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Ballerina to Bodybuilder

Colleen DiVito

Age and Category: 53 years old, Bikini Competitor

City/State: Reading, Massachussetts

Gym: Fitness Within, Reading, MA

Hard on Heels | Ballerina to Bodybuilder
Hard on Heels | Ballerina to Bodybuilder

I am sure that when a younger Colleen was practicing the arabesque for her annual Nutcracker concert the thought of growing her lithe muscles as big as possible would have been foreign to her. But years had passed since her last dance and in the intervening years, Colleen had busied herself with work and the needs of her two boys, Dominic and Anthony, always putting them first. She realized that she was eating terribly, was out of shape, and felt awful. She reasoned she needed to take care of herself so she could take better care of everyone else. In 2020, she finally entered the gym she passed every day where they had a 6-week nutrition and fitness challenge. Shortly after joining, the gym closed down due to COVID, but when they reopened, they offered one-on-one personal training – and she found she loved it!

Hard on Heels | Ballerina to Bodybuilder
Hard on Heels | Ballerina to Bodybuilder

It wasn’t long before one of her trainers told her she needed to compete and, with persistence, wore her down. She had no idea how restrictive a competition diet would be. Or how much of a challenge it was to meal prep and work out while doing full-time work and taking care of 2 kids involved in sports. Yet she knew all about rigor and discipline from her years of dance and she was amazed at the process of watching her body reshape itself. 

Her first competition was the Battle of the Godz in Rhode Island in November 2021 at the age of 51.  The months of anticipation had left her nervous and shaking and excited to be back on stage. She signed up for all possible divisions and felt more confident each time she stepped out in the lights. She placed fifth in the 40+ division, second in 50+, and first in Debut. She was hooked. With each subsequent competition, she loved seeing what she could do with her body. Can she better herself? Can she gain size? Can she place better? Even at times of defeat, she realized how much she loved the sport. So, she kept going.

Hard on Heels | Ballerina to Bodybuilder
Hard on Heels | Ballerina to Bodybuilder

At the age of 53 and at her fifth competition, the 2023 Battle of the Godz, she placed 2nd in the Open division, first in the 50+, and first overall in the 35+ division to earn her pro card. Now she has set her sights on the Yorton Cup, the OCB’s premier all-pro competition to be held in September of 2024.

What has she learned in her journey to become an OCB Pro? I’ll let Colleen tell you herself. 

“I still have a hard time believing I was able to accomplish what I did. And although many people say this, I truly believe (and share with anyone I can!) that you are NOT too old and it is NEVER too late!  I believe everyone has the ability to set and achieve any goals they set, especially the goals that feel so far-fetched!  I tell my kids to constantly take risks and set crazy, lofty goals.  You learn so much about yourself doing this and even though you may hit roadblocks, you can always figure out a way around them.  Hit another roadblock, create another path...and keep going until you reach your goal or, perhaps along the way you learn something new and set an even higher goal!”

Whether performing or posing, Colleen was meant to be on stage. And as an OCB Pro Bikini competitor, she is sure to grace that stage for many years to come.

Colleen’s Coaches/Trainers:

Adam Blom of Fitness Within (Nutrition and competition prep)

Domenic Prisco of Fitness Within (Owner, Nutrition and competition prep)

Jenna George of JennaGFit (Posing)

Kaitlyn McLaughlin of Fitness Within (Personal trainer)

Andrew Brown of Fitness Within (Personal trainer)

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