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Stepping up: Flamenco dancer La Emi returns to stage after six months

EDITOR’S NOTE: Venue Plus continues “In Case You Didn’t Know,” a weekly feature with fun tidbits about New Mexicans and their projects.

Emmy Grimm was ready to get back to the stage after six months of not performing.

The pandemic crippled her career as a flamenco dancer because performances became nonexistent.

But she taught flamenco through Zoom as part of her EmiArteFlamenco programming.

The 28-year-old Santa Fe-based dancer, known as La Emi, is back onstage at the Agave Restaurant & Lounge at Hotel Eldorado on Saturday, Oct. 24.

Emmy Grimm, known as La Emi, is performing intimate shows with Vicente Griego at the Agave Restaurant & Lounge at Hotel Eldorado. (Courtesy of EmiArteFlamenco) 


Grimm will bring her fiery performance – though on a much smaller scale.

“It’s literally two dancers and two performers,” she says. “The show is more intimate, because we are practicing all COVID-19 precautions.”

This means Grimm and fellow dancer Carlos Menchaca wear masks – except when they are performing.

“When I’m actually dancing, the audience is far away from us,” Grimm says. “Because it’s a dinner show, all guidelines are in place. When we’re offstage or sitting and clapping, the masks are on. We want to ensure everyone’s safety.”

Grimm says that, instead of the dancers performing duets, she and Menchaca are doing a traditional Sevillana, which is traditionally danced by couples of all ages and sexes during celebrations (fiestas or ferias), often by whole families and towns.

“Carlos is using castanets, and I’m using the manton (shawl),” she says.

Vicente Griego joins the group on vocals, and Mario Febres on guitar.

“Vicente sings behind a plexiglass barrier,” she says. “Mario keeps his mask on.”

Grimm studied under Maria Benitez while growing up.

In addition to performing in venues across the country, Grimm has traveled to Spain to study intensively with such notable dancers as Carmela Greco and La Popi, and performed in major venues and events in Madrid, Granada and Seville.

Here are five things Grimm wants you to know about her:

1 “I used to be a snowboard instructor, had a coach and competed.”

2 “I was home-schooled.”

3 “I used to turn my parents’ living room into an area to rehearse flamenco.”

4 “When my parents drove me to flamenco classes in Santa Fe (anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half drive – as we always lived in the more rural parts of NM) I used to practice the castanets in the car and they started giving me a 10-minute limit because it was so loud.”

5 “I have a little dog named Gracie who I adopted from the Española animal shelter during the pandemic, and she has become my sidekick.”

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