Today we’d like to introduce you to Deja Riley Izydorcyzk.
Deja, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was born in New York and raised in Virginia Beach, VA by superwoman, Donna Roberts & musical legend, Teddy Riley. At the age of three, I began dancing. I grew up training in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, flamenco, contemporary & hip hop. I started competing at the age of 12 and moved out to LA at the age of 19 to start my professional dance career. Over the course of a decade, I’ve worked with artists such as Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Shakira, Britney Spears, Trey Songz, JLo , Nicki Minaj and more. About three years ago, I decided to transition from background dancing to a life in health & wellness. I became a group fitness trainer at a boutique boxing gym in Santa Monica, where I fell in love with the sport & community. While teaching there, I was also studying to become a certified personal trainer and went back to college to receive my Bachelor’s degree in Media Communications.
I’ve always been passionate about moving my body, so it was a smooth transition physically but proved to be quite a tough transition mentally & spiritually. Boxing has forever changed my life, it became the tougher exterior that protected my soft interior, however, I truly missed being able to move my body to music and express myself creatively through dance. As much as I loved my new strong identity, I did not want to let go of my identity as a dancer. This inner battle became the catalyst for my workout method Dance out of the Box. After getting married to the love of my life last year, I felt such a sense of freedom and courage to achieve anything I wanted to. My workout method is all about moving out of the box and never letting anyone else write the definition of who you are.
Along with launching Dance out of the Box I am also now the host of PopSugar’s Dance FitSugar, a PUMA Master Trainer and a movement coach to artists such as Bhad Bhabie + Faouzia.
I stand confidently today as a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a boss, a fighter & a lover of life. You can join me in living your best life as you zone out while dancing, boxing & sweating with a smile on PopSugar’s Dance FitSugar + my Dance Out Of The Box workouts on GLOW by PopSugar and YouTube.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s easy to think that growing up in the industry that I did opportunities would come easier for me than most. Growing up with the powerhouse that is my father I learned so many valuable lessons. I learned how to make connections, be resourceful and really be confident in my craft. That being said nothing really prepares you for stepping out on your own and really making a space for yourself in an industry that you are so unfamiliar with. Loving what I do and believing in my mission has surely helped me pick myself up when doors I really hoped would open for me didn’t, or when my path was very uncertain. The roadblocks I experienced were really instrumental in me learning to trust my gut and find my voice. Things have surely not been easy for me but it’s an experience that has been more than worth it and one I would not trade.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Deja Riley Athletics is a health, wellness & fitness company that provides services, products and inspiration for people of all ages, levels and walks of life.
Occupying the digital space and making accessible content has allowed me to reach people all over the world and give them a good workout from the comfort of their own homes and personal spaces.
My workouts and messaging is never about calorie-counting or weight awareness but more about how one feels on the inside.
What were you like growing up?
I’ve always been an outgoing, energetic person, even as a child, I believe my tenacity & charisma have helped me transition into each new venture of my life and has made me stand out amongst the masses. Since I was born into a musical family, rhythm has been a driving force in everything that I do. From theater to dance to fitness, music has always what motivates and moves me and it is the thread that connects the dots of my life.
- PopSugar Fitness + Dance Out Of The Box YouTube Videos = FREE
- Website: www.dejariley.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @dejariley
- Facebook: facebook.com/DejaDRiley
- Twitter: @dejariley
Photographers: Pete Petitti, James Izydorczyk, Vonecia Carswell and Getty Images