We had the good fortune of connecting with Deja Riley and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Deja, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and BELONGING. As a Black Woman in the fitness/wellness industry, those concepts quickly became the pillars of my business and my driving forces. Fitness/wellness is NOT one size fits all, and should be accessible to EVERYONE.
My goals have always been to make sure that everyone taking my classes feels like they belong there. No matter the fitness level, body type, race or geolocation, everyone is welcome to my SWEATY SMILE SQUAD.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Moving my body has always been special to me. I was a professional dancer for about a decade, dancing for Beyonce, Trey Songz, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, the list goes on! It was a special time for me and taught me quite a lot about myself. I made the transition to the fitness industry and while I was so thankful to still be in a profession that allowed me to move my body, I needed to find a way that still felt authentic to ME.
Dancing was my first love, boxing quickly became my next. How could I combine the two? No one had done it before.
Dance out of the Box was then born! A music driven, dance workout that combined elements of shadow boxing. The marriage of my two loves.
I’m SO PROUD of my workout method, not only because it’s a great workout and SO MUCH FUN, it’s because it taught me( and hopefully teaches you) to NEVER let anyone keep you in a box. MAKE YOUR OWN.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If you couldn’t tell by now, fun for me always includes moving my body! Doing it safe and socially distanced? No problem! We’re going on a few hikes (Griffith, Runyon, Culver City/Santa Monica Stairs), then of course we’re going to the BEACH! Take your pick, they’re all great. We’re bringing our drinks and some gloves for beach boxing.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
They say it takes a village, AND IT DOES. My success is OUR success.
My parents + siblings, my husband, my team + my DEDICATED followers. Everyone plays a part in the success that is Deja Riley Athletics. Many have come and gone + been a part of this process. All valuable, all necessary. I love you all!

Website: dejariley.com

Instagram: instagram.com/dejariley

Linkedin: Deja Riley

Twitter: twitter.com/dejariley

Facebook: facebook.com/dejariley

Youtube: youtube.com/dejariley

Other: Sweaty Smile Squad Instagram – instagram.com/sweatysmilesquad

Image Credits
Ty Adams

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.