We had the good fortune of connecting with Lex Ramirez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lex, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor in my success is my belief that dance is an inclusive tool to feel joy and connection with yourself and with others. Some dance spaces are intimidating and, though not intentionally, can support appropriation, size exclusivity, financial inaccessibility, racial homogeny, intense competition and more. I didn’t ever want my classes to feel inaccessible and intimidating. What I offer people is a safe, supportive space where dancers of all experience levels and backgrounds can thrive- where they feel welcome and represented. All you need is passion and a desire to be part of dance community!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
In Seattle, I’m mostly known for teaching hip hop dance history and fundamentals. In ballet or modern classes, a student wouldn’t ever start with an advanced course without learning the basic movements first right? As a society, we haven’t afforded the same respect to hip hop dance. This is a culture that deserves to be honored and celebrated, not appropriated for profit. And I think people are starting to understand this, specifically seeking out my classes to learn about hip hop dance in a way that’s more wholistic and community oriented.
When I’m not teaching hip hop classes or workshops, I like to do stage and music video choreography. I regularly work with Archie the Shycon and recently did a music video with Zahara!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First of all, I make them look at Mt. Rainier and they’re a damn sociopath if they don’t exclaim with awe! But if it’s not visible, here are my plan b’s
-Petti Rosso for brunch. They’ve got good gluten free bread options that don’t taste like cardboard
-Fogon and La Josies for some hella good Mexican food
-Carmelos Tacos. Homemade tortillas anyone?
-Turko Cafe for the best lamb dish you’ll find in Seattle, the Ali Nazik!
-Macrina for some pastries but mostly I go for the dope staff
-Harvest House throws the best events that highlight local BIPOC artists, so I try to go to any function they throw. There’s not too many of us in Seattle lol
-Still Liquor for dancing. They play current and throwback hip hop music. Also very BIPOC centered.
-A tour of the beautiful Paramount Theatre or museum date at MoPop
-Colman Beach or Madrona Beach Park for chillin at the lake
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are too many people to shout out like my mom, my sisters, my best friends, my students, scholarship organizations, dance studios, my artistic mentors. This could seriously turn into a 10 page essay or one of Ella Mai’s outros. I’ll keep the shout outs specific to my recent dance career.
Salsa N Seattle Dance Studio for giving me my first instructor break, Velocity Dance Center and Westlake Dance Center for expanding my dance community and elevating my career. Dance Underground for giving me a dance space during the pandemic when so many studios had closed down permanently.
The Seattle Hip Hop and Street Styles communities. The positive and welcoming energy these dancers have is the reason my love of dance never died. What a blessing to learn from and be part of this group.
My dance crew, Drop Squad and my students. Your belief in me and my mission keep me going in a profession that is tough to be in. If it weren’t for you, I’m unsure what my life’s purpose would be. THANK YOU.
Val Gonzalez (all solo photos) Madsn