When Flamenco dancer Jesus Muñoz was looking for a space for his new project in Albuquerque, he wanted something big. “Ambitious” is the best way to describe Jesus, as he has been instrumental in the founding of many Flamenco organizations throughout Albuquerque, including Casa Flamenca in Old Town. In his newest project he decided he wanted to do something different. He wanted to ensure he was serving a real need in the community and needed a space large enough to offer world-class instruction and performance space to both adults and youth. He found the spot he was looking for in the Barelas neighborhood, and Flamenco Works was born in June of 2018.
Jesus is happy with his choice to locate Flamenco Works in Barelas, where his neighbors are friendly and have welcomed him to the neighborhood. When asked what Flamenco Works offers to the community that truly matters to him, he clearly knows the answer, “authenticity.” With Flamenco Works, he offers a real experience, not catering to tourists, but to the local community. His plan is to open doors for youth in the neighborhood and he is inviting them to take their first class for free. Jesus strongly believes that financial capacity should have nothing to do with training to become a flamenco dancer. Flamenco Works offers scholarship opportunities as well as work study programs for adults too. Jesus’s passion for Flamenco and his desire to help the community are inspiring and Flamenco Works is a valuable addition to the neighborhood.
While he is preparing to move forward on his vision, a new dance floor has just been installed (thanks to generous community contributions) and classes have already begun. Throughout the month of March he’s planning a music performance series as well as tablaos, which are small intimate flamenco performances. In the future he plans to open up the space by inviting dancers from all over the country to perform and eventually create a summer artist-in-residence program.
Flamenco Works offers beginning, intermediate, and advanced dance classes for adults and children. They also offer classes in cajon, a box shaped percussion instrument used in Flamenco music and cante, which is the traditional style of singing in flamenco. If you’ve never experienced the heartfelt, yet raw Flamenco stylings of Jesus Muñoz, now is your opportunity. Look out for upcoming events on the Flamenco Works Facebook page and also check out their website www.flamencoworks.org for upcoming classes.
“Vecinos” is a Homewise blog series dedicated to getting to know the neighborhood businesses and organizations in the Barelas neighborhood and surrounding our Homeownership Center and Orpheum Community Hub.