28 Jun, 2014 @ 08:30
1 min read

Dancing into the history books

SAM   e

TWO weeks to learn to dance Sevillanas and break a Guinness World record?

Always one for an adventure, I didn’t take much convincing.

Estepona was hoping to christen its new feria ground with the largest ever group of people all dancing Sevillanas together.

And it would not be my first attempt at a world record when I took part in the biggest simultaneous cracker-pulling in Cardiff two Christmases ago.

But a lone guiri, learning a traditional Spanish dance and strutting my stuff alongside Andalucian stalwarts was always going to be more of a challenge.

I attended a couple of free classes at Estepona’s Pena Flamenco to learn the moves, before meeting up with celebrity flamenco dancer Joaquin Cortes for some tips… so could not have been more prepared.

The number to beat was 1,560, when Cordoba snatched the record off its rivals Sevilla in 2012.

And with the sun baking and the time ticking away, I began to wonder if this little town could genuinely compete with the big boys.

But my apprehension was unfounded, as more than 1,800 energetic Esteponeros danced their way into flamenco folklore.

Men and women of all ages, shapes and sizes twisted and twirled in time with the music, while flamenco instructors Antonio Trujillo and Maria Vega led the way on the stage.

Meanwhile, I tried desperately to copy those around me and to not kick too many people with misplaced steps.

But it turned out I wasn’t the only foreigner in this unequivocally Spanish affair.

Estepona expat Evelyn Harris, owner of Harris Insurance, learned to dance Sevillanas with her husband Alan when they first moved here in 1986.

“I’ve always enjoyed being able to participate in the fun at ferias,” she said.

“Of course we never expected back then that we would earn a place in the Guinness Book of World Records!”

The English in me wasn’t entirely lost in the swirl and twirl of Sevillanas though, as I snuck silkily away before the record was announced in order to watch the evening’s World Cup match England versus Italy.

The 5,000 people who stayed at the feria ground to celebrate the world record were treated to a concert, fireworks and free beer.

But I was happier watching England lose to Italy, of course I was… well!?

Tom Powell

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