Finding Flamenco at 75

New Yorker returns to the dance she did as a teenager.

On Saturday afternoons, 75 year-old Betty Dooley can be found tapping and swaying in a dance studio in Midtown.

“I used to do this when I was 18,” said Dooley, whose parents were from Spain. “And I just started about two years ago to do it again.”

Dooley takes Flamenco classes at Vivo Carlotta Santana. Flamenco is a traditional folk dance that originated in the southern region of Spain. It involves technical foot taps and steps and is usually accompanied by a guitarist.

Hanaah Frachette, the managing director of the studio said that although many of the students are younger, flamenco is great for an older crowd as the dance is all about, “bringing your life experience. And so the more life you’ve lived, the more you have to bring,” said Frachette.

Older age does not come without trouble though. Dooley, one of the most committed students, sometimes struggles with balance and remembering the steps.

“It’s a little tough but I’m trying my best,” said Dooley.

Dooley, who got inspired to dance by her parents, thinks flamenco is a sexy and attractive dance.

“I just think it’s so different from all the other dances from other countries,” said Dooley. “It has its own special flavor and I love that.”

Dooley said her goal is to learn as many steps as possible in the coming months so she can perform for her children at Christmas time for the annual family talent show.

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