Toronto / By Hailey Salvian

Patricia Allison has been a dancer since she was 3-years-old.  She works in marketing as a copywriter, as well as a contemporary dance choreographer, and for her both occupations can be very lonely. 

The solidarity in her career is what pushed to look for something different.  “I wanted to get back into shape, so I Googled the closest gym to my house,” said Allison. 

Her first class at the Academy was nearly 3 years ago with Richmond Lo.  She remembers having to sit down three times because she was so exhausted, but she loved every second of it.  

“These are my people,” she says with a smile about her fellow Lions. She has high praise for the community at the gym, saying it is due to their “bonding through shared trauma.” 

After attending classes for 3 years, she made the leap to the Olympic weightlifting team a year ago. A few weeks ago, she competed in her first competition and qualified for the Fall Classic that takes place in November. She needed to lift a combined 116 kilograms for Snatch and Clean & Jerk to qualify, and to her own surprise and excitement, she reached that goal.

It may seem unorthodox for a dancer to do such intense training, especially considering the aura of danger that seems to surround CrossFit.

Allison, however, has a different viewpoint. When she was 16-years-old, she herniated a disk in her back and was told, “Oh well, you are a dancer…it comes with the territory.” But since starting CrossFit she says her back has never felt stronger or more supported.

“You should be more worried about the tiny ballerinas than CrossFitters,” she said. 

That being said, Allison still loves dance and continues to practice both saying it is a constant battle between two lives having to balance being the “lean and mean dancer and the thick and tough CrossFitter.” 

Her newest method of achieving this balance began October 18th, with the launch of "Tight Moves" her new dance project at the Academy Of Lions. What began as her teaching people dance moves at social events and parties turned into an opportunity for her to share her passion. 

 “I love dance so much, that I want everyone to start dancing,” said Allison.  The classes will run as a four-week trial and focus on coordination, rhythm and learning a short dance routine. 

“My favourite response is ‘I can’t dance.’ All I have to say to that is ‘great let’s start from there!’” 

Allison not only promises to make you love dancing, but there will be no shortage of bonding through shared trauma as you take on a new and exciting opportunity.

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*Tight Moves will conclude it's initial 4-week run on November 15th and re-start for another run in January, 2016. 

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