In the vibrant dance world, where passion meets expression, a new organization, El Piso, is making waves.
Founded in October of this year by five passionate dancers, Beatriz Ramirez, Satya Patel, Andrea Mera, Elena Valladares, and Paula Bernardez, El Piso is a unique concept and space that brings dancers together for an unparalleled experience.
Designed as a celebratory event, dancers can showcase their talent, unleash their creativity, and connect with like-minded individuals. It’s not just a dance event; it’s a networking party that fosters community and collaboration in the dance industry.
I had the opportunity to interview Beatriz Ramirez, an IE student and one of the co-founders of this new concept, to learn more about El Piso’s background, mission, and groundbreaking approach to elevating the dance community.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background in dance?
Absolutely! My name is Beatriz Ramirez, I am from Mexico City, and I am 21 years old. I started dancing Jazz and Ballet when I was very young and later transitioned into Hip-Hop at different dance academies in Mexico City. When I moved to Spain for my studies at IE University, I joined Arima, a competitive dance group, where I continued to dance Hip-Hop and formed friendships with the girls who would become the future co-founders of El Piso.
What inspired you to start El Piso?
It all started during a meetup with my dance group friends at El Retiro Park, where we discussed my admiration for Fearless Showparty, an event in Mexico where dancers perform in various styles before transitioning into a social networking party. We thought that dancers in Spain often limit their exposure to sharing pieces through social media, so we recognized [the] great potential for a live, interactive space for dancers. We believed in-person events would be far more enriching, enabling dancers to connect, share, and grow within the industry. It is a different way to experience dancers’ art. So, we decided this was something we needed to create here.
What did this inspiration turn into? What is El Piso?
Once we had the inspiration, we embarked on the journey of molding our concept. We came up with the name “El Piso” and then the lime logo, representing the saying “Si la vida te da limones, haz limonada,” which translates to “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade” in English. To us, it signifies sharing and making the most out of the talent in the dance industry.
We created the concept of El Piso to be an event in a venue where dancers could have a safe space to share their art, choreographies, and hard work so that it could be appreciated differently. There are seven or eight performances, and after that, it turns into a jam with circles of people to freestyle, make connections, and enjoy.
What is the mission of El Piso?
Our mission of sharing dance centers on inclusivity and visibility. We intentionally avoid featuring solely renowned dancers, instead spotlighting talented yet underrecognized individuals. El Piso aims to be a haven and safe space where dancers can narrate their unique stories, their roots, and inspirations. We’ve also committed to keeping ticket prices affordable to maintain the essence of our initiative: it’s not about revenue but about enabling a platform for the love of dance to flourish.
What were some of the challenges you faced getting this organization off the ground?
None of us had ever planned an event, so it was like a crash course in event management for all of us. There were so many logistical factors that we had to consider, from selecting the dancers to securing a venue and handling ticket sales.
In addition, we never thought that our first event would be as popular as it was. We had rented a small venue, and we knew it would be impossible to fit everyone interested. We decided to do it in that venue anyway because we thought it was fair to the dancers and people who had already bought their tickets. However, this has been a key insight to consider for the planning of our future events.
How does El Piso differentiate itself from other dance-related events or organizations?
We create a safe environment free of competition, pressure, and rivalry. It is a space to share out of love for dancing and to exploit the shared passion for dancing.
What is the near future of El Piso?
Our aspiration is to scale El Piso, hosting events bimonthly and extending our reach to other Spanish cities. We want to take it as far as we can regarding growth and locations. However, while we aim for expansion, we remain committed to preserving the intimate atmosphere by favoring smaller venues like dance studios over large theaters. Brand collaborations are also on the table for furthering our mission.
How was the first event? Can you share some highlights?
Our launch event on October 21 surpassed our wildest expectations. I would say it was a huge success! It was amazing to see how we were actually able to make the event happen. Watching the people come in, perform, and enjoy themselves was extremely moving. It was truly exhilarating to witness the dancers eagerly share their art. Each of their performances was a highlight in itself.
How can dancers and people in the dance industry get involved with El Piso?
I think the best way to get involved and follow our next steps is through our Instagram @elpiso_es. It serves as our primary communication channel for updates and announcements. We warmly invite anyone interested to slide into our DMs.
If you could describe El Piso in three words, what would they be?
Community, Passion, Sharing!
El Piso represents a fresh, vibrant pulse in Spain’s dance community, uniquely creating a space to share and connect with other dancers. Its successful launch is a testament to the vision of Beatriz Ramirez and her team, who identified an opportunity for a tangible space for dancers to express their artistry beyond the confines of social media.
Overcoming the challenges of event organization with no prior experience, the founders have laid a strong foundation for what promises to be a transformative force in the dance world. El Piso’s commitment to inclusivity, affordability, and a community-driven approach sets it apart, ensuring it remains accessible and welcoming as it plans for expansion. The future looks bright for El Piso, with aspirations to nurture the passion, talent, sharing, and community of dancers across Spain, one event at a time.
Follow @elpiso_es on Instagram to stay updated on the following events, including the second edition of El Piso happening on December 3rd at Connection Dance Center, Madrid!
Featured image courtesy of El Piso