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VIMM World Tour Recap 7: SPAIN

BARCELONA, SPAIN – November 30th, 2014 to January 11th, 2015

Six countries down, three to go.

From the towers in Sagrada Familia

Barcelona, from the towers at Sagrada Familia

This is the part of the tour I wasn’t sure I’d be able to swing. I had committed myself to the first 6 countries by purchasing those plane tickets before departing, but everything thereafter was to be dependent upon the state of my finances. I thought, “I could always fly home from London if I have to.” Mostly, I was really hoping I’d receive funding from some pending arts grant applications. I didn’t, but once I was already on the road, my determined mind upgraded and wouldn’t take “no” for an answer in reaching my initial vision. After all, being IN London while figuring out how to get to other parts of Europe is much less daunting than being all the way back in the states.

Streets of Barcelona

Streets of Barcelona

Enjoying the Serene Waterfront

Enjoying the Serene Waterfront

So onward I marched to Barcelona. As you can see above, I ended up staying here almost 6 weeks, the longest stop on my trip. This was 90% due to financial limitations and maybe 10% due to not wanting to transition to additional places in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

Two incredibly fortuitous things happened:

  1. In my final days in London, while I was on the fence about my next destination, I was invited to be on faculty at the Rhythm, Body, & Soul Tap Dance Festival in Calgary, Canada in early February. The 12th of February to be exact. Interestingly enough, this was the exact date I had initially chosen as the completion date of the “full” tour (funds permitting). I told the festival producer, “Thank you for this opportunity! It provides me with the means and inspiration to make it all the way to Canada to end my tour!”
  1. In Barcelona a friend in the dance community offered to share her room with me for the entire duration of my six-week stay. Rent free. She was so nonchalant about the offer, but I could not have finished my full tour schedule without her generosity. It was hugely significant for the project.
Outdoor Tap Jam in Spain!

Outdoor Tap Jam in Spain!

Tap Jam at Roxane Butterfly's Jimmy Slyde Institute

Tap Jam at Roxane Butterfly’s Jimmy Slyde Institute

So, about Spain.

One hour after arriving in Barcelona, I was whisked away to the Parc de Cuidadella to join in on a weekly tap dance jam hosted by Ludovico Hombravella and Ivan Bouchain.

The jam happened in a wooden floored gazebo overlooking a huge fountain designed by Gaudi. I think my mouth was agape in disbelief the entire time …could there be a more incredible place to circle up with people from around the world and just tap dance?

In the six weeks that followed, I was fortunate to attend many more tap jams, spend time with the incredible Roxane Butterfly (a very influential artist and longtime contributor and creator in the global tap dance community), take a weekend trip to the Madrid tap dance community, and film for Music of Humankind.

I felt so welcomed by all the dancers in Barcelona, and really loved the energy of the city: the winding streets with holiday lights strung across, seeing Sagrada Familia, taking long walks to the waterfront, admiring both architecture and street art, dodging people on the always-crowded sidewalks, and being received warmly by locals even with my limited knowledge of Spanish and Catalan.

 

With Tap Dancer Avalon Rathgeb of London and some young dancers at a tap jam in Madrid

With Tap Dancer Avalon Rathgeb of London and some young dancers at a tap jam in Madrid

Group shot from the filming for Music of Humankind

Group shot from the filming for Music of Humankind

Onto the Next: Brazil

Thanks for reading!

Peace,

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