From the spry age of 4 years old, I was a slightly chunky, probably not very graceful, but very keen-jelly-bean in ballet class and I loooooved it. I grew up in Calgary, Alberta spending over 14 hours a week, every week in a studio. I was classically trained (Royal Academy of Dance) and I taught the syllabus for seven years alongside my own training. I was incredibly lucky to grow up in such a positive, supportive and disciplined environment that never once challenged my body confidence but constantly challenged my personal best. Being part of that studio for 20 years gave me a sense of belonging and community that I’ll forever cherish.
When I was nearly done Uni, I got accepted into Toronto Dance Theatre, a well respected, contemporary dance company. So I packed up my cat and my big dreams and move to Toronto. I danced with the elite and it was one of the most challenging and rewarding things I’ve done. My training was complimented with Pilates, yoga and running and my body was a machine that I had to learn how to properly fuel if I wanted to get what I could out of it. I ended up retired my pro dancing shoes, not because I didn’t love it, but because I didn’t foresee my career trajectory only involving dance and I felt something missing. So I went back to Calgary, finished my economics degree and started working in marketing.
Going from dancing 10 hours a day to sitting at a desk, messed with my relationship to fitness and I dove into the yoga scene – hard. Fast forward a few years, I met my amazing husband, we travelled the world a shit ton, and I continued to sample yoga, Pilates, barre, and spin studios around the world. My constant traveling desires led us to Australia in 2012, where we lived for 4 years and I worked as a buyer for lululemon. That little nugget of a dream job had me continuing my self proclaimed studio tour around the world and it allowed me to experience some of the most amazing studios in New Zealand, the US, Canada, India, Singapore, China, Europe, and Australia.
When we returned to North America and moved back to Toronto, I found myself trying every kind of class and studio in the city. I realised I wished something like this existed – a central place I could go to that would tell me what the studios were REALLY like so I could save my time, energy and money and go straight to the ones I know I’d love. And then, kind of like that, Fit-City Guide was born. After 25+ years of attending classes and after visiting hundreds of studios around the world, I figured, let’s use this random skill set for a purpose! Let’s help others discover studios, classes and ways of working out that they didn’t know before, let’s give studios exposure that they deserve and above all else – let’s encourage people to spend time in the fitness community so they can live greater, healthier, longer lives. Small goals really.
I hope you enjoy!