Introducing Carnival Spice 2019

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Introducing

Carnival Spice 2019

When most hear my name they cannot help but think of Caribbean Carnival. WHY? Well, aside from me being a proud Jamaican Canadian, in 2013 I founded CARNIVAL SPICE fitness, entertainment, and community. The company was launched with an intention to bring movement to beautiful mas costumes through dance performances and costume showcases. I am forever grateful for how much it has grown! Many artists of color have come through our doors and blossomed into beaming talent. Our fitness clients continue dance, sweat, connect, and transform to the Caribbean vibes. Plus we’ve touched a variety of stages from television, to weddings, to festivals and more. 


Allow me to introduce you to the 2019 team members:


MOHOGANY

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TORI

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CHARLENE

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JESSICA

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SULAIRE

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ALANA

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KAFI

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ALYSEHIA

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LAURA

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JESS

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ASHLEIGH

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To learn more about the company or to add some spice to your special event visit www.carnivalspice.com

You may have seen Carnival Spice in action with:

City TV

CTV

MuchMusic

Alison HInds

Toronto Star

G987 FM Radio

Jambana One World Festival

Grace Kennedy Foods

Ryerson University

Breakfast Television.

Jamaal Magloire’s Toronto Revellers

Saldenah Mas K Club

and more.

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[Giveaway] Spring Up Your Wardrobe

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Spring Up Your Wardrobe

Giveaway!

The weather is warming up and it has me feeling oh so nice! I feel so relieved that I can wear a lighter jacket and not have to brush snow off of my car. Warmer weather also calls for outdoor workouts… so why not workout in STYLE! 

As a #FitSquad member for Titika Activewear, we have often collaborated on offering you free Simply Shakera dance cardio classes. Now we would like to “spring" up your fitness wardrobe! (See what I did there 😛) We're giving away one lucky winner a $50 gift card and another lucky winner thie sexy sport bag seen in my hand! 

Titika’s activewear is designed for performance, comfort and versatility so I now you’ll enjoy shopping at their store as much as I do.

How To Enter:

In the comment sections, tell me your favourite way to get FIT: Cycle? Dance? Yoga? Run? or Weights? AND tell me if you prefer online workouts or offline.

For a BONUS entry, visit this link: https://www.instagram.com/p/BwE4Y6VgLAV/

**Winner must be a Canadian resident**

The #SSPinkParty

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The SSPinkParty

Let’s Dance, Paint, & Celebrate

Exactly one month ago I presented to you simplyshakera.com; my hand crafted online space made with love, light, and God’s grace. Beyond the pretty pictures, my hope is that it can be used as a resource for you, a source of inspiration, and a place where we can directly connect. The site has been years in the making - to be specific, I bought the domain back in 2012. Life is journey though and nothing happens before it’s time so I’m glad you are all able to share in this moment with me! February 3, 2019 is a day I will never forget.

For months I envisioned hosting a website launch event where I could celebrate with family while supporting another Caribbean business. For months I also wanted to attend a paint night but could never find the time.  With the #SSPinkParty, I married the two ideas. The evening took place at the Tray Arts Studio (@trayarts); please follow this brother! His studio was clean, vibrant and he welcomed my guests with open arms. We all really enjoyed the experience. The art piece we painted was a female masquerader to page homage to Carnival Spice. I was blown away by the outcome every one interpreted the piece differently but still created beautiful works of art.

My Biggest Takeaways From The #SSPinkParty:

  • Support Local Businesses

  • We All Have An Inner Artist Inside Of Us

  • Trust The Process

Another highlight from the day was my speech! Thank heavens for video because the moment was a blur. I recalled standing up at the front of the room introducing myself and the site then instantly being flooded with emotions. I looked out in the room and the saw faces of many who have been there for me during many stages of my journey. I felt so much joy, relief, and gratitude. The road to entrepreneurship hasn’t been the easiest but I would do it all over again if given the chance. For me it’s less about setting my hours and answering to a “boss” but it’s really but creating a life a want to live brick by brick and most importantly, creating a life of purpose that can be of service to others.

Thank you for reading ya’ll - I added some clips to my IGTV as well. Enjoy!

Have a wonderful week and take this new month by storm!

Xo,


Shakera

Identifying You Passion Pillars

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Identifying

your passion pillars

Identifying your passion pillars allows you to live life a more intentional life. They can include your gifts (things your born to do, given by God, what’s naturally to you), talents (things you chose to do, areas you’re trained or educated in), Values (areas you hold at high regard), and/or interests (things that bring you joy).

I am grateful to have transformed my passion pillars into a business, a lifestyle, and a source of inspiration for others. Whether it’s your first time visiting my page or you have known me for years, you may have guessed that my passion pillars are Dance, Fitness, and Culture. Learn more in MY STORY about why these areas are so important to me.

Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.
— Oprah Winfrey

Passion is a powerful feeling that translates into intense enthusiasm or excitement towards something. That something can include love for a particular activity, great emotion for another individual, or an interest in an idea or cause.

Passion unlocks action.

It enables us to have self-confidence, trust ourselves and to take the risks!

Others can feel passion in you - that’s how strong it is!

Passion empowers us to overcome challenges and obstacles. Whether real or imagined, with passion you will overcome these challenges and obstacles and see the world as a place of infinite potential.

Pillars in this context are things rooted in the core of who you are and provides support for other areas.


Through my Passion Pillars, my goal is to bring joy to the lives of others. I would also love for you to establish your own passion pillars too!

Start by considering areas you’re strong in:

Are you always sketching designs, graphics, comics etc. on napkins?

Are you the friend everyone goes to for Life advice? Tech advice? Health Tips? Relationship help?

Perhaps you were like me and could dance before you could walk? What activity have you loved to do since you were a child? Or rather what activity have you had a growing love or appreciation for?

Does the work you do prompt results for others?


Now, use the statements below to help discover your passion pillars by filling in the (x) with the areas that immediately come to your heart or mind for each statement. Is there an area or thing that shows up more than once? Add it to your list. When making your final list of passion pillars I recommend selecting ONE, THREE, or a maximum of FIVE!


______X_____ is something I would do every day if given the opportunity.

______X_____ is something I could make a living from but would be open to do for free!

______X_____  is something that I utilize to be of service to the world.

When I practice/do ______X_____  I feel challenged to be better version of myself.

Ever since I could remember, I could be found  ______X_____ .


SENDING YOU LOVE & LIGHT!

Xo,


Shakera

Keep It Simple

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Keep It Simple

to Unlock A Happier & Healthier Life

Simply Shakera DEFINED:

SIMPLY”: to operate in a straightforward or plain manner; without embellishment or ambiguity.

SHAKERA”: Often spelt Shakira, is Arabic for “Fruitful & Flourishing”. One who is thankful , grateful to the creator and joyous.

There is peace in simplicity and space to really the many joys and blessings of life. We all are on a journey and I have come to learn that my journey involves “Shakera Martin” aligning with her simplest form... in essence aligning with “Simply Shakera”. Coming into alignment with things you are meant to do allows you to truly feel God’s grace. Once I became aware of this, a process of reprogramming, sacrifice, and self-discovery began… and continues!

Common areas where complexity showed up in my life:

  • The storage on my devices (Favourite line: “Your phone doesn’t have sufficient to take this photo).

  • There never seems to be “enough” room in my closets or drawers (Favourite line from friends and family: “When did you buy that shirt Shakera?).

  • Lingering to do list items.

  • Being silent when dealing with toxic people!

  • Poor eating habits!

  • Over and over and overthinking!!

Can you relate to any of these?

Simplicity means removing or eliminating what you can without making life difficult. It’s like getting rid of heavy stones that have been attached to you with chains.
— - Iyanla Vanzant

The journey to simplicity challenges you to free yourself of bells, whistles or gimmicks and forces you to be comfortable with the core of who you are and your greatness. In that state, your vibes are so high that you are unstoppable.  Let go of what no longer serves you, lead with love, heal the mind/body/spirit through daily practice. I am starting to face myself even more and deal with the core of who I am by questioning everything I have been taught to believe. Yes, this has brought about much discomfort but I trust that there is a healthier and EVEN happier Shakera on the other side.

Success for me during this process has come from comes from continuing to fill my life with things that bring me joy and keeping God at the center of all my decisions. My growing faith has shown me that I am meant to inspire, support, and motivate others as as I navigate through all the hills & valleys. That’s where the true healing lies and further that is how we can complete our true life’s work by providing service to others.

I challenge you to set an intention to simplify your life today on your own journey toward a happier and healthier life.

Below are few ways to initiate the process:

(1) Let go of things and people that no longer serve your growth

What weight must I RELEASE from my mind or space?

How can I show the universe that I am READY for new beginnings and new opportunity?

(2) Lead with energy

What activity brings my spirit UP? Who keeps my vibe HIGH when I am around them?

What am I ingesting daily and how is keeping my energy POSITIVE & PRODUCTIVE?


(3) Lead with passion

Ask yourself, what do I LOVE doing?

How can an I incorporate that thing in my life daily? Weekly? Monthly?

Now take action and be consistent!

SENDING YOU LOVE & LIGHT!

Xo,

Shakera

 

Photo Details:

Photography: Bright Osei-Agyeman

Shoes: Aldo

Shirt: American Apparel

Shorts: Parasuco

Hair: Carlene’s Beauty Lounge

Make Up: ME!

2018 In Review

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2018 In Review

Let us reflect on the lessons and celebrate the wins.

