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Students learn the language of dance

Published: November 10, 2017

Students studying A-level languages got out of the classroom and into the dance studio for a special insight into the world of Flamenco.

The group of students, all from the A-level Spanish course at Cornwall College St Austell, were given a crash course from visiting dance instructor Claudia Caolin. The session, which formed part of the A-level module on Artistic culture in the Hispanic world, is designed to supplement and expand upon the classroom-based experience of learning a modern foreign language.

A-level Spanish Lecturer Leah Kendall from Cornwall College St Austell said: “I believe in a style of teaching that immerses a learner into the foreign culture they are studying to give more than just a theoretical understanding of the subject. Foreign language and culture studies are alive and should be taught as such with enriching experiences. The study of traditional and modern Hispanic music forms part of the curriculum for A-level Spanish which is why I set myself the task of finding an authentic flamenco teacher to visit the college. Claudia fitted my vision perfectly as I found her to be incredibly knowledgeable, passionate and inspiring.”

Born in Germany, Dance instructor Claudia Caolin was fascinated with Flamenco dance from a very early age. After completing an MA at Laban Centre London, with Flamenco as her theme for her thesis, she launched the UK based performance group, Claudia Caolin Y Compania. Based in Cornwall since 2006, Claudia has built a reputation, both as a dedicated teacher and a versatile performer.

Claudia enjoyed putting the students through their paces and introducing them to the world of flamenco. She said: “The students were really good. It was an interesting session for me as everyone who came along were not dancers but rather language students, so they were more interested in the cultural aspects of it. In Flamenco, It’s a high art form that you can express yourself fully as a human being. You do your own dances, your own choreography and you can express all the human emotions there are. Although it is an abstract form and the moves don’t mean something specific, through the language of the body and dance, you can weave emotional stories into it and the audience can read into them what they want. I hope all the students enjoyed it.”

19 year old Max Taylor is studying A-levels at Cornwall College. Max said: “I really enjoyed the flamenco session! It’s been a brilliant insight into the importance of flamenco in Spanish culture and it’s a great balance alongside the written side of learning Spanish. I love that we get out of the classroom and try this type of thing, I’ve learnt a lot.”

For more information about learning flamenco with Claudia Caolin, please visit www.flamencoincornwall.co.uk

To find out about studying A-levels Cornwall College St Austell, please visit www.cornwall.ac.uk or call 0330 123 2523.

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