This topic crosses my mind every year.

I have the privilege of knowing so many smart, skilled and beautiful black women in fitness. To me, they represent the wonderful diversity of Toronto fitness and in Toronto fitness. It is this heterogeneity that I wish was seen broadly in lifestyle pieces and fitness promotions. I’m confident that with greater representation of different skin tones, body types, ages and interests, more females would see themselves and the possibilities for themselves.

FACES OF FITNESS: Black History Edition is all about taking the limits off ourselves and off one another.

These 10 women of colour, all from Toronto and surrounding areas, represent everything I love about fitness. They are women of great integrity and even more heart. As you check out their profiles below, don’t be shy. Reach out to them on social media with questions or comments. If you’re in the neighbourhood, check out their classes and training. And I would absolutely love for you to share this post with anyone you think could benefit from some new inspiration. Enjoy!



Owner/ Studio Director, Moksha Yoga Pickering


Ethnic Background: Jamaican // Discipline: Yoga

Q: What are three words that best describe how yoga makes you feel?

A: Free, strong, joy.

CONTACT/FOLLOW: , @mokshayogapk

Photo: A Million Minds



Owner of Body By You, Mother of 2


Age: 40 // Ethnic Background: Trinidadian & German

Disciplines: Personal Training, Choreography, Zumba 

Q: What are three words that describe how Zumba makes you feel?

A: Alive and unencumbered


@TamaraVahn , @bbybodybyyou

Photo: Rick Oliver




Personal Trainer, R. Kin, Totum Life Science


Age: 38 // Ethnic Background: Ghanaian & Hong Kong Chinese

Disciplines: Personal Training, Recreational Snowboarding

Q: What are three words that describe how snowboarding makes you feel?

A: Free, invigorated, revitalized


@carlanb_ , @totumking




Simply Shakera Artistic Director, Movement Coach and Performersupafitmama-faces-of-fitness-shakera-martin-2

Age: 29 // Ethnic Background: Jamaican Canadian

Disciplines: Dance & Movement

Q: Why dance?

A: “Dance gives plenty of room for self-expression and is powerful in helping the body and mind thrive”.

CONTACT/FOLLOW: , @simplyshakera

Photo: Sid Naidu



Contemporary Dancer, Performer and Instructor


Age: 46 // Ethnic Background: North African & Polish

Disciplines: Dance & Pilates 

Q: What are three words that describe how dance and movement makes you feel A: Enriched, enlightened, empowered.

CONTACT/FOLLOW: , @totumking

LINK Advanced Movement Mechanics

Photo: Jeremy Mimnagh



Spin Instructor, Mom of 1


Age: 43 // Ethnic Background: Canadian Jamaican

Disciplines: Spinning // 9-5: Executive Search Director

Q: Why spinning?

A: “I was told once how hard spin was and I’d have to “work my way up to it” so I thought okay well now I HAVE to try it. I’m not going to lie the first few times were absolutely draining but fun…but then I took a class with Rory Pederzolli, one of the founders of Rocket Cycle and it was next level, completely changed my life. I LOVE to dance, and have a huge love for house music. My twenties were literally spent on the dance floor, but once I found I could get my groove on a spin bike I was sold! My love for spin and dance all in one sweet package. I love how you can get absolutely lost in a spin class. For me, best feeling ever”.

CONTACT/FOLLOW: , @rocket.cycle

Photo: Kailee Mandel



Kettlebell Instructor


Age: 41 // Ethnic Background: Guyanese

Disciplines: Kettlebells // 9-5: Ride for Sight Event Coordinator

Q: Why kettlebells?

A:  “I started doing kettlebells in 2007. I was bored with what I was doing at the gym and not the kind of person to join a class. But, I really liked kettlebells. A couple years later I met Tony Wallace. He is like the Toronto Kettlebelll King. I learned so much from him and noticed such a difference in myself because of his classes. He is the one who encouraged me to become a kettlebell instructor. I love working with kettlebells and I am happy to see that more and more, they have become part of so many people’s gym routine. With kettlebells you can start small and still get a great workout then push yourself with heavier weights and more complex movements. You can be really dynamic with them or really simple.”


@boutsbrewster,  @systemfitness



IFBB PRO, Co-Founder Empowered in My Skin


Age: 44 // Ethnic Background: Nigerian

Disciplines: Bodybuilding (physique category) // 9-5: AVP Technology, TD Bank 

Q: Why bodybuilding?

A: “Simple really… to be really good, it requires high-level of hard-work, determination and discipline. In addition it keeps me healthy and strong. All of which transferable skills that I can use in other areas of my life to drive success.”


@nkechi_ifbbpro , @empoweredinmyskin

Photo: Rob Holden



Co-Owner of Wholistic Bodybuilding & Wellness, Mom of 4


Age: 39 // Ethnic Background: Canadian Trinidadian

Disciplines: Fitness Modelling

Q: Why fitness modelling?

A:  “I wanted to showcase all of my hard work that I put into my physique after having my three kids. I always heard of moms saying they had no time for working out, or stating they ‘could never have a body like that’ because they had kids. When I looked into competing I wanted a category that allowed me to be sporty and also feminine. Fitness modelling gave me a platform to showcase my physique but also show who I really am through the use of costumes and props. I also wanted a category that allowed me to showcase myself in an appropriate way my kids could be proud of.”


@robinawalling , @wholisticbodybuilding

Photo: Chris V Linton



Creator & Author, SUPAFITMAMA TORONTO , Mom of 1


Age: 41 // Ethnic Background: Canadian Jamaican

Discipline: Masters Track & Field // 9-5: Member Services Director, Totum Life Science

Q: What are three words that describe how lifting and sprinting make me feel?

A: Powerful, confident and authentic.


@supafitmama , @totumking

Photo: Chris Pieneman

4 thoughts on “FACES OF FITNESS: Black History Edition

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