When asked what she loves about Flamenco dancing, Angelina Ramirez pauses. The reasoning, she says, is hard pin down. "I like the community aspect of it. When you go to Spain you don't have to be a professional Flamenco dancer to be able to participate," she says. "It's very social."
In 2009, Ramirez founded Flamenco Por La Vida to share her passion for dance with others. The project, which focuses on education and community interaction, includes Flamenco dance classes and live performances.
Read more about Ramirez and her groups two weekly performances (one's tonight at Gallo Blanco) after the jump ...
The live performances are definitely an experience; the audience is encouraged to dance, clap and sing while the musicians and dancers perform. "Expect to be taken away from your day," Ramirez says.
Flamenco Por La Vida hosts two free events during the week. Though the back-to-back performances often include the same dancers and band, the experience is never exactly the same.
Flamenco Por La Vida at Gallo Blano Café:a social setting, appropriate for families and large groups. Check out the lounge seating near the back door and try the famous guacamole and grapefruit margaritas.
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On Thursday nights Bomberos Café and Wine Bar, located on Central, just south of Dunlap Avenue, hosts the dancers from 8 to 10 p.m..
Flamenco Por La Vida at Bomberos: good for dates. The atmosphere is cozy and romantic. Check out the South American wines, selection of bruschetta and killer cheese plates.
Both events are intimate, participatory and allow the audience to, as Ramirez puts it, "experience a different culture in Phoenix." (Don't worry, you can also just watch.)
For more information, visit the Flamenco Por La Vida website.