technique along with flamenco rhythms. This class will be the perfect place to start: sign up for our newsletter, send us an email to put you in a waiting list or watch the website as to when the new Absolute Beginner class will start.
I have dance experience, which level should I chose?
You should first take the Beginner class, so that Sonia can observe your technique and you can experience the way Sonia teaches. After the first class, you can have a discussion about which level is right for you.
Is there an age limit?
Everyone can take flamenco and adults of all ages can come and learn!
Please note: Sonia’s classes are adult dance classes, so parents of children should contact Sonia individually as to whether classes are age appropriate.
What should I wear?
Clothing that you can move in is important. Women will eventually want a skirt that we can work with as we dance, but for beginners it is important that Sonia see your posture, legs and foot work, so athletic pants work well for this. Men may want to bring a vest or light jacket to work with as they dance.
Do I have to have authentic Flamenco shoes to start?
Flamenco shoes allow for the important sounds in footwork, and most students will want to work with these shoes. However, a character shoe with at least a 2-inch heel for women or a Cuban heel for men is ok to start with.
Are there opportunities to perform?
Sonia Olla & Ismael Fernandez Flamenco Company do present a student show with performances in New York City Venues. The date and venue change season to season, depending on availability and interest. These shows come together in the choreography classes, and those students wishing to perform commit to learning the choreography. Students should talk to Sonia directly about participation in the student shows.
I want to take dance classes, but I don’t know if I can commit to every week. Can I still come to class or will I be too behind?
For general classes, we review technique and the choreography we use to explore that technique in each class. Choreography classes build one upon another. Of course, coming to class is the best way to get better!
May I observe a class before I take one?
You may observe a class, but we ask that you arrange this in advance, by contacting us through email.
How will I know if I’m ready to move from one level to another?
This is a conversation for you to have with Sonia. There are many elements to Flamenco. Most students, when they move from one level to another, take classes in both levels during the transition. This helps find the balance of challenging yourself and not losing technique.
Do I have to make a reservation, or can I drop in?
You can do a drop-in class, or you can contact us that you are coming through the website. New students are encouraged to contact us so that we can provide any relevant information for the particular class you might want to take.
MAKE SURE TO CHECK OUR CALENDAR – we keep it updated and it will always reflect up-to-date changes in the schedule!
How do you receive payments?
Currently we take cash or check payable to Sonia Olla LLC.
What are the fees?
Single Dance group class: $35 (1 hr)
Single Cante group class: $35 (1h)
5 class card (all classes): $170 (90 days expiration date)
10 class card (all classes): $320 (90 days expiration date)
15 class card (all classes) $450 (90 days expiration date)
Private or Semiprivate Classes: For the current fee schedule, please contact directly via email at email@example.com
Can I pay for a group of lessons in advance?
Yes, multi-class cards are available. These cards offer a discount and are valid for 2 months and are non-refundable.
Do the class cards expire?
Yes, the cards will have an expiration date specific to the date of your purchase. 5, 10 and 15 class cards are good for 90 (ninety) days.
Are private lessons available?
Private lessons are available by appointment. Please contact us to make an appointment.
Can I give lessons as a gift?
We are happy make up gift vouchers for any number of group classes or private lesson20
What are Cante Classes?
Cante Classes explore the technique and music of traditional Flamenco Letras, or verses. These classes are very important for singers that wants to explore flamenco songs but also for dancers that wants to have more knowledge about where and how to dance with the cante.
I can’t sing, can I still take Cante Class?
Yes! Cante Class is more than just singing, is learning how the songs and dancing intertwine. Learning the rhythm, verses and elements of Cante does not depend on the voice alone, although we do learn singing and breathing technique in this class.
How important is taking a Cante Class while learning Flamenco dance?
Learning Cante, and the elements of Flamenco Letras help dancers to achieve a better understanding of Flamenco. Cante is not separate from dancing, and Cante Class helps with these essentials. In authentic Flamenco, Cante and dancing are partners.
How can I get news on Flamenco classes and the Sonia Olla & Ismael Fernandez Flamenco Company?
Sign up here for The Sonia Olla Flamenco Company Newsletter. You can also follow us on Instagram (@soniaismaelflamenco), Twitter (@sonia_ismael) and Facebook (@soniaismaelflamenco)
How are students informed about changes to the schedule?
We send out emails and update our social media.
Are the classes open to men?
Yes, everyone is welcome, regardless of gender, gender identity, and gender expression.
When do new classes begin?
The classes and workshops are ongoing. Check the class and workshop schedules and join at any time. We will make announcements on the website and social media when we start new choreographies or palos in the the Choreography classes, or when new classes – like Absolute Beginners – start.