My path crossed with Angelina's many years ago, when I was the owner of a dance and movement studio. Angelina was teaching several flamenco classes and was on the cusp of starting her own company - Flamenco Por La Vida. Angelina's expressive dance style centers and grounds all within a room, so listening to her speak on how she centers HERSELF with essentials oils, was a beautiful example on the subtle power of scent.
I greeted her with my Desert Herb and Flower Iced Tea to honor where we emerged from, and looked forward to asking her questions about her upcoming travels. We sat outside on the steps of my home and chatted before she headed off to the Festival Flamenco Internacional de Albuquerque and then to Mexico City.
1. What makes your corazon swell?
I love to watch people learn something new!
As a dance teacher who mainly works with children and adults learning flamenco for the first time, FIRST, there is this initial shock. Then, maybe a little discouragement. But with a boost of confidence and a reminder to be patient, it clicks! They begin improving and the excitement returns!
This process makes me feel overwhelmed with emotion. I'm constantly amazed how magnificent the brain and body work.
2. What called you to flamenco as a girl?
Flamenco called to me. I was adamant about spending my summer break in front of the television. I didn't have any interest in other activities, so my mother "forced" me to choose a dance activity out of the Tucson Parks and Recreation catalog. After a long argument, and for the sake of moving on to catch the rest of my tv show, I played a quick game of eeny, meeny, miney, moe. I landed on flamenco.
It wasn't until I watched my first performance on VHS years into my career, that I saw I was a natural. I felt it! Attitude to the max!
3. What foods keep you spiritually grounded while you're traveling on tour? Are there foods you miss?
Soup. Something about hot broth and the act of adding the herbs, the chile, and the lime juice is so soothing to me.
I miss cooking when on tour. Sometimes we have accessibility to kitchens, but I never have everything I'm used to using on hand. I love to cook. It's one of the activities that brings me relaxation. I usually like to cook alone.
4. Do you have any daily rituals that keep you grounded or centered?
I love aromatherapy. I feel like I am a shallow breather, so the essential oils in my soaps, lotions, and incense help me breathe more deeply. I don't go a day without them (essential oils). I begin each morning by moisturizing my skin with lotion and oils that have been blended with essential oils. I love to slather it up!
5. How would you describe your personal style?
Vintage. Bohemian. Preppy. I'm all over the place! I love to find the perfect fitting vintage dress or vintage top to wear with short-shorts and heels. I love wearing cotton tees with long skirts and sandals, and I love to look a little butch sometimes in my golf attire.
6. Why should everyone dance?
It's liberating. It's a moment for our brains to relax. You get to see another side of someone.
7. And lastly, since we are talking about scent...the scent of the Desert or the scent of the Sea? Which one resonates most with your soul?
The desert. When it's dry, I love to hear the cicadas crying for rain. And in the wet desert, the smell of wet dirt, creosote.... so soothing.
Angelina Ramirez is the founder and director of Flamenco Por La Vida based in Phoenix, Arizona where she lives with her wife Elisa, dog Billie, and cat Laser. She is originally from Tucson, Arizona.