A few weeks after Holy Week is the other long-awaited week of Feria that all Sevillans know very well and is a part of what makes the spring such a special time for them and many others. Before this week in April comes, however, there is a lot of preparation that begins even months before at the fairgrounds, but in particular, with the flamenco dresses. Every year at the Center for Cross-Cultural Studies (my school here in Seville) they have a fashion show where a group of girls that are in the Sevillanas (regional folk dance) class get a chance to try on the dresses and then wear them in a fashion show as part of a pre-feria party for students and other people invited such as host families and other Spanish students studying at the center as well.
Although I took the dance class during fall semester, I was able to participate in the fashion show and I was excited to try on the dresses since I had heard so much about Feria during my time here. We had several practices to figure out how we were going to walk, how we wanted to wear our hair and do our makeup, and what all we were going to wear with our dress including a shawl, shoes, jewelry and hair accessories.
The day of the show came and we all came early to get in our dresses. The little girls and boys who study English at the school were there also and they looked adorable in their little dresses and suits. We all walked and the show turned out great. A lot of students and friends of the center came to see it and stayed afterward for the party. My host mom and her friend came and it was exciting to share a part of their culture with them. A live band also came and played music for us to dance Sevillanas to. It was a great chance for us to dance with each other and see other Sevillans dance, since it isn’t an easy dance to learn. I remember last semester not having an event towards the end of the semester to get a chance to show what all we learned in a fun environment with staff and professors among other friends and my host mom, for example, while wearing a flamenco dress.
It was a good night of fun and I was appreciative of the people that had loaned or put up for sale the dresses for us and those that organized everything so that all of the students could be a part of an event that it so dear to their culture.