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Spanish Flamenco Dress & Shoes


A traditional Spanish flamenco outfit with a black bodice decorated with red tassels, short ruffled sleeves and a layered and ruffled skirt decorated with black polka dots on red fabric. Red mary jane style shoes with black polka dots and small heels.

Cultural notes

Flamenco Outfit

The traje de flamenco or “flamenco outfit” is the dress traditionally worn by women at festivals in Spain. There are two forms: one worn by dancers and the other worn as a day dress.

The day dress is body-hugging to mid-thigh, and then continues in multiple layers of ruffles to the ankle. Modern interpretations of the style are difficult to walk in, let alone dance. The dancers’ version therefore flares out from higher on the hip to allow freedom of movement.

Both versions are trimmed with layers of ruffles on both the skirt and sleeves. The dress is typically brightly colored, usually in black, red or and may be either plain or patterned, with the most famous being the polka dotted traje de lunares.

Traditionally, the outfit is completed with a shawl worn over the shoulders. The traditional dancer will also wear her hair in a bun adorned with flowers, and perhaps a decorative hair comb. 

Flamenco Dance

Flamenco is based on the various folkloric music traditions of Southern Spain. Flamenco includes singing, guitar playing, dance, vocalisations and chorus clapping, handicapping and finger snapping.

Flamenco has become popular all over the world and is taught in many non-Hispanic countries, especially the United States and Japan. In Japan, there are more flamenco academies than there are in Spain.

Suggested activities

Group/ Circle Time:

  • Read through ‘The Clothes we Wear’, borrowing items of clothing to reflect those discussed in the book. Discuss the differences in the clothing, touching on the climate in each country, materials, cultural beliefs etc. Discuss children’s favourite items of clothing and why this is their favourite.

Music and Movement:

Language and Counting: 

  • Use the beats and body percussion in flamenco dance as an opportunity to introduce counting to 5 in Spanish. As children stamp their feet, clap their hands or slap their hips they can repeat the numbers in English or Spanish.
  • Borrow Cardboard Matching Puzzle – Spanish & English and use as an introduction to Spanish language, as well as a matching game for younger children

Dramatic Play: 

  • Borrow a range of cultural clothing and home corners items to allow the children to explore different cultural items and create their own experiences.

Puzzles/ Games:

  • Mar y Tierra is a very simple Spanish game that is suitable to preschool age children. This game can be played inside if you have enough space and do not mind the jumping. Children jump between two spaces designated mar and tierra.

    To play, children line up beside a line on the ground, so that they can jump sideways over the line. They can also face the line and jump forward and back. One side of the line is mar and the other side is tierra. A person who has been chosen to call first calls out mar and tierra as the players jump across the line (or in place) to be on the correct side.

    You can see videos of the traditional game Mar y tierra here.

Community Engagement:

  • Invite a local flamenco instructor to visit the centre and teach your children some flamenco dancing. The school may be able to bring along some of their young students to help teach the children and may offer this for free as an opportunity for promotion, should any children have an interest in joining the class.

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The research for this resource was made possible through a grant from the Central Coast Council.