Basic sevillanas steps for dancing at the Feria de Abril
A total of seven days of festivities in which the Real de la Feria de Sevilla will inaugurate a colourful illumination and where there will be no shortage of fair booths, fried fish, rebujitos and sevillanas. If you’re planning a trip to Seville’s Feria de Abril but you still don’t know the basic steps of the sevillanas, here’s a practical guide to help you get familiar with this popular Spanish dance. Take note and start practising!
Basic terminology of the sevillanas dance
Before explaining how to dance sevillanas, it is important to know some of the terms used in sevillanas. For example, “planta”, which means that the whole foot must be placed on the ground; “punta”, where only the toes are on the floor and the heel is raised; or “golpe”, which involves striking the ground with the whole sole of the foot.
What are the sevillanas steps?
There are five basic steps that are combined in different ways and repeated throughout the four sevillanas. This is a real advantage compared to other dance styles, since once you learn how to dance each one separately, you will be able to dance all the sevillanas just by knowing the name of the step that needs to be performed and the number of times
1. The step of Sevillanas or “paseíllo”
If there is one important step in the sevillanas dance, it is the sevillanas step. A movement that is repeated more than ten times and that you will find in the choreography of the four sevillanas. Thus, it is essential to learn this step properly.
Starting position: we always start with the right foot in front and the left foot behind slightly turned to the left (with the arms lowered and the hands resting on the left hip, if you dare to dance with your arms from the beginning).
1st movement. From the starting position explained above, at the same time as we move the sole of the left foot forward, we raise our arms in a circle on the outside of the body. (Once you have mastered this basic step, you will begin to learn how to move your hands, but for the moment we will stay with the basic swing).
2nd movement. With the right and left arm up and the left foot in front, we place the right foot behind the left and strike the floor with the tip of the right foot.
3rd movement: with your arms up, bring your feet and arms back to the starting position
2. The “pasada” or “cruce”
This is one of the easiest steps of the sevillanas dance and you will be able to do it perfectly with just a little practice. It consists of turning to the right or left, according to the choreography, while crossing your back with your partner.
As its name suggests, it consists of turning our body (always to the left) on one of the feet, returning to the same position from which we started.
It is one of the most frequently imitated steps, even by those who don’t know how to dance the complete sevillanas. It consists of doing a “punta” and “tacón” (toe and heel), two “golpes” (“striking the ground”) and one more “golpe”.
This is a step in which we stand face to face with our partner. It is always performed by turning to the same side: we move the left foot forward and then the right foot behind while lowering the right arm. It is at this moment when we perform the crossing or “careo”, for which we shall move our left foot forward and then turn on it.