IRMA SUAREZ RUÍZ
Irma Suarez Ruiz was born in Chicago and at the age of nine went to Mexico City to live with her
family there for five years. She began as a Scholarship Apprentice when she began her dance studies
at Northeastern Illinois University in 1979 with Libby Komaiko. In 1980 she became a company dancer
and in 1986 she was promoted to First Dancer. Since then she has studied with Maria Alba, Edo,
Victorio Korjhan, Juanjo Linares and Roberto Lorca. She graduated from Northeastern in April, 1983
with a B.A. in Foreign Languages and Literature and a minor in Dance.
Irma was a recipient of a 1984-85 Neighborhood Arts Project Grant (N.A.P.) from the Chicago
Council on Fine Arts. She used this grant to introduce Chicago area youth to the art of Spanish Dance.
Irma is on the faculty of the Ensemble's monthly workshops and has taught Spanish Dance for
Stephanie Clemen's Academy of Music in Oak Park. Irma and her husband, Tony Ruiz, are the proud
parents of two children, Crystal Alicia and Tiffany Michelle. As First Dancer and Rehearsal Mistress for
the Ensemble Español, she works closely with Dame Libby Komaiko on many projects and has
contributed to the company's choreography.
In the spring of 1990, Irma, along with Juan Ramon and Jorge Perez, appeared as Special Guest
Artist for the Ballet Espanol's production of "Espiritu Flamenco" at the Bomhard Theater of the Kentucky
Center for the Arts in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1991 through 1996 Irma has appeared as special guest
artist in the production of "Dances of Spain" with the St. Louis Cultural Flamenco Society in St. Louis,
MO. Irma is the recipient of a 1993 "Viva Latina" Dance Master Award from the Chicago Department of
Cultural Affairs. Irma has also perfomed for The Chicago Human Rhythm's Project World Festival of
Tap and Percussive Dance honoring Juan Ramon. She performs regularly at "La Perla del
Mediterraneo", Emilio's Tapas and Viva Madrid with fellow Ensemble Espanol dancers Maria Cecilia
and Jorge Perez. Irma is a bilingual teacher for the Board of Education in Cicero, Illinois.