Age: 26 | Height: 5’8″
Hometown: Markham, ON
Maria was born in Damascus, Syria and came to Canada at the age of five. Whether it’s acting, dancing, singing, or sports & fitness, there is no stopping this determined & passionate triple threat performer.
While studying she fell in love with the works of Shakespeare and was fortunate to work with a Theatre company performing for schools & the public in Ontario educating students in Literature and the Arts through voice and performance.
Upon completing her Honours Degree in Theatre at York University Maria has been working in the acting industry starring in commercials and TV shows, most recently you can spot her on NBC’s hit TV series Alphas as a reoccurring role.
Alongside the Arts, this passionate go –getter is also into Fitness, as the drive for Athletics is present in her blood. Her Father, hero and inspiration in her life ignited that flame at an early age. As an Olympic Athlete, her father was her sports coach.
Nonetheless, she didn’t stop here she went on to train intensely in Ballroom and Latin dance and became an Instructor. Maria presently runs her own classes 5 times a week she teaches Dance Fitness and Belly Dance classes. Maria has found great rewards in her work as an instructor.
Helping others achieve goals, self-confidence, healthy lifestyles and a positive body image makes her work that much more fulfilling.
As well as teaching, Maria was introduced to CrossFit, a strength and conditioning system that combines Olympic lifting, sprinting, gymnastics & power lifting techniques infused in a high intensity workout. Training at CrossFit Markham has affected her life positively in every aspect.
Maria was honoured to receive two awards at the Miss Universe Canada regional competition, Miss Congeniality and Miss People’s Choice award. Her bubbly personality and infectious smile is what makes people around her want to interact with her on a daily basis. She is a strong, fearless and a passionate leader that will go above and beyond in anything that is asked of her.
Motto: Work for a cause, not for applause
Sponsored by: CrossFit Markham, Trainer Chris Cristini, Forged Sport Elite Athletic Training & Nutrition, PURE Building Group, Stirling Room, Qadash by Phillp Ellis, Gian Paolo Mazzotta, Chair-man Mills, Bongo &B Entertainment, Ooh La La Divas, Ultimate Tan 7 Tanning Salon, Friends & Family.
Languages spoken fluently (please include your native language if English is not your native language).
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?
Dancing, fitness, food, plays, Shakespeare and most importantly spending time with friends and family
List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)
I was very blessed at an early age to be immersed in the Arts and to have my family’s support. I went to an Academy of the Arts high school for Drama and went on to train at Toronto’s finest acting conservatory at Humber College. I continued my studies to get my BFA honours degree in Theatre Arts at York University in hopes to educate children through acting, voice and performance. I then toured with a Shakespeare company teaching children about the importance of literature and arts.
also a Dance Instructor- I teach Latin, salsa, flamenco, rumba, samba, African dance, belly dance and Zumba Fitness
In what sports, if any, have you participated?
Track and Field, long jump, high jump, volleyball, basketball, soccer & CrossFit
Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?
My best friend Chris Cristini. He is the most unselfish, humble and compassionate person I have ever met. He inspires me to fight hard for what I believe in and feeds my soul with ambition and passion. He is the athlete of my heart, the Adonis of my eye and the passion of my success.
What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?
Getting the lead role in a play in College as Rosalind in the play “As you like it” I cried my eyes out and thought I could never learn the lines. The role is the female equivalent to Hamlet, with over 10, 000 lines I needed to learn in less than 3 weeks. I lived, breathed and ate those lines, I was off book in 2 weeks and it was one of the best roles I have ever played. It was a great accomplishment that I thought was impossible when I got it.
What is the most interesting or unique thing that has ever happened to you and/or what is the most interesting thing about you?
I am constantly looking for something new to learn or master.
Whether it is a language, a skill, another dance form or something I never thought I could do like Olympic lifting. I like surprising myself; if something intrigues me I make a point to learn it. You can never learn enough.
What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?
There are short term goals and long term goals I have for myself. And that is what keeps me grounded. However, plans always change and alter. My ambition has never changed but the tactics and strategies have altered on my path. My ambition still to this day is to use my talent to make a change.
What would be your “dream job” in life?
To create… To create characters & situations, dance pieces and stories, to be able to be vulnerable and take risks on stage to showcase my talent as an actor, a role model and a spokesperson.
Are you currently employed?
If yes, what is your occupation?
I work for UPS Supply Chain Solutions, I teach Dance Fitness classes 4 days a week and go to auditions in between jobs.
Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.
I was raised in Damascus, Syria. I lived there until I was five years old before my parents moved to Canada. My father was an Athlete and taught English on the side, my mother was a teacher. My parents always remind me how fortunate I am that I live in one of the best countries in the world filled with opportunity. They remind me to never take life for granted and that I should never forget to leave the house wearing two things, courage in my gut &Humbleness in my heart.
List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.
I had the opportunity to fly to Egypt with a company to reherse for 2 weeks in Alexandria with a group of actors, musicians, singers and directors from all over the world it was the best experience I will never forget. Not to mention riding a camel in the desert on the way to the pyramids.
List any volunteering you have done.
I am a huge part of my community in Markham. I volunteer at festivals, charity events and community fundraisers.
I also volunteer at sick kids hospital “princess visits” I dress up as a princess and visit kids on their birthdays.
What is your most unusual talent?
I impersonate an ostrich walk very well !
Where is the most interesting place you have been?
The Roman Amphitheatre in Bosra , Syria. I am a huge fan of Shakespeare and one of my dreams was to visit a Roman amphitheatre. The theatre I visited was breathtaking it was build in the 2nd century AD. I will never forget the feeling and the smell of that distinct Theatre when I stepped on stage and looked towards where the audience.
What do you hope to be doing in ten years?
I hope to be living in the moment of my success with my family.