Robin's Blog

Dancing From the Stomach Up

File Jun 02, 4 03 32 PM

“From here!” Our Flamenco dance instructor pressed her open palm against my stomach. “This is the place where the music comes from in a woman who dances Flamenco.”

I pulled my stomach muscles tighter, lifted my chin and glanced up at my raised hand. Lydia, our 70 year old teacher leaned in closer.

“This is where a woman lives. In her gut. Do you understand? Here. Right here!” She pressed harder. “This is where a woman holds her loves, her losses, her dreams. She carries her babies here. This is where she keeps every secret. This is where she feels the music of her life. It is from HERE that she must give the song of her life expression by dancing from the stomach up.”

I held my breath. Lydia was so passionate. She restarted the music. “Cinco paseos,” she called out. The five steps.

My friend Anne and I began again. We knew it was an honor to be taking lessons in the home of this accomplished dancer who lived near the beach in the Canary Islands.


Anne and I are both novelists and we’d come by invitation to this exotic location off the coast of West Africa for a week of writing and deep conversations. The dance lessons were a surprise. A gift. A chance to try something completely out of our usual experiences.

As I held my stomach taunt and went through the steps, an idea for a new book began to form in my imagination. It would be a mother daughter tale of reconciliation set here in this peaceful, ancient corner of the Canary Islands. It was from this island of Las Palmas that Christopher Columbus set sail for the New World.

All Is Calm

My imagination set sail with ideas for this new novel. The main character would be named Carolyn and of course, she would have to go to Lydia’s home and take Flamenco dance lessons. I knew one day I would write such a story. And I knew right then that it would be titled, “Canary Island Song”.


You will find yourself transported to this beautiful island when you start your summer reading with “Canary Island Song”. Christy Miller readers will quickly recognize Carolyn and her love interest, Bryan Spencer (Todd’s dad) from The Married Years Series. Robin’s Nest BookShop

Don’t be surprised if the story inspires you to try something out of the ordinary as well. You might even find yourself becoming intentional about living and dancing through the warm summer days from the stomach up.