We had the good fortune of connecting with Johande Serrano and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Johande, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was born and raised in Broward County, Florida. My parents are from a small island called Grenada which is the southernmost island of the north-south arc of the Lesser Antilles, lying in the eastern Caribbean Sea about 100 miles north of the coast of Venezuela. Grenada is also known as The Isle of Spice. I grew up in a single parent household and was raised by a true island woman. Even though my mom was strict, firm, and a true disciplinarian lol I look back now and I see that if my mother was NOT the mother that she was who knows where I could’ve been today. Everything that I am is due to my mother being that strong Grenadian Woman that she in turn raised me to be. As my mother always tells me even now in my adult years with 2 children of my own, “Do Not Underestimate the Strength, Power, Vigilance, and Determination of a Grenadian.” When I found out that I was pregnant with my daughter in 2016, I decided that I wanted to introduce her to our Caribbean heritage of being Grenadian just as my mother did with me. While being pregnant with her, I attended Miami J’ouvert & Miami Carnival in 2016 and introduced her to our culture while in the womb. I was introduced to my Grenadian Heritage (Jab Jab) as a young child and I was not going to have my daughter miss out on learning. Pregnancy never stopped me from doing what I love to do and that is: Dance! If anything, it made me embrace and embody it more. My love for dance has always been there and with the support and constant push from my family and friends, I am able to share my love of dance with other individuals, Twerk and Whine Fitness was born.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
When you are starting a business, there are always going to be obstacles in your way that you can see and that you can’t see. Twerk & Whine Fitness LLC was born on February 7, 2020. This day was chosen to represent my culture, which is also is the day Grenada gained their independence. I started a business right before COVID and just as I was gaining momentum, I had to stop. I went from being on cloud 9 to being on the ground within a matter of a month. I found myself going into a depressed state because I was so eager to start my business and then this pandemic comes and puts everything on halt. I decided to follow in the footsteps of others and start to teach my classes virtually to keep that momentum going. Facebook and Instagram Live were my best friends from March to June. Some days, I had followers and some days I was dancing for myself, but that did not stop me nor did I get back in that depressed state. The road was rough especially with a pandemic but I was able to really take time and focus on my business, get advice on how to be the best business woman I can be from my mentor (@prettyfacemeanhustle), and also get my LLC license. Am I grateful for COVID, yes, I am to an extent because it made me really prioritize and understand what it takes to own and grow MY OWN BUSINESS! I specialize in the art of Twerking and Whining. The correct term in the Islands is “Wining”, but when people first heard and saw the name before my LLC, they assumed we were going to drink wine lol so I had to switch it up. There are many islands in the Caribbean, and there are many instructors turned performers as well, but people mainly know Jamaicans (Jamaica) or Trinis (Trinidad). No one really knows much about Grenada and my goal is to help put my heritage on the map. In my classes, I educate my ladies on the difference between twerking and wining. Yes! There is a difference between the two styles and many do not understand and I make sure that my ladies know and feel the difference in our classes. In my classes, I also use that time to EMPOWER! I always tell my ladies that when you come into my class, I want you to leave all worries at the door and focus on you and you alone. Do not worry about anything but you. As women, we tend to wear so many different hats that we lose ourselves and forget to self-care. Every Friday that is our time to turn up and let go as they say. We laugh, cry, share stories, but most importantly, we dance and sweat. My classes are a no judgment zone and I do not care if you were dancing all your life or if you only do a two-step in a club, when you come to my class, I pull that hidden gem out and even have you surprised that you had that girl inside of you. Even though I am new to this business, I stepped out on faith and teamed up with another up-and-coming fitness instructor in the South Broward area named Coco who owns the business TeaseTheABCs (@tease_llc) who is also on the empowering mission. Together we offer combo classes where I get the ladies all hot and steamy with twerking and whining and then she simmers the heat. Contrary to the popular belief of the public, there is NOTHING wrong with twerking and wining and I want them and the world to know, understand, appreciate, and believe in that! I am most proud of the mission that I am on to empower ladies that attend my class through dance and fitness.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well if my best friend was coming into town lol they would know that they will have to come in October for Miami Carnival!!! It will be the best of soca, dancing, AUTHENTIC Caribbean food, drinks, fetes, playing mas, and most importantly, having pure positive vibes! From the time they reach it will be stopping at all or most fetes, of course J’ouvert on Saturday, Carnival on Sunday, and Last Lap on Monday. Since my bestie will already know that I love and embrace my Caribbean side to the fullest they will know anything Caribbean with soca music playing we there!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
– To my husband Steve (@sesimages). Thank you for riding with me and supporting me even when I did not have the faith to continue at times. – To my business partner Taryn (@tease_llc). Thank you for giving me the idea of having our business team up to help empower the women in our community. – To my business mentor Genae (@prettyfacemeanhustle). Thank you for answering every call and text no matter the time to make sure that I did not allow my mind to stop me from achieving greatness within and for my business. – To my Bahama Breeze Crew lol (Diamond, Autumn, Tyree, and Kenard (@koolmanshow)). Thank you for being raw and honest with me and letting me know that I have a gift and I should act on it. – To all my supporters near and far, thank you for twerking and whining with me for this long as well as continuing to support me by reposting, sharing, attending, recommending, and most importantly praying for me and TWF!
Other: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Number: 754-444-9024