Viva is the realization of a dream
This is the third in a series that is designed to introduce the community to West Haven restaurants, businesses, and hidden gems
Stress is a part of modern life. Whether the option is sports, fitness clubs, meditation or some other method, people are always looking to relieve the various stresses of family, business, and life. For Kelvia Flores, owner of Viva Dance & Fitness Center for the Arts—a West Haven health and fitness business at 243 Captain Thomas Blvd., the answer is easy: dance your stress away.
For Flores, the idea of having her own performance space came about at an early age and was brought about by her own various stresses.
“At age 15, I dreamed of one day owning a community center for the arts that utilized dance, theater, and expressive movement as a form of healing. As a young adolescent, I suffered from low self-esteem and continued to be very critical of myself as an adult,” she said. Through belly dance, I learned to love myself, embrace my body, and gain confidence. I went on the become a professional Ballroom and Latin dance instructor and Middle Eastern Dance artist, and today I am trained in 16 different dance styles.”
That training led the entrepreneur in to move toward fulfilling her longtime dream. She had an opportunity, and she took it.
“I was renting floor space back in 2012 at the Viva Z Fitness Center. When I heard of this business closing and realizing that my program would close too, I bought out the Viva business and the Viva Dance & Fitness Center for the Arts was born,” she said.
Offering an eclectic array of dance styles, workshops, and other classes, Flores hopes potential customers will find something that fits into their life and lifestyle.
“We offer a wide range of dance classes designed for people aged 5-70, despite experience. Our dance genres are Zumba, Belly Dance, Ballroom and Latin, Expressive Movement, and Lyrical. We also offer a regular specialty workshop schedule with ‘pop up’ classes in Yoga, Hip Hop, Bachata, West African Dance, art therapy, Bollywood fusion, Classical Indian Dance and more,” she said.
She offers some classes that make her standout from the rest.
“Our Female Empowerment and Enrichment program is one of the main reasons why many people choose Viva. This program started in 2013 as a young girls’ empowerment dance outreach program, which grew in popularity and soon there became a demand for us to open sessions for adults as well,” she said.
Those who use Viva’s various services find not only a place to relieve stress but meet new friends.
“The community-centric environment is always what people say they enjoy. We truly are a village that works together to protect the safe healing energy of our space and nurture our younger generation to do the same. At Viva, we never turn a child away that wants to dance despite not being able to ‘afford it,’” Flores said.
Stress, it’s a part of life. Viva Dance Fitness Center for the Arts is one way to tackle and control it.