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 the ballet studio in Calgary, Alberta spending over 10 hours a week, every week for the next 20 years in a studio. I was classically trained, taking Royal Academy of Dance exams every year, and I also 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 and 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 University and still dancing at Ballet Arts, I got accepted into Toronto Dance Theatre, a well respected, fresh contemporary dance company. So I packed up my cat and my big dreams and move to Toronto. I danced with the elite for a year and it was one of the most challenging and rewarding things I’ve ever 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 retired my pro dancing shoes after a year, 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, spin and gym studios across Canada, the United States, and Europe. 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 worlds most amazing studios in New Zealand, India, Singapore, China, UK, and of course Australia.
When we eventually returned to North America and moved back to Toronto (hardest decision EVER to leave Australia btw) I found myself sampling the studio scene but constantly comparing to Australia (bc they have some of the best) and other studies I’ve been to across the globe. My girlfriends and I would try a new yoga studio, or a new spin class, grab wine after and chat about all the things you typically look for in a studio: reasonably priced, killer instructors that are knowledgeable and motivating, an amazing class in a cool space and had a sense of community that we wanted to be part of. I realised I wished something existed like this – 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 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!