I was born in Toronto, Ontario and currently reside in Mississauga, ON. I was born to Jamaican parents but was raised by my mother along with my two siblings: Siobhan and Ryan. I am strongly defined by my Jamaican culture; this is where I get my spirit and essence. You can see the influence through the way I dress, speak, move. My family and upbringing have greatly influenced me too. I was surrounded by a strong group of individuals who have done their very best to overcome adversity especially given their limited access to resources. We grew up in Toronto Community Housing complex in the Jane and Sheppard area for pretty much half of my life. It was there where the foundation of my upbringing was set. Housing helped strengthen my values surrounding my work ethic, courageousness, and determination. Most of us knew there was so much the world had to offer beyond the brown fences. We could do anything - if we wanted to. The environment developed a resilience and confidence only we could understand. Growing up that in that area, your future pathways were pretty much defined for you by society, media, etc. especially being so close to Jane and Finch we were stigmatized and weren’t offered the same resources. The effects that has on your mindset is enormous. Imagine being made to feel that you were less than or not good enough, or that you were destined for trouble. I had felt this everyday. You had to prove to yourself that you are as great as you think you are.
I am a multi-passionate person, but ever since I was a child you could find me dancing. I was exposed to dance and music as a baby, there are numerous videos and photos of me barely being able to walk and yet was still dancing! I danced everywhere; church, school, social engagements, in the house while my mom was cleaning, Jane and Sheppard parking lot jam sessions; everywhere. I enjoyed all music but reggae, r&b, and hip hop was played the most. The soca train in my life didn’t leave the station until my university days (in case you were wondering). I always knew dance would be a part of my life, but never knew to what capacity. Child beauty pageants, high school cheerleading teams, hip hop dance competitions in university, Toronto Marlies dancer, flash mobs, cabaret shows - the list goes on!
As a dance performer I have been able to grace the stages and/or work with many amazing clients such as: Cityline, CP24, Lululemon, The Marilyn Denis Show, Toronto Sun & more. I am blessed to have transformed my passion for dance into a business, a lifestyle, and a source of inspiration for others. However, when I dance, I have a strong ability to connect with my audience. They FEEL something that can’t be ignored. I light something in up in them! When I teach, my purpose is to share that light… and for my clients to learn how to create a similar light on their own.
My love for fitness came later in life. With maturity and training I came to learn how great movement truly was for the body and how dance and fitness have such a beautiful relationship. I take my role as a fitness provider seriously. There’s an energy in my sessions that fires people up! It excites and creates a confidence in participants that they may never have tapped in to before. Participants carry that energy with them and THAT changes how they show up in the world. If you ask anyone who has taken my class they will tell you it is full of "vibes"! Why? It is because my sessions create a space for participants to bond, grow, and have fun with those around them! Being supported through your journey while enjoying what you are doing is a key to staying motivated in fitness.
When most hear my name they cannot help but think of Caribbean Carnival. Aside from me being a proud Jamaican Canadian, in 2013 I founded CARNIVAL SPICE fitness, entertainment, and community. The company launched with an intention to bring movement to beautiful mas costumes through dance performances and costume showcases.
As the entertainment division started to grow, I learned how important the company truly was. The whole experience was quite humbling - I was able to put money in my friends’ pockets! Praise God. The platform provided paid opportunities to artists of color, added validity to carnival work (70% of carnival wasn’t paid up to this point despite the millions of dollars Caribana brings in to the city annually), and then there’s the huge educational component. Providing awareness about Caribbean Carnival with artists who were fun to work with, talented, professional and reliable is what made us a force. These are standards we value even now. As years went on, a demand developed for those wanting to learn the dances we performed - this initiated the start of our fitness classes. Now the classes have grown into yearly programming with an amazing community of instructors, clients, and connections. Shout out to the #spicefam. I couldn’t have predicted all of this 6 years ago.
Needless to say, creating this online space has been a long time. So why share it now?
Despite all my visions, goals, and desire for more, there were barriers preventing me from sharing all that I wanted with you. The last three years in particular have been quite awakening. In 2016, although doing what I loved, the cracks in my operation started to show up and poor choices I was making started to surface negatively in my health. I had to identify people and things that were hurting me and separate from them. Then 2017 came and boy was it a whirlwind. Although I had one of the most successful years in my business, I also pushed through burn out, trauma, and health changes. God carried me through. I ended that year with a whole new appreciation for life and discovered a strength in myself that I didn’t know existed. I realized I needed to move differently and be used differently but honestly didn’t know how to start. I ended 2017 ready for more and open to learning new ways.
2018 answered the call! It started with me at a milestone age (30!), my business turning five years old and I found love! Woo hoo - how exciting! However with all that happening I wasn’t eager to jump in to my normal work routine. Something didn’t feel right so I slowed down, came face to face with areas that I struggled with, and leaned on my faith for direction. If you know me, then you know I don’t use or acknowledge that “s” word to describe my circumstances. Here’s why! “Struggle” is a condition that keeps you stuck when either your resources are limited, or because you may not be ready mentally, physically, or spiritually ready to free yourself. Challenges and obstacles however are a part of life - they make us more aware and push us to grow. Although uncomfortable or difficult they stretch us because we are forced to take action.
With a desire to achieve more in my life, I became more aware and was able to identify that in fact there were areas of my life that needed healing. Thanks be to God - the answers I needed came flooding in. Plus, despite not working my normal busy schedule, I was never in need - God always provided. I was given the freedom to listen, take action and gain understanding. I was open to learning and positioned myself to receive tools and teachings. Further I abstained from things that altered my state of mind. It has been quite the process… a process that was so necessary for my elevation.
As I grow as a woman of God I have realized that in life we are meant to face the obstacles that come in life and share what we’ve learned along the way. 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 don’t have all the answers, but I’ve certainly seen a lot with the time I’ve been blessed with thus far on earth. The trials and tribulations of my journey birthed a greatness in me with wisdom and insight that I am are sure can help others flourish. I gather you ended up here via social media, seeing me speak or appear on television, heard about me from a client, or maybe you took one of my classes. However you stumbled upon this site - it was for a reason! I aim to support you by providing positive lifestyle content that can inspire, motivate, or educate you throughout your journey.