Pete Ramirez is a New York City nightlife dancer, as well as the owner of a cool pottery shop. He dances mainly at Hush, but has also danced at other NYC bars. What makes Peter so awesome are his vibrant personality and his sense of humor. The fact that he hosts a naked pottery class certainly doesn’t hurt either. We had an intimate conversation regarding his very different professions.
So, Mike told me you own a Pottery Shop and do go-go dancing, is that true?
Yes, that is true.
What do dancers call it these days? Do they call it go-go dancing or what?
I think technically, yes. They still call it that. I was at a holiday party and somebody called me a stripper. And I said, “I am not really a stripper, because I don’t take off my clothes.” Sometimes they say go-go boy instead of dancer, but I’m pretty old to be called a go-go boy.
So where do you dance?
Right now, I’m dancing primarily at Hush on 52nd Street. I also dance at 3 Dollar Bill and Boxers, and I’m also going to dance at the Metropolitan. But mostly, Hush is kind of the first and the main gig.
What made you want to be a dancer?
After the pandemic, I really wanted to get out. Somebody told me about a new place that was opening called the Q. I went there and I was actually kind of recruited there. I was dancing on stage, just for fun, and then somebody said, “Oh, you should dance here.” I was like, “OK.” So, they gave me a gig and they set it up, but I never actually started working there because the same owners opened up Hush. So I guess I was sort of ferried over to the new place instead. And I’ve been there since they opened.
Why did you decide to open a pottery shop? I mean, dancing and pottery are both in the arts, I guess, but they are two totally different things.
They are really different. For me, honestly, I think that dancing is a creative outlet. But it’s not like a plastic art form.
So you have this pottery store. Are you an artist?
I am an artist. I was thinking about what could be sustained over time. I thought I would really love to pursue my love of art, specifically pottery. Again, sustainability over time. I thought it could be something that I aged into without kind of getting thrown out. So that is why I opened up the studio. But I didn’t stop dancing. I thought I was going to stop dancing. But I sort of am coming to terms with the fact that I can dance and I love dancing and I should try to resist the societal normative expectations that come with not just aging but gay nightlife. Any norm. So I had an interview with 42nd Street magazine and the thing that was discussed with them was how some people didn’t know if it would be a good idea if people knew I was nightlife dancing while opening up a serious business. And it’s just more of that kind of censorship and people having a fear of backlash. All this stuff lately too, like the protests of the drag hour. I mean, we are in New York. I don’t think this is the place for censorship. In my opinion, censorship is giving to the other side because if you’re hiding who you are and what you do, then it’s less acceptable for people who aren’t hiding it. I have a problem with that. I just wanted to say that to you because it did come up in the article and I think that it is important. I guess just being queer in general is sort of off the beaten path. So I’m trying to be very open.
I think that’s great. Are you any good at either one of these pursuits?
That’s a really good question because I do feel like one of those people that dabbles–like I like skiing, I like ice skating, I like glass blowing, I like aquariums, I like breeding mice. So it’s like you could be the jack of all trades and the master of none.
You breed mice. That’s very interesting.
I do. I think I’m pretty eccentric, but that is one of the things that people are like, “What?” I also brew kombucha.
I don’t even know what that is.
Kombucha is like a fermented tea. You ferment with bacteria and yeast.
Yum, I think.
Anyway, yes, I’m very good at dancing and I’m very good at pottery.
So, where do you hope to be in five years?
Well, considering the lease is 10 years long, I hope in five years that I am still open. I will say the residents in that area are really honest and funny, so when I first opened, a lot of them came in and they were like, “Oh, just so you know, the last businesses that were here, they didn’t last very long. We hope you make it.”
Tell me the name of it and where it is.
Pottery NYC and the address is 786 9th Avenue, between 52nd and 53rd Street. So I guess I could see why it would be a challenge to arrive there. It is in the middle of Hell’s Kitchen. The rents are astronomical.
So you dance to support your Pottery Shop, basically.
You know, it’s not untrue. My friend was saying, “Oh, did you save up all your dollars from dancing?” but it’s true– dancing every week definitely, 100% is a supplemental source of income. Because I just opened up in November. At this point, I’m not really able to take any money out of the business. So the business has to become self-sufficient. So I am supporting myself through the dancing.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I guess people ask, “Does the pottery tie into the queer life at all?” I have a nude class event. The class is a collaboration with Natural Pursuits magazine. So you can not sign up for the nude class on my website. It just happens to take place in my studio. I teach that particular class nude and all of the participants are nude.
What kind of pottery do you do nude?
The same as when clothed people do it. We also offer regular classes (non-nude) for anyone who wants to come in and try to do pottery for the first time. Our classes are crash course and non-intimidating for the beginner and inexperienced, as well as for those who have tried it before, because you are encouraged to make mistakes and try over and over again. We also offer private lessons and group classes where friends or lovers can come and do a class together and create new memories and experiences.
786 9th Ave NY NY 10019