Where did you grow up?
I was born in Chicago, IL but raised in beautiful Southern California. My parents weren’t big fans of the extreme weather in Chicago so we moved to California the first chance we got, and we’ve never left.
What is your favorite childhood memory?
When I was younger, my sister, best friend and I were in a Hawaiian/Tahitian dance company. We would rehearse every weekend, help make our own costumes, and perform at events and festivals. It was a huge part of my life up until I started high school, and basically fueled my passion for dance.
What was your favorite activity in your high school years?
Dance class. Hands down.
What is your favorite song?
Oh my gosh, I have SO MANY! I’m a 90s R&B girl so I guess my go to would be “Motownphilly” by Boyz II Men.
Home Alone! And pretty much anything with Catherine O’Hara. I love her.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
When people chew with their mouth open.
What is your worst habit?
Splitting my split ends. Anyone else?
What is your favorite healthy food?
Lettuce Wraps! I like to stuff them with salmon, quinoa and loads of vegetables. It’s easy to put together!
What is your favorite splurge food?
Why do you love living in the South Bay?
I just read Hillary’s answers and it’s for the exact same reason! The healthy lifestyle, all the different fitness options, and the community.
What was a turning point in fitness for you?
POUND I was a part of their 60-day program and not only did I lose weight (18 pounds and 17 inches in 60 days) But I learned how to eat correctly and gained so much confidence in myself. I knew almost instantly that I had to bring this format to the South Bay. POUND changed my life.
What motivated you to start Shine Studio?
Oh goodness, where to start? lol. I really wanted to create a safe space for people to move freely; a place where you could let go, have fun and leave with a huge, sweaty smile on your face. After high school, I continued to dance in college and with a dance company, although I learned a lot and I will always be grateful for my time there, I did experience some bullying due to my size. I became fixated on my weight, and it dimmed my passion to dance. Rehearsals and shows were no longer fun, and fueled my insecurities to an unhealthy level and I had to leave.
I am a huge believer that everything happens for a reason, and that you can build a future on your past. Although that chapter wasn’t the greatest, it helped me understand how a positive and loving community can really change a person, and I wanted to be a part of that. Fast forward to when Hillary and I crossed paths and we realized we weren’t alone in how we felt about our dance experience and body image. We both were in fitness, and knew we wanted a studio that focused more on fun, positivity and community all while breaking a sweat. So here we are, doing just that, and I couldn’t be more thankful to have my “Hilly”, “Pineapple”, “Dime Piece” by my side.