For many, 2018 was tough! I received so many messages from folks who were ready to leave it behind. To a degree, I understand! There even came a point when I stopped watching the news.  For me however, 2018 was the most transformational year of my life thus far. At the start of each year I select one word to help guide my intentions for the next 364 days. For 2018 I was on a quest for PEACE.

2018 answered the call immediately! Things kicked off with continued celebrations for my 30th birthday, preparations for my company’s fifth anniversary, and boom, in walks one of the greatest men I’ve ever met. Joy to the world! The future I envisioned was changing and this required a new action plan. So where do I start?

To maintain peace in my eyes meant to work smarter not harder. I’m accustomed to completing a million tasks a day, jumping here, typing there, driving to the next class, or the next gig. But nah, not for 2018. I wasn’t eager to jump in to my normal work routine. I was intentional about slowing down to figure out next steps. Better steps. Smarter steps. Definitely needed to lean on my faith for direction! The moment I did that, everything changed. God revealed so much I needed to know and the world as I knew it flipped upside down. Was the experience bad? Nope! Painful? Sometimes. Uncomfortable? VERY! ...but here I am today on the other side of healing with so much gratitude, strength,and lessons. Instead of focusing on the discomforts and hardships of 2018, let us remember the year we lived, learned and LEVELED up… with or without Ciara’s dance.


Speaking of Ciara she made a comeback and added to the Black Girl Magic and Black Boy Joy that flooded 2018. I still get chills when I reflect on Beyonce’s Coachella performance and the fact that Michelle Obama wrote the #1 selling book of 2018 with BECOMING! My sister Siobhan Bent became an author too and co-wrote the book 13 Steps!! Jada, Willow, & Gam opened up our hearts with the Red Table Talk. Meghan Markle and her mom sprinkled melanin all over Buckingham palace...

We could not stop dancing in 2018. Ding Dong and the ravers crew made Dancehall NICE again! Mi nuh tiyad YET fi fling, genna bounce, and lebeh lebeh. @iamzoie had EVERYONE twerking on Fridays… Aliya Janell went on tour, and both lucian & vincy music dominated the soca airwaves and carnival waistlines...

and last but not least, we cannot discuss 2018 without the historical, box office breaking, Michael B Jordon shining, vibranium oozing, BLACK PANTHER!!!!


Some of my personal favourite moments in 2018 were:

The Surprise Party my family through for me TWO weeks after my birthday!

I am still shooketh and can’t believe they pulled it off! Look at my cake ya’ll!


My Babies SMASHING their waltz on Breakfast Television and at their annual gala!

I am the dance program coordinator for the Trust 15 organization. They provide youth in the Rexdale/North Etobicoke area with programs that promote and facilitate positive behaviour, creative expression, and cooperative working skills. Love my babies!!! The team was challenged with the task of learning the waltz for the annual gala. Not only did they SMASH the appearance we did together on Breakfast Television (Watch HERE) but they DELIVERED on show day and brought me to tears! That evening we all elevated together.


Aug. 3rd: The day went in this order Spice interview on CP24 --> Spice appearance for Tweed, Shakera and friends attend Friday Night Mas night parade at Ontario Place → 4 hours sleep → Caribana 2018 at the Exhibition.

I can’t put this day into words. The Carnival Spice calendar was full and so was my heart! The team and I worked, filmed live interviews, and played mas twice! I’m still sore… but oh the memories

Power of Success Conference where I met THE Tony Robbins

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Tony Robbins knows my name all! This is probably THE WORST picture of me but I don’t care. This day shifted me at my core.


Having been in the carnival scene for over 10 years, I’ve seen and experienced so many memories and great lessons. However, on December 29th, 2019 I announced that I will no longer be taking any carnival entertainment bookings or teaching any Carnival Spice drop in classes.  Watch the full video to LEARN WHY HERE)

Although a tough decision, it’s also very freeing! I embrace all the new opportunities flowing my way and will continue my work in developing aspiring artists of color and on a professional platform where their spirits, beauty, and talent can shine. But best believe if Machel or Bunji calls and says they need me in Trinidad to perform, I WILL BE THERE - FEATHERS IN HAND!

Culture is so important to me, and Carnival Spice allowed me to express that. We celebrated Carnival Spice’s 5th birthday, website relaunch, and first company audition in 2018. Even had a repost from Kes the Band for my choreography to their smash single HELLO (Watch Here - it’s at 15, 000 views! ). When I founded the company, I had no idea that it would be what it is today. From festivals, to birthdays, to weddings, the SPICE could be found all over the GTA and your social media timelines. The connections that have blossomed among the #SpiceFam members is also a major highlight; I can’t express how heartwarming it is to see my clients and team members bond both in and outside of class. I look forward to what’s next for the Carnival Spice community.

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SENDING YOU LOVE & LIGHT! LET US USE THE TOOLS WE LEARNED LAST YEAR TO MAKE 2019 THE BEST YEAR YET!

Xoxo & Wakanda Forever,


Shakera