emmy grimm

No-fear fla­menco

Pasatiempo - - Young Artists -

Pasatiempo: You be­gan danc­ing when you were 4? Emmy Grimm: Yes. I started with María [Benítez] at a sum­mer work­shop and never missed a sum­mer in all those years. Pasa: So you’re a vet­eran at this point. Grimm: I guess you could say that. I’ve taken bal­let and tap-danc­ing too, but I’ve al­ways loved fla­menco. The other styles of dance weren’t re­ally fun for me. But when I was 4, I re­mem­ber I could wear a polka-dot dress and heels and stomp my feet. That was great mo­ti­va­tion to be­come a dancer. Pasa: What’s the most chal­leng­ing as­pect of dance? Grimm: It’s hard to main­tain the dis­ci­pline when you’re alone and in your own stu­dio. Re­hears­ing in a group is eas­ier. Dur­ing per­for­mance sea­son, I usu­ally pre­pare be­tween 20 to 30 hours per week. Pasa: And what’s the high for you in dance? Grimm: It’s the emo­tional con­nec­tion. Once you know the chore­og­ra­phy, you can re­ally feel the dance and the emo­tions, the fire and pas­sion of fla­menco. Pasa: What was your most em­bar­rass­ing mo­ment on stage? Grimm: Gosh, there’s so many. The last sum­mer show here at The Lodge, we were per­form­ing sevil­lanas— a folk­lore dance with part­ners and fans. Ev­ery­body was there, Span­ish peo­ple who knew the dances and a lot of other dancers. I went to open my fan and dropped it on­stage. So I tried to make it ap­pear like I meant it to hap­pen. Pasa: Are mem­bers of your fam­ily per­form­ers? Grimm: Not re­ally, but my dad al­ways wanted me to be a dancer. In fact, he was the box-of­fice man­ager for María’s com­pany when I was about 2 years old. My folks al­ways came to per­for­mances, even when my mother was preg­nant with me. Pasa: Have you con­sid­ered do­ing some­thing other than dance? Grimm: No. I am, how­ever, get­ting my as­so­ciate de­gree in hu­man re­sources at North­ern New Mex­ico Col­lege. It’s a backup plan. It makes my par­ents happy know­ing I can fall back on some­thing if I have to. But I just want to get it over with and con­cen­trate on dance. I’m very de­ter­mined and hard­headed that way. My par­ents say I don’t know the mean­ing of the let­ters “N-O.” Pe­tite, poised, and brim­ming with en­ergy, Emmy Grimm is a fla­menco dancer who has stud­ied with the María Benítez Teatro Fla­menco troupe since she was a child. Now 18, Grimm par­tic­i­pates and teaches at Next Gen­er­a­tion, a com­pany of up-and-com­ing dancers who per­form reg­u­larly dur­ing the sum­mer at The Lodge at Santa Fe. Born in Santa Fe and cur­rently a res­i­dent of La Me­silla, Grimm at­tends North­ern New Mex­ico Col­lege in Es­pañola, while pur­su­ing her dance ca­reer. She re­cently met with Pasatiempo. Pasa: You were teach­ing be­fore you were a teenager? Grimm: I taught a sum­mer work­shop at Truchas Ele­men­tary when I was 12. When I was 13, I taught at Moun­tain­view Ele­men­tary and the next year at Dixon Ele­men­tary. When I was 15, I started teach­ing for María’s In­sti­tute for Span­ish Arts. It taught me early on to be to­tally pre­pared and organized and to show no fear. Kids thrive on a teacher’s fear, es­pe­cially in pub­lic schools. Pasa: What do you do for fun? Grimm: My sched­ule is in­sane. I model and act too. I never knew how to have fun un­til I moved out of my par­ents’ house when I was 17 and went to Al­bu­querque. I roomed with a group of peo­ple older than me and learned how to re­lax, mainly go­ing to movies. But I’ve snow­boarded since I was 10 and re­ally like it. I did tricks for com­pe­ti­tion. María, of course, didn’t ap­prove, and I broke my wrist about three years ago. María showed no mercy and still made me teach, even with my arm in a cast and a sling. She told me never to snow­board. But if I re­mem­ber what I heard, María was once a fab­u­lous skier. Pasa: Is there any place out­side of Santa Fe that might of­fer you the kind of dance op­por­tu­ni­ties you’ve had? Grimm: I don’t know, but I re­ally want to study in Spain. I’ve never ex­pe­ri­enced a true Gypsy cul­ture, and see­ing how that cul­ture thrives on a daily ba­sis— it’s just that whole en­vi­ron­ment that I want to see and feel. Pasa: Is Santa Fe a good en­vi­ron­ment for young per­form­ers? Grimm: Ab­so­lutely. The audiences here are very sup­port­ive; lots of lo­cals come to our per­for­mances. In Santa Fe, there are so many art things go­ing on, and you can pur­sue your art without peo­ple be­ing so judg­men­tal. Pasa: What would be an ideal life for you, like in an­other 12 years? Grimm: Gosh, I never thought about that. I’d be 30! I would like to have toured, maybe start a fam­ily, but I don’t know if that would fit into my agenda. I just want the op­por­tu­nity to keep danc­ing and hope­fully not be forced to fall back on my de­gree. I try to stay in the mo­ment.

— Dou­glas Fair­field

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