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Take it to The Edge 

It’s 9 a.m., and people are funneling into The Edge for the first class of the day. The doors open, and a woman in workout gear appears. As soon as she spots studio owners Kristin Alexander and Suzanne Smith, a broad smile sweeps across her face. As more people arrive, that scene quickly becomes a pattern. Every person to walk through the door wears the same wide smile and is greeted by name and treated like a member of the family. That’s because at The Edge, it’s all about family.

- MOVE YOURSELF:  Suzanne Smith and Kristin Alexander welcome people to join their fitness family. -  - PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
  • MOVE YOURSELF: Suzanne Smith and Kristin Alexander welcome people to join their fitness family.

Since opening the Pismo Beach studio on July 1, Alexander and Smith have strived to make each person who comes to The Edge feel connected.

“Suzanne and I have been friends and neighbors for a long time, and we have been working in this industry for a combined 25 years,” Alexander said. “We realized how intimidating going to a gym could be, and we both dreamt of opening our own studio where people felt like they could come in and not be judged or pressured. It’s about working at your own pace.”

The expansive, zen-green lobby and beautiful window-filled studio embody Smith and Alexander’s dreams for a studio that provides both a stellar workout space and a great place for friends and family to come together for fun, support, and celebration.

“We now also host parties, so the kids can come and take our 45-minute Zumbatomic class,” Alexander said. “Then they get to open gifts and eat cake in our party room.”

While fitness and fun are two of the main ingredients that go into The Edge’s success, dedication to the community is another important part of what makes the studio a family business. Since its opening, the studio has held a fundraiser every month, benefiting such groups as the American Cancer Society, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and the Pismo Beach Fire Department.

“Our fundraiser for the American Cancer Society’s ‘Making Strides’ made over $1,000,” Smith said. “We also hold a free class about once a month for people who have or are experiencing the effects of cancer.”

The cancer fitness class is something Alexander knew she wanted to do after her own, recent experience with breast cancer.

“After I was diagnosed and went through chemotherapy and surgery, I realized how important fitness was to my own recovery,” she said. “I knew I wanted to teach a class where people who have gone through it or are going through it can feel comfortable to exercise and do it with a group of people who totally understand what it’s like.”

From Zumba to Bodyflow to kickboxing, The Edge caters to all types of fitness levels.

“We have real high intensity classes like kickboxing and bootcamp and we also have classes like Zumba Gold for our seniors and people just getting started in their fitness routines,” Smith said. “As instructors, Kristin and I always want to make people feel comfortable, not intimidated. It’s important to us that the studio feels like a safe, motivating, and welcoming place to work out.”

The Edge is a no-membership studio. The first class is free, and the drop-in rate is $7 per class, with class packages available for purchase at 271 Five Cities Drive in Pismo Beach. It’s open Monday through Saturday. A class schedule, directions, and contact information can be found at Also, be sure to check them out on their Facebook page.

Fast fact

The San Luis Obispo Library will present a free, year-long film series starting in December: “The Me Decade: The ’70s in Film.” There will be a different theme each month. In December, the library will show three classic 1970s comedies. For more themes and film titles, visit Information is also posted on Twitter at @SLO_Library_AV. The first shows will be featured on Dec. 3, 10, and 17. All shows take place at 2 p.m. in the community room of the library at 995 Palm St. in San Luis Obispo. The Friends of the Library will provide free refreshments.

Intern Maeva Considine compiled this week’s Strokes and Plugs. Send your business news to [email protected].

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