TUCSON, Ariz. — It’ll be 35 years of business for Viva Performing Arts Center in 2022. Owner/director Julie Gallego was a dancer herself growing up in Tucson. After graduating from the University of Arizona she wanted to continue her passion by opening a dance studio.
“So I started the business 35 years ago because I kind of felt that, there are dance studios that teach the ballet, the hip-hop, the jazz. But there really wasn’t a dance studio that offered the ballet folkloric from Mexico,” said Gallego.
And from there, Viva Performing Arts Center grew. Offering many styles of dance, Folklorico is its specialty.
“What makes folkloric so special, its the culture of Mexico as far as the music, the history, you can see it all on the show. And when we put on shows we educate people, not only entertain them about the Mexican heritage and our culture and that is just so rewarding,” said Gallego.
And a rewarding piece about being open in the Tucson community for so long is the families Gallego says she’s seen grow.
“Now I have my students that are now in their 40s bringing me their children, so it's just like a big happy family. We really get to see the children grow up and be together for so many wonderful events,” said Gallego.
For those events, Viva Performing Arts Center also houses a boutique right in the same building.
“We do have our Viva Latina Boutique where we sell the costumes, we sell the shoes. We’re the only one in town that offers all of this beautiful culture of Mexico with the imports and the clothing and so that makes it very convent for the parents and for the students,” said Gallego.
Viva Performing Arts Center is gearing up for its holiday shows celebrating Dia de Los Muertos and Christmas. The Dia de Los Muertos show is on Nov. 5 at Cholla High School 6 p.m. Its Merry-achi Christmas show is set for Dec. 9 at Fox Theater.
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