The quick-witted and sometimes ironic Christian Aguilar-Castellanos found his way to dance and ATOMIC via an unexpected road that literally took him across continents.
Born and raised in the Central American capital of Guatemala City, Guatemala, Christian was adopted at age eleven and subsequently made his way to his new home in the United States.
After primary school in Orange County, he attended USC where he studied Positive Cognitive Science and Mandarin Chinese. Christian was so focused on his studies that he didn’t officially discover dance until after college. He eventually found his way into the local Orange County social dance scene by word of mouth from friends. When Christian first joined ATOMIC he began taking salsa and bachata classes while attending Salsa Atomica’s dance socials on Wednesday nights. His love for salsa and particularly bachata dance led him to dive into the popular local style known as Zoukchata. This newer style exploded onto the scene just a few years ago and is a fusion of bachata with Brazilian zouk dance and other influences. The music it is danced to can range from classic bachata to a modern mix of tropical rhythms with English language pop vocals, layered with hip hop beats.
Besides social dancing, Christian also enjoys investing in stocks, research for said investing, firearms, jiu-jitsu, behavioral/social psychology, and economics. He’s also really into innovative technology trends, audiobooks, comedy, music, (in his own words) the opposite gender, and doing or learning cool stuff.
He also states that his favorite music to dance to is Juan Luis Guerra. Adding, “Guerra provided the musical score for a season of life during which I was falling for a girl from Europe, we would dance bachata together over the course of half a year. Great times. More generally, I think Bonobo, Bob Moses, Depeche Mode, Radiohead, Shakira, are like the coolest ever. What else do I love? Man, we’re spoiled for music choice these days.”
Shockwaves sound with the admission that his favorite artist of all time is Elon Musk. Assuring, “I am not joking. His art is practical design/entrepreneurship, his medium is the world, and his style is ‘Innovative industrial disruption.’ Tell me I am wrong. He also just put out a new EDM music track he made himself called, Don’t doubt ur vibe. Fun advice from one of the most important human beings alive this century.”
Someone he champions from the local dance scene is dancer and instructor Heather Sprague. Stating, “I have a lot of real respect and semi-platonic admiration for her, and I don’t think she gets nearly the amount of recognition she warrants. I’m moved by the dedication, and consistency of passion she has for the art of dance, teaching, and for the community that she cultivates and feeds around herself.“ Christian is also passionate about philanthropy. Sharing that he hopes to be remembered for becoming a wise, sophisticated, and effective investor who works together with friends to pool resources to build gainful assets. The legacy he aspires to leave behind is to get into philanthropy as a way to take collective surplus gains and make them impactful for others in a tithing way.
An introspective thinker, Christian allows us in deeper by sharing a perceptive yet personal insight. Comparing himself – in particular his values to an African Elephant, he elaborates, “They say your favorite animal psychologically reflects your inner values. I love elephants because they are strong and beautiful creatures that are tender defenders of their herd. Living in the African savannah is no cakewalk, but these mammals show such spiritual and emotional resilience in their plight to live and carry on together through drought, predation, migrations, and the otherwise less than hospitable environment of their existence under the sun. I am sure many people love and mythologize these animals as symbols of strength, spirituality, and resilience.” Much like an elephant communing with its herd through the magnificent African topography, Christian finds joy and connection amongst his fellow dancers on the dance floor.
DIGGING DEEPER :
* When asked which three adjectives best describe him Christian replied, “ At my best, I am Promethean, wise, and resilient.”
* One thing that you couldn’t live without?
“Probably oxygen, and if not oxygen, meaningful goals.“
* Favorite quotes: “Through every generation of the human race there has been a constant war, a war with fear. Those who have the courage to conquer it are made free and those who are conquered by it are made to suffer until they have the courage to defeat it— or death takes them.” – Alexander the Great. And also, “No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell. “ – Carl Gustav Jung