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    HomeLifestyleChristina Evans makes moves with dance fitness | Lifestyle

    Christina Evans makes moves with dance fitness | Lifestyle

    The joy of movement and hidden language of the soul, better known as dance, has always resonated in the heart of Christina Evans. So, when she began seeking the answer to the question of ‘what’s next’, the familiarity of the beat encouraged her to make moves and put a unique twist on wellness. Then and there, her first baby, Fit Lab Studios, was born.

    “Located [on] Allerdyce Drive, Fit Lab is a boutique fitness studio which specialises in circuit training; meditation like yoga and tai chi; dance fitness like TikTok jammin’; yardie style, which touches dancehall; skankin’ sweet, which gives a reggae vibe; pole fitness and aqua Zumba. I try to stick to teaching dance fitness and pole fitness,” she explained to Lifestyle.

    Describing her teaching style as fun, practical, technical, accommodating, and encouraging, she provides the same level of comfort for everyone. Words fail to express how big of a cheerleader she is for her students, especially when they learn or land a move.

    ‘As one gone, a next one is born’, is a concept that Evans knows all too well, since Fit Lab came into being in October of 2018, following the closure of Chai Studios that summer.

    While she has always been a dancer, she was a new student of dance fitness and was introduced to the activity back in 2013. Chai Studios was having a summer special, and she found herself interested in Zumba classes. “I signed up as a client. One of the instructors, Franscesca Griffiths, put me on the spot to lead and I did a routine. I became a front-line diva, someone who follows the routine well and created a vibe for the class to follow,” she shared.

    She later participated in a Zumba licensing workshop and she became a licensed B1 Zumba instructor. “I didn’t find Zumba; Zumba chose me.”

    Once the closure of Chai Studios was in effect, Evans bought seven out of the nine available poles from the owner, Shani McGraham-Shirley, during a sale. This only sweetened the labour that led to the birth of Fit Lab. “The branch out took place in order to continue the offerings of pole fitness as an option for someone who is on their wellness journey.”

    Typically recruiting what she dubs as underground instructors, the entrepreneur invites those who she knows are willing and capable of teaching classes. Or she looks into persons who reach out to the studio and express interest in finding a new teaching home.

    Finding the studio might be a bit challenging but it’s all worth it once you’ve reached the destination and embarked on that exciting fitness journey. All the classes were relatively supported, but pole fitness has a waiting list. Offering that genre of fitness is what placed Evans on the map and it continues to be the most popular class to date.

    “We started out as strictly walk-ins. [Then] we moved to membership packages [and] recommending reservations, to embarking on a website for information on bookings,” she said. She pivoted to online classes during the pandemic period, minimising the class sizes when the protocols were not as stringent.

    Evans says had a pretty good run from her opening in 2018 to 2020, even in the midst of the global pandemic. But in 2021, the instructor found out that she was pregnant.

    Faced with physical limitations, her clients were supportive and encouraging. She would demonstrate certain moves with an assistant and jump back in where she could and entertained the idea of closing her studio doors for the months to follow, in order to focus on motherhood. Thankfully, she received assistance from her dedicated instructors, so she didn’t have to. She took the time to bond with her daughter and return to her business and classes with newfound vigour.

    The entrepreneur and fitness specialist is grateful for the sense of camaraderie and community that she has created. The location comes with an incredible view, which gives an ambience of relaxation. And it is a judgement free zone that welcomes room for growth.

    As a small business owner, lessons have popped up in the form of knowing that she cannot do everything herself. “I acknowledge when I need help. Also, knowing how to materialise bargaining power is crucial for advancing your company and its visibility. And lastly, and I am still trying to practise this; don’t take everything personal. It’s easy to be offended by remarks and criticism, especially if you’re the curator.”

    As an instructor, she has to be aware of who is within her class and teach accordingly. There has to be an open mindset from the very beginning for all participating parties.

    “There is no one way to fitness. Everyone is trying to figure out what kind of wellness is a suitable fit. It could be physical; it could be your diet, it could be environmental, whether work or at home. If you are not able to have a consistent schedule, where consumption and workouts are concerned, then you will forever have challenges losing weight. So my advice is to take the time to figure out what wellness mix works for you, your body and your schedule,” she highlighted.

    krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com

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