The dance’s infrastructure
For more than 150 students the Hermanos López dance school is much more than a regular dance studio. It’s the place where they spend hour after hour, several days a week. A place full of emotion, happiness and passion on the one hand, a place full of work, competition and the daily strive to get better than the day before. Therefore the infrastructure as such plays a very important role in the daily life of the López and their students. That’s why the siblings come up with a lot of effort in order to motivate them and to create the optimal conditions for dancing. An illustrative example for that are the numerous pictures hanging on both sides of the entrance hall. While there are pictures of former and current visiting instructors hanging on the right side of the corridor, there are snapshots of passed performances of the Hermanos López. It’s those images that motivate the students and the teachers a few minutes before training.
The hall leads to the sanitary facilities, the dressing rooms and the three dance halls. The first and oldest one is named after the Spanish capital. Due to the facts that Leonor and Marcos absolved their studies in Madrid and their parents lived there for many years, Madrid builds the fundament of their dance institution. It is in Madrid where the students mostly work on their Flamenco and Danza Española abilities and techniques. Just like in all of the three dance halls, there is also a inspirational quote on the wall representing the values Marcos and Leonor want to give on to their dancers. In this case it’s the following by Antonio Gades: No hay arte sin disciplina, ni disciplina sin sacrificio – meaning there is no art without discipline and no discipline without sacrifice.
The second part of the corridor leads to the other two dance halls. Barcelona – Spain’s second biggest city and touristic capital – is used for all kind of dancing styles and every kind of groups. In a field with as much rivalry as in dancing it is essential to focus on the important things. This room’s quote – also from Antonio Gades – sums it up as follows: No es estudiar para ser mejor que aquel, sino estudiar para ser mejor que tu mismo. Translated in English it means that you shouldn’t work in order to be better than anyone else besides yourself. This, he calls, the true ethics of dancing.
Last but not least there is Sevilla – flamenco’s birthplace. It is the biggest of the three dance halls and is used for different activities. Firstly it’s Coralie Girod and Hiromi Maruyama’s (the Ballet teachers) comfort zone. Secondly it is in here where the students learn how to apply the use of accessories such as bata de cola (the typical flamenco dress), mantón (shawl-like garment used in flamenco) or abanico (fan). Besides that the room is used for the examinations. The jury and musicians fly in from Spain just for that occasion and rate the students performances in Embrach, Zürich. This room’s citation is from Marha Graham: La danza è il linguaggio nascosto dell’anima –meaning that dancing is the soul’s hidden language.
The cities differ as much from each other as the different styles of dances that are being taught at the Hermanos López dance school. Another thing the cities and the styles have in common is that on their own they aren’t as meaningful as together. Spain depends on all of the three cities to be a strong country, whereas the dancers need to work on all the different kind of styles that are part of their studies in order to become the dancers they aspire to be. The diverse styles are complements to each other, meaning that training of one style will result in a better performance of another style. Having said that it can be summarized that every class, every style and every dance hall play an important role on the student’s way to become great dancers.