Skill is the ability to do something well. The name Skillz Movement refers to a process of learning to move well, while preparing and developing the body to be strong, elastic, resilient, and capable of moving well. Skillz is intentionally spelled with a ‘z’ at the end because that’s how it sounds when you say it, it looks cooler, and we just felt like spelling it that way. Symbolically, the letter ‘z’ represents a sword. If you’re into symbolism you can think of the ‘z’ in Skillz as symbolizing the sword that cuts through any nonsense and confusion surrounding fitness, exercise, and movement training.
Meet The Team
Owner, Head Coach
Darren is the founder of Skillz Movement (since 2014).
Born to Vincentian parents in Canada, Darren's love for sport and play was nourished early on. Games like table/lawn tennis, beach cricket, soccer, baseball, catch, keep up, and many more were a regular part of joyful mother/father-son interaction all through childhood. Along with a healthy enthusiasm for athletics, Darren has a deep appreciation for music and dance influenced heavily by a combination of his native Caribbean soca music, reggae music, and his love for Michael Jackson.
Graduating from St. James High School in Guelph, Ontario in 1999, he was an honour student and multi-sport athlete, specializing in basketball. Darren helped lead his senior high school basketball team and rep basketball team to OFSAA and OBA provincial gold medals as point guard, and also made the regional team. He was First Team District All-Star, Sportsman of the Year, and recipient of the city-wide award for "Excellence in Academics, Athletics, and Leadership.”
In university, Darren played 4 years as a point guard in the CIS, attending Wilfrid Laurier University to complete an honours undergraduate degree in Business Administration, then Western University to complete a masters degree in Sport Management, Kinesiology. He made the OUA Rookie All-Star Team in his first season and finished his post-secondary education as an Academic All-Canadian and recipient of the Chelladurai Sport Management Scholarship.
A valuable learning experience, Darren taught multiple kinesiology courses to first and second year university students as a graduate TA at Western. He enjoyed a brief mentorship with the head athletic performance coach and completed two key internships - one with a major national fitness organization and another with an international sport performance organization. In addition, Darren completed research projects in Canada and overseas pertaining to international sport systems, sport development, and physical education.
For well over a decade, since completing his formal university education in 2005, Darren has been deeply involved in hands-on research, development, and practice of human movement from a variety of perspectives. He has received training from leading teachers, coaches, and specialists in a wide range of disciplines. This wealth of knowledge and experience has led to a truly unique understanding and diverse skill set, one that allows him to bring the best of physical preparation, athletic training, and natural movement development into his own practice, and to share it with others worldwide through Skillz.
Emily has been the Assistant Coach and the all-in-one film team since Skillz began in 2014.
Coming from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, she has a blended background in arts and athletics. Emily danced competitively for 20 years throughout the Canadian east coast. She became a choreographer for competition, recreation, and musical theatre groups, teaching students ages 3 to 25 of all skill and ambition levels. She received training from leaders in the Canadian and American dance communities, and has always upheld well-roundedness as a primary value for dancers and stage performers. She received an invitation to be a member of Team Canada for World Dance Day in 2007, and earned outstanding achievement awards for performance in dance and musical theatre between 1998 and 2007. In her final year of high school, Emily ran a year-long dance program in Port-Aux-Basques, Newfoundland to offer foundational training and performance exposure for rural children ages 6 to 18.
Throughout secondary school, Emily also played competitive sports, including hockey and soccer. She contributed to winning provincial titles for the Cape Breton County Minor Hockey Association, played soccer with the Cape Breton Selects, and represented Nova Scotia at U16 and U18 nationals in 2002 and 2004. As well, she was a competitive figure skater, earning a silver medal at provincial championships and an invitation to participate on Team Nova Scotia.
In 2006, while pursuing an undergraduate degree in Behavioural Neuroscience, Emily co-founded MUN Dance at Memorial University of Newfoundland with her sister, providing recreational classes for university students and staff. She also performed in professional multidisciplinary musical productions as a dancer and singer.
After moving to Ontario in 2011, Emily attended Brescia University College to study Food Science and Nutrition, and began athletic training at a local facility (where she met Darren who was teaching some of the classes that she attended). Since then, she has dramatically improved her physical strength and found ways to integrate her dance and movement background with Darren's perspective and teachings - what has now evolved into Skillz Movement. She is also committed and passionate about food and its preparation to serve health and well-being, and provides support for athletes in need of nutritional guidance.
Emily is deeply invested in Skillz Movement because of the way that Darren’s approach facilitates constant growth in physical ability and opens up so many opportunities to feel powerful, explosive, fluid, and athletic in sport, play, and everyday life. After 7 years in training with Darren, she always says that she is in the best shape of her life, and it’s only just the beginning!