Jennifer is themindfulmover

At 'Have a Nice Day Pilates' studio in Toronto, Jennifer has created a movement space that embraces inclusion and authenticity.

Looped in by Kayla Rocca and Sammi Smith 

In January 2021 right in the thick of the pandemic, I opened up a Pilates studio - Have a Nice Day Pilates - that celebrates mindful and intentional movement.

I started off in ballet and then kind of ventured into the performing arts industry. I always envisioned myself opening up some sort of movement space. It’s also Toronto’s first Black-owned Pilates studio. For me representation matters so, so, so much. I didn’t want to be the first anything, I just wanted to follow this fantasy of mine. And the response has been so wonderful so far. 

I really want to break down that stigma of what we think Pilates is and who should be doing this type of movement. For me it’s changed my life so much, and it’s just a matter of sharing that and sharing the tools of my journey of Pilates. 

Pilates actually saved my career as a ballet dancer. I had so many injuries.  Pilates is kind of like this magical coating that you put on - that actually helps to moisturize your joints as you’re building strength as well. We think of Pilates as, you have to be very thin and you have to have a certain flexibility and it really isn’t that. It’s important for folks to understand that this is a great way of nurturing your body.

With Have a Nice Day Pilates it was very important to shake this image of perfection. It’s just “Have a nice day! Do what you can! That’s it.”  I wanted to bring the playfulness, the curiosity into the business. 

Describe what you create in five words or less.

It’s Pilates in space. 

I designed everything top to bottom. For me this is a personal thing. When I step into a studio, I’m coming there to usually let go of my day or release something, so for me it was very important to have this minimal, bare to the bone space. That’s intentional, so that when folks arrive they can completely unload their day, and they have the freedom to leave their 9 to 5 at the door and they’re coming into a new galaxy, a new universe. The aesthetic is this cosmic dreamy space.

Do you think of Pilates as creative?

100 percent. And I think that’s why folks are so drawn to our classes. Because it stems from a place of creativity. It stems from a force within me that needs to be shared. 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

I think one I live by that’s become my mantra, where I get the confidence is: Showing up as yourself is your biggest superpower. 

I remember always wanting to fit in, and I always knew I was a little different and I saw the world a little differently. I’ve always been hyperly curious and I sometimes felt like the oddball. As a kid all you want to do is fit in. But now all I want to do is stand out!  So show up as you, no one else is you, that is your superpower! That is your juice!

What is your most treasured possession?

I’m not very sentimental. I don’t really hold on to things. I prefer to let it go to the ether and see if it comes back. For me another way of living, if I can just pack up and go, everything should be able to fit into a bag. Then all I need is my family, my partner, my dog and that’s it. 

Who are your real life heroes?

Every single Black woman on this planet. Full stop.

"As a kid all you want to do is fit in. But now all I want to do is stand out! So show up as you, no one else is you, that is your superpower! That is your juice!"

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I think just taking a leap of faith with Have a Nice Day Pilates in a very crunchy time. I’m not saying I’ve achieved what I want to achieve, I don’t think I’m there yet but I think the achievement of taking that leap into the unknown was huge. 

What have you never understood?

I’ve never understood folks who like cilantro. I don’t understand it, nope, no way, it smells like soap. 

What talent do you yearn for?

Synchronized swimming is the coolest.  I just think it needs a bit of a rebrand. 

"It stems from a place of creativity. It stems from a force within me that needs to be shared."

Who is inspiring you
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Katherine Allen
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inspiring, authentic, breath of fresh air

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go getter, girl power, powerhouse

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most creative, genuine, generous

most creative, genuine, generous

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fabulous, creative, fresh

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