Alicia Aragon has found her passion, focus and peace of mind through dance – and she wants to share her love for the craft through a new studio in San Luis Obispo that aims to bring in dancers of all skill levels. experience.
Aragon plans to open Nexus: ballroom dance community in the new San Luis Obispo Public Market at the Bonetti Ranch complex in early fall after interior renovations are complete. The company will offer private and group lessons, as well as social events, in a 3,000 square foot space.
Classes and events will be open to those ages 12 and up with a side room for children to play and socialize while parents participate in studio activities.
Once tenant upgrades are complete, the doors will open to dancers who want to learn and practice a wide variety of styles, including ballroom, swing, tango, salsa and two-step country. The venue aims to serve local social groups as well as community members looking for connection, fitness and fun.
“I want it to have this multi-generational component where we can really connect as a community and make it a place that can actually serve in different ways,” Aragon said. “Dance is a moving meditation where you can be fully present and centered.”
Years of dance experience
Aragon has 15 years of experience in dance and teaching in partnership.
She told The Tribune that she was born in Denver and raised in Colorado in a low-income family of Mexican descent from the state of Jalisco. His grandparents worked in the fields. His father was a construction worker and musician.
Although music and art were very important to her family, her parents could not afford to send her to dance lessons and she only began to learn ballroom at school. age of 19, taking courses across the Franchise Fred Astaire Dance Studiowith the hope of turning professional.
Starting dancing later in life made it difficult to compete at the highest level against those who had worked on technique and specialized movements from a young age, some as young as 2 years old, she said. .
Instead, she turned to a career in professional photography, working at Yahoo in the Bay Area before taking a job at Cal Poly in photo and video instructional support. She came to SLO six months before the pandemic hit with her husband and their now 5-year-old twins (a boy and a girl).
Throughout her adult life, however, she continued to develop her teaching and knowledge of dance, attending festivals and congresses, visiting Cuba to study folklórico and Finland to participate in dance events. bachata, a Latin dance and tango.
The idea for the business SLO Public Market came about as a way to pursue her creative passions, and she will seek to ensure that her studio is a welcoming place for all dancers, recognizing that this can be daunting for some, especially beginners.
Aragon is ending her time at Cal Poly to leave the college position and fully focus on her new studio, she said.
“I realized during COVID how important human connection is,” Aragon said. “…When you’re taken away, you don’t realize what you have until it’s gone. I knew I wanted to bring the dance and I knew I wanted to connect with people at all levels.
Connect with the SLO County Dance Community
Aragon is already meeting with local dance teachers and social clubs throughout the county, with plans to collaborate once she opens her doors.
Nexus will be located in the basement of the Market Hall and is expected to open a little later than most other tenants.
“I want Nexus to be a home, a place where people can authentically connect and experience the benefits dance has to offer,” Aragon said. “These include physical and mental health, reconnecting with yourself and others, regaining confidence, and most importantly, enjoyment.”
Schedules are still to be determined with private lessons to be scheduled by appointment.
Aragon said it will respond to community needs, with targeted events that could include a wedding dance, showcase, contest, or activities focused on health and fitness.
Located on the corner of Tank Farm Road and South Higuera Street, SLO Public Market is located on a 4 acre parcel totaling over 48,000 square feet of retail space.
Orangetheory Fitness has already opened, with food, retail and beverage outlets to come.
For a full list of merchants who have signed up to open in the marketplace, go to slopublicmarket.com/merchants.
This story was originally published July 15, 2021 10 a.m.