Beneath those curls and crazy spandex, Dyan’s got a strong will and a huge heart. She’s energetic, she’s outgoing, and – most of all – she’s fierce. Read on to learn more about our fearless leader…
SWERVE: Let’s start from the beginning. Where’d you grow up?
DT: Outside Boston, in a town called Needham.
SWERVE: Any siblings?
DT: An older sister named Denise. She’s Denise; I’m Dyan. We’re very Greek. Everyone always asks me if my family is like the one in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” and I’ll say somewhat, in that all the guys in my family are either named George, Jimmy, or John. And we’re all so strong-willed. It’s a Greek thing: When we say something, we mean it.
SWERVE: What’s the most memorable time you were super strong-willed about something?
DT: Actually, I have a very specific story—and indirectly, it’s the one that led me to SWERVE.
SWERVE: Do tell…
DT: Well I wasn’t always a fitness instructor. I have always been a gym rat and I love fitness more than anything, but I didn’t think it could pay the bills, so I had a bunch of more traditional jobs after I graduated from college and before I transitioned to working in fitness full-time. But I always had a fitness side hustle, and one of them was as an instructor at Intensati, this awesome fitness class that’s all about positive affirmation. I set up a class to teach Intensati to middle school kids once a week during my lunch and when I told my boss, he was like, “No. You can’t do that. I feel like your heart won’t be in the game if you do that,” and so I said, “Fine. I quit.”
SWERVE: Wow. Just like that?
DT: Yup. I’m telling you, when I say something, I mean it. I had already decided I was teaching this class; I was just telling my boss about it, not asking him if I could. Granted, right after I quit, I was so scared. I called my best friend and started crying—I was that girl hyperventilating on the streets of New York City, asking “What am I going to do with my life?!” between sobs. But having someone tell me no was really was the best thing ever.
DT: Because it got me to where I truly wanted to be. I never would’ve done fitness full-time on my own. I was terrified because I didn’t think I could earn enough money to live the way I wanted to in New York City. But now that I’ve done it, I always tell people, you have to go with your gut, and you have to just go all in. If you love something so much, like I did and still do, it can’t be a side hustle; you have to go at it full-blown. Otherwise, you’ll always have one foot in your safety net. But if there’s no place to go, you have to fly.
SWERVE: And you landed at SWERVE. How exactly did you get here after your epic quitting moment?
DT: Well, once I quit my corporate job to do fitness full-time, everything just sort of spider-webbed. I was teaching at a few studios and I’m involved in a non-profit called Health Class 2.0, where we teach inner city kids about wellness. I also started personal training for a lot more people, and then they’d recommend me to their friends, who’d recommend me to theirs…everything just took off. Then, I met the SWERVE team at an event, and the rest is history…
SWERVE: Don’t you get tired, teaching so many hard classes all the time?
DT: It’s tiring energy-wise, but teaching actually isn’t my workout, because I’m just focused on getting my class to work harder. I still go to Barry’s, I go to Fhitting Room, I go on runs, and I do yoga. In fact, my SWERVE score isn’t ever really that high.
SWERVE: What do you eat every day to keep in tiptop shape?
DT: I’m really healthy, which is funny because I wasn’t always. Growing up, I lived on Cool Ranch Doritos, Happy Meals, bags of Hostess donuts, and Strawberry Quik. I would fill half the glass with powder and half with milk; I had such bad eating habits. But then I went to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and I learned that a good diet is all about eating what works best for you. So I’ll have eggwhite omelets with veggies or chia pudding for breakfast, salads for lunch, and I eat a lot of quinoa and hummus. I drink 3 liters of water a day, too. Staying hydrated is the biggest thing you can do for your body; it’s how your body runs. Oh, and quesadillas are my cheat meal. I call up Dorados at least once a week, and they’re like, “Hey, Dyan!”
SWERVE: Okay, last question: How on Earth do you get such awesome hair?
DT: Ha! People stop me on the street all the time and ask about it. Basically, I use this product from Dry Bar called Mai Tai salt spray. Since I shower so much during the day, I don’t always wash my hair every time, so I just spray this stuff in and it smells really good and gives me an extra beachy curl factor. That’s my secret!