Flamenco is especially prevalent in Jerez during Noche de San Juan, a festival held on or near the summer solstice. Wood platforms are set up in old-town plazas with music and dancing going on into the night. The performers are locals, which is evident from the crowd's show of affection and appreciation for them. The power and heart of the performances shake your soul.
In the style known as cante, men and women sing of suffering and lost love. The mournful and soulful singing is accompanied by flourishing guitar--toque, hand clapping--palmas, and sometimes dance--baile. This authentic gitano dancing is different and more forceful than the usual show-style flamenco. This is how gypsies dance in their own communities.
Flamenco is music and dance of a culture and a community, but anyone with a heart can join in and feel right at home.