The Art of Flamenco

The Running of the Bulls may have wrapped up on July 14th, but there remains another iconic pastime that can be experienced at any time of year in Spain: Flamenco.

While the thought of Southern Spainmay conjure images of white villages, gentle hills, and refreshing sangria, at the heart of Andalusían culture, complementing its rustic landscape, is the art of Flamenco.  A culmination of Roman, Moorish, Christian, and Jewish influence, the folk dance has served as one the most prominent features of Spanish culture since the 18th century.  Initially evolving out of Gypsy culture, its origins are enveloped in mystery.  Yet, Flamenco has survived centuries to develop into a cultural emblem known throughout the world.

More than simply a genre of music or dance, Flamenco combines cante (singing), toque (guitar), and danza (dance) to create a captivating, all encompassing sensory experience.  The cultural tradition can be taken in at a Peña Flamenca, a traditional Flamenco club, a Tabloa, a modern establishment designed specifically for Flamenco performance, or even occasionally in an impromptu juerga (jam session).  Regardless of the venue, after experiencing Flamenco, most agree that the art is truly a “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity,”  as UNESCO declared it just last year.

Experience the eloquence and mystique of Flamenco for yourself and join us on one of our favorite warm winter getaways,Spain: Under the Andalusian Sky, where we enjoy a visit to a Peña Flamenca on Day 4.

Click here to view a video of our Spain Trip, featuring a Flamenco dance.


Community Involvement VBT Supports Bike/Ped Advocacy Nationwide

It goes without saying that VBT advocates bicycling and walking all around the world. We’re also keenly aware of the need to encourage more biking and walking right here at home. But increasing the number of walkers and bicyclists will require better infrastructure and policies that encourage such active lifestyles. That’s why we support organizations that grow and strengthen the bicycle and pedestrian advocacy movement like The Alliance for Biking & Walking.

VBT and the Alliance: A Partnership For Better Biking and Walking
“These days, we’re all trying to incorporate healhful habits into our lifestyles, and of course exercise is one of them,” says Gregg Marston, President of VBT.

That’s why VBT is supporting the Alliance for Biking & Walking, the coalition of more than 170 local and state bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations. The Alliance works to create, strengthen and unite bike/ped advocacy leaders across North American and VBT is helping in that important effort by sponsoring the 2011 Winning Campaign Trainings series.

Each Winning Campaigns Training gives novice and veteran advocates the information, skills, and tools they need to identify, organize, and plan powerful campaigns to increase biking and walking in their communities. The interactive workshops are led by longtime advocates and experts, and are designed to foster collaboration and connection among advocates at all levels. This year alone, VBT is sponsoring trainings in Davenport, Iowa; Seattle, Washington; Lansing, Michigan; Los Angeles, California; and Columbia, South Carolina. If you want to make your community safer and more enjoyable for biking and walking, register for an upcoming training in your area!

But that’s not all VBT is doing. Marston is encouraging support for the Alliance for Biking & Walking by offering a $200 discount on select VBT vacations to any member of any Alliance organization — and anyone who donates to the Alliance’s 15 anniversary fundraising campaign. To make your contribution, visit Learn more about the Alliance and find your local advocacy organization at


Alliance web address: