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Spaniard dances with beauty, feeling

IF you look up the word "beauty" in the dictionary, it would be no surprise if there were a picture of Estefania Ruiz Ramirez, a flamenco dancer at the Spain Pavilion.

She has an angelic face, perfect body and, best of all, dances with passion and purpose.

The authentic flamenco performance has become one of the pavilion's highlights, attracting thousands of visitors every day. The pavilion comes highly recommended by people writing about their Expo experiences online.

Ramirez presents four to five flamenco performances on a marble stage every day.

The performance, choreographed by well-known Spanish flamenco master Aida Gomez, includes a five-minute video about Spain and a 90-second flamenco dance.

For most of the performance, Ramirez "sleeps" on the marble stage until lights "wake" her up. The moment signifies when humans witnessed the beginning of the world.

Ramirez said it was funny that many visitors don't understand why she is sleeping on the stage, thinking she was too tired to give them a show.

"Sometimes young children come up to grab my hair, trying to wake me up, while others will also touch my body to see if I'm still alive," said Ramirez.

She said pavilion officials had to guard dancers from curious visitors who were eager to "wake them up."

While dancing, Ramirez presents all the inner feelings with every movement of her body and expression on her face. Every time she repeats the dance, she tries hard to put in some new elements that are inspired by her mood at that time.

"Dancing allows me to show all the true feelings inside. I am quite shy in daily life, but when I am on that stage, you see my passion, the changing of moods and sometimes, my bad temper too," Ramirez said.

Her performances attract a lot of "pursuers." Ramirez, who is single, said some visitors will wait until the end of the performance to exchange telephone numbers. She said many staffers from pavilion restaurants and bars invited her to give live shows at their homes.

The 24-year-old performer fell in love with dancing at the age of eight, when she participated in a local traditional ceremony.

Since then, she has spent most of her life learning and practicing dancing.

"If I cannot dance one day, I won't feel like being alive," Ramirez said.


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