Perhaps you’ve seen her on TV on the morning show ‘This Morning’ on DBS (Daher Broadcasting Network), moving her snakelike hips at a gym, hosting an event, or stumbled across her page (‘Purple Haze’) on social media. This 20-something (pssh, the age’s a mystery!) beauty, born Chela Mendes but who also goes by ‘Purple Haze’, has a passion for living—she enjoys the outdoors, the sea, music, good food and dancing—more than anything.
A ‘Socasize’ instructor (‘Socasize’—exercise made interesting with sweet Caribbean beats), Chela, has been dancing (almost) all her life. It’s how she expresses herself, lets go of her troubles and simply has a good time.
And it’s only natural or fitting that she became a Socasize fitness instructor. According to her, her sanity would be tested had she been working a regular 9-5 job.
“I wasn’t working during a period in 2016 and that’s how I stumbled on Socasize,” she explained.
“My friend Shani (Vee) was looking to certify people so she could have more hands on deck—I absolutely love it. It’s so nice when you go to a class and you feed off people’s energy and at the end of the session everybody’s dripping with sweat and you high five after; you just get this good mood,” she added.
According to her, if you’re a fan of soca music, you’ll be “in heaven there”—Socasize classes.
“If you want to lose weight and other exercises are not working for you Socasize is a great way to do so because of the way it is designed,” Chela said.
They start with a bacchanal warm up (sounds like my thing!) and then ‘cardio soca jams’.
“So you take it up again then you go to ‘whine and tone’ and you get a lot of dancehall in that segment; then you cool down. It is high energy, fun and you get to whine as much as you want,” the fitness instructor added.
In July she gets to celebrate with a cupcake at least, as then, it will be one year since she has been hosting ‘This Morning’; the show comes on every weekday at 6:00 a.m.
“It’s been fun; it’s like a magazine,” Chela said speaking on the programme.
“You know when you go through a magazine you see fashion, lifestyle, culture (amongst other things) so that is what I try to keep as general topics,” the talk show host added.
She continued: “When I came on board I wanted to keep it as something positive—I wanted viewers to wake up to something refreshing,” she said.
Find out how you can join her sessions!
Facebook: Socacize St. Lucia, Purple Haze
Favourite soca song to work out to right now: ‘Workout’ (Kes ft. Nailah Blackman)
Favourite Type of Workout: Socasize
Salsa, bachata, kizomba, zouk or merengue? Her choice: kizomba/semba and merengue.
Carnival band she’s most likely to jump in: Legends