Flamenco dance troupe opens new dance studio on Roosevelt Row

Flamenco Por La Vida is one of the newest residents of Roosevelt Row. Previously, the flamenco dance troupe called Gallo Blanco at the Clarendon hotel home. (Evie Carpenter/DD)

Flamenco Por La Vida, the dance troupe that has electrified the Clarendon Hotel’s Gallo Blanco Cafe for three years, has found a permanent home in the heart of Roosevelt Row.

The new home for Flamenco Por La Vida, at Roosevelt and Fifth streets next to Five15 Arts, was named 5th Row Dance Studios by co-owners Angelina Ramirez and Ruben Gonzalez.

The co-owners opened the studio for April’s First Friday to gauge public interest and they were well received, Ramirez said.

“The varnish on the floor wasn’t even dry yet,” Ramirez said. “A passing group asked us to put on music and did some waltz and cha-cha. We’re in contact with them about bringing those dance styles here too.”

Currently, the troupe is made up of Ramirez, her dance partner Carlos Montufar and a various instrumentalists who perform guitar, bass, percussions and vocals. Sometimes there are other instrumentalists as well, like the Puerto Rican Cuatro.

Hillary Butler, events coordinator for Roosevelt Row CDC, said she is excited to see the studio home for Flamenco Por La Vida open.

“There is kind of a dearth of performance space on the Row, and flamenco is a totally different art form,” Butler said.

Ramirez plans to host other troupes and give classes in flamenco and yoga in the studio.

Hip-hop dance classes also might be showcased, Gonzalez said. In addition to the dance studio, Gonzalez owns 11th Monk3y Apparel and Designs, and The Lab at 137 across the street.

5th Row Dance Studios will also host Dulce Dance Company, a modern dance group whose members have performed for Phoenix Metropolitan Opera, The White Oak Dance Project and the Rainy Day Cabaret, Ramirez said.

Future plans for the studio include lessons led by Dulce Dance in the Brazilian martial art Capoeira, which is a mixture of fighting style with dance moves, Ramirez said.

“They’ve been developing this idea with the CDC for a while,” Butler said. “I’m also one of the students for Flamenco Por La Vida.”

Kenny Barrett, programs manager at Roosevelt Row CDC, has worked with Gonzalez for years.

“He started as a street artist and now he has his brick-and-mortar,” Barrett said. “I’m glad he and Angelina have found a home for Flamenco Por La Vida. They are really fun too. They leave the door open when they rehearse, so you can hear the feet pounding down the street.”

Contact the reporter at wsgrey@asu.edu

Correction: May 25, 2012

An earlier version of this article incorrectly associated the flamenco dance troupe with the salsa dance form. The headline also has been changed to reflect this correction.


  1. I’m pretty sure flamenco is not salsa. The title of this article really should be changed. I know a lot of people think mexican is the same as puerto rican and spanish, and salsa is the same as flamenco, but nothing could be farther from the truth. It’s not Salsa pro la vida, is it? Nope.