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    HomeLifestyleJamaica’s viral carnival queen, Christina Gonzalez, ready for the road | Lifestyle

    Jamaica’s viral carnival queen, Christina Gonzalez, ready for the road | Lifestyle

    When you hear ‘Jamaica’s viral carnival queen’, the name Christina Gonzalez comes to mind. More popularly known as ‘Chriss Choreo’, Gonzalez emerged on the soca scene in 2018, blazing the stage and changing the face and landscape of costume band launches. Today, we learn more about her health and fitness journey.

    “I’ve always been a lover of fitness. I come from a fitness home,” she told The Gleaner.

    Born in St Ann, she was raised by a fitness instructor mother and a visual arts father. Having typical Caribbean parents meant there was no choice but to be active growing up. Gonzalez recalls going to work with her mother at family-oriented hotels and being moved by soca music.

    “As a child, I used to hear a lot of calypso music. So the love started from a young age,” she shared, noting that she would hide and listen to dancehall music because it was not allowed in her household.

    While attending the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts, Gonzalez would see some of her friends preparing for the revelry of carnival day. She said to herself at the moment that she cannot wait to be able to afford the luxury of going on the road in full costume.

    “Right now, you could buy a house with costume money. But back then, the carnival costumes were expensive, especially for a college student,” she confessed.

    Life went on a trajectory of becoming a dance teacher, choreographer, and dancer until she entered the world of body fitness. Always fascinated by the discipline and display involved, she went on to win Miss Jamaica Bikini Fitness in 2017.

    That experience opened a window of opportunity that she never saw coming: being a soca model. “I was invited to model on the stage with Xaymaca in 2018,” she explained. So Gonzalez did what any ‘elegant bad gyal’ would do: she ripped the runway, tearing it all to pieces with her beauty, high energy, stage presence, audience engagement, and of course, her unique moves in heels. Her modelling performance immediately went viral.

    That window proceeded to burst open a door for Gonzalez to model for other islands across the Caribbean. “I had Trinidad calling me. St Lucia did, as well. And I went to The Bahamas for the first time.” This soca sensation went from not being able to afford a carnival costume to having her pick of carnival costumes for free. She has been filled with gratitude for the kind gestures thus far.

    When the dance instructor was faced with the option to pursue personal training or physiotherapy at The University of the West Indies, Mona campus, she ran with the latter. “I got into UWI, did physiotherapy, and started using what I learnt about the body and how you can tailor exercises to suit different persons, and I began fusing dance and fitness.”

    Persons are also fascinated by how she has transformed her own physique for bodybuilding. Furthermore she is currently in the process of getting certified with the National Academy of Sports Medicine to become a personal trainer, and she is already helping others on their journey.

    Ready for Carnival 2023, Gonzalez has hosted several spontaneous series that are dedicated to dance fitness. “Right before I went to Trinidad this year, I had a ‘get ready for carnival for Trinidad’ series and that was happening every single Friday,” she said, adding that seeing the positive feedback, she wanted to do something special for Jamaica Carnival.

    “Jamaica Carnival is not just about soca. Jamaica Carnival is dancehall, it’s reggae. And people come to Jamaica not just for soca, but to enjoy the vibes,” she revealed, curating a nice workshop where people can come and experience the dancehall-meets-soca culture.

    Her class is scheduled to take place this carnival Friday, April 14, at InMotion Dance Studio on Shortwood Road in Kingston.



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