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Dance Studio Looks Back at One Year of Sweet Moves

Published: Friday, February 22, 2013

Updated: Friday, February 22, 2013 11:02

5th Row Dance Studios

Courtesy of 5th Row Dance Studios

It was a dream that came to fruition through “talking and talking and sharing and dreaming,” says Angelina Ramirez about 5th Row Dance Studio in downtown Phoenix. “It just kind of happened.”

The dance studio, Ramirez says, was created with the good of the community in mind. When the longtime flamenco dancer and owner of the Flamenco Por La Vida dance company met Ruben Gonzales of 11th Monk3y Designs and former b-boy, they discovered a shared passion of dance.

“As a teacher, I’ve been kind of in and out of dance studios my whole life,” Ramirez says. “I couldn’t find a space that worked with the schedule that I wanted and that had the curriculum that I wanted to build. In talking to Ruben, he could relate.”

When word got out at that a space would become available off Roosevelt Street, Ramirez and Gonzales, along with their good friend Monica Robles, a mixed media artist and Gonzales’ business partner at The Lab, jumped on the opportunity to turn their dream dance studio into a reality.

They rented the space off Roosevelt, directly across from The Lab and in April of 2012, 5th Row Dance Studio opened its doors to the public.

Through their collaboration, the three artists have been able to provide a new space for the downtown Phoenix community to express and showcase their form of art, and location has been a key player in that.

“It’s the most fortunate thing,” Ramirez says. “[All our instructors] reside in central or downtown Phoenix, and they’re really happy to see something here because there isn’t really another dance studio in the area.”

The owners rent out the studio space where instructors can bring their students.

“We are really excited to be able to give these instructors a space,” Ramirez says. “I like that I am able to share the space with other teachers that teach other genres of dance. I think that’s really important for the community.”

The repertoire at 5th Row includes flamenco, hip hop, break dancing, meditation, yoga, burlesque and belly dancing. Though adult classes are the most popular, 5th Row does offer classes for all ages, including a children’s yoga class and a magic class by Jacob Spinney.

5th Row doesn’t stop at the performance artist. Already in charge of marketing and graphic design for the company, Robles heads the visual side of the space and curates a monthly rotation of art at the dance studio.

“It made sense because of the neighborhood that we’re in that we feature visual artists as well as performance art,” Ramirez says.

Some artists that have hung at the studio include Phoenix artists Jose Love Reyes and Ray Rivas and ASU student Ellie Craze.

“I try to feature up-and-coming artists to give them a space to show their work,” Robles says.

So far, the studio has gotten a great response from the community and owners say classes are getting “good attendance.”

As the studio approaches its one-year marker, Ramirez says they’re stepping back to reassess and see what else they can do. Aside from adding more shelving to the studio, the owners say they want to hold more performances and events.

“We want to do something for the neighborhood and the community and perhaps collaborate with some of the small businesses in the area,” Ramirez says. “We’re just trying to bring more dance into the community.”


5th Row Dance Studios, 513 E. Roosevelt Street, Phoenix, 602.456.1422

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