MISFIT GANG | Deanna Pagnan

Meet DEANNA – one of our newest MISFITSTUDIO teachers who has a zest for life and passion for movement that gets us INSPIRED. We are THRILLED to have Deanna joining the gang this Fall, bringing her love, energy and beautiful smile to the studio each week. 

Tell us your love story with MISFIT.

I first came to the studio three or four years ago and it immediately felt different from other studios I’d been to. I loved how the studio brought elements of nature inside and was full of lush plants. They had music I actually liked playing and huge stained glass windows allowing in sunlight - no mirrors or harsh lighting. Definitely a change from other pilates studios I had been to at the time! But more than how the studio looked, the movements felt better in my body. The approach to teaching wasn’t so rigid and by pairing movements with music, it felt more like dance. I always left the studio feeling lighter than I had when I arrived. I still remember, maybe 2 or 3 years ago, always working to make it to Robyn’s Thursday evening cardio pilates class (present day Get Hot) because I always left feeling light, even joyful.

What is it about teaching that lights you up?

My motivation to teach is to spread all that I love about moving to others. I want people to actually enjoy exercise like I do, not view it as a chore or as a means to an end. I love the mental high I get from exercise, the endorphins and serotonin. I love pushing my body to what I may perceive as limits and then pushing past those. It creates a feeling of accomplishment and growth. It’s the highest compliment when someone tells me after class, “that was tough, but I enjoyed it.” I also love the sense of community we experience in a group class setting, feeding off each other’s energy. As an instructor, it’s very rewarding to watch a class move together in front of you, and to actually smile through the more challenging sequences.

If your best friend were to describe you in three words, what would those words be?

She said happy, energetic, loyal.

Standout memory from your time at MISFIT?

Ooo I have to go with the first time I did Get Physical with Amber. I think we get the picture I’m often chasing that mental high from moving, but this was special. The movements felt so good in my body – the big arm circles, the wide plies, grapevining across the room, high kicks. It brought me back to being a kid in jazz class. Amber had the music playing really loud so you could just lose yourself in it and move with the room. I remember thinking “Holy shit, this is gooood”.

What do you do to stay grounded?

Moving on a daily basis keeps me grounded. It’s like therapy for me. I’ve been active for my entire life and really “sweating it out” helps me settle my mind. It can be simple like a long walk or intense like boxing but I need that daily movement to keep grounded. I find I’m able to work through questions or problems, come up with great ideas and let go of stress through exercise. Plus, a good daily sweat helps me sleep like a rock every night.

Where can we find you on a Sunday afternoon in the city?

Sunday is for three things: family, friends and food. Sunday almost certainly includes a walk with my dog, Carter and husband, Mike. It’s the one day the three of us can go on a walk together, so we will often head to Trinity Bellwoods and then cruise the area for coffee and sweets, usually at Sud, my second most favourite place on Queen Street West ;). Sunday is also a day for family and friends, so we may visit my family in Guelph, BBQ with friends in the city or hit a patio. Once the winter hits, I also love to bake and do a bit of meal prep.

If you could go back in time and live in any era, what would it be and why?

Hmm I think the 70’s. I’d love to live through all the bell bottoms, platforms and disco dancing and then be around for the rise of hip hop. Maybe it’s just a Get Down inspired fantasy.

Favourite class to teach?

I do love all the cardio classes, but going to go with Get Physical.

Queen Street or Ossington?

It’s hard to choose but I’m going to go with Ossington. I love the sunlight that comes through the windows and the view of the skyline from upstairs. Plus, Ossington is where we had our Teacher Training and ultimately where I became comfortable enough to teach.

Song you have on repeat?

Currently it’s Ultimatum – Disclosure (feat. Fatoumata Diawara)

Who is a Woman Warrior that inspires you?

To be honest, I find my inspiration in the women around me who are all Warrior Women in their own right. My mother for selflessly raising two girls, my nonna for finding a home in a new country, my aunt for keeping the highest spirits in the face of adversity, my sister for getting on a bike and making 55 bodies MOVE (shout out Ride Cycle Club), my sister-in-law for thriving at her own business, my best friend for making her dream to live abroad happen...the list goes on and on. I draw inspiration from the women all around us who are brave enough to choose their own path and own it.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?

I’m not sure what this is called but the ability to travel anywhere in seconds, to just think of a place and be there.

Favourite words to live by?

Let love rule.

How do you like to start and end your day? Any go-to rituals?

During the week, I always start my day with exercise, whether it’s a class or a long walk to my office. Then COFFEE. I enjoy slower paced weekend mornings, awakening to enjoy coffee, breakfast and a lazy walk with Carter. At the end of the day, I try to unplug early and turn off my phone about 2 hours before bed.

Favourite podcast?

I’ve been listening to a lot of Bulletproof Radio lately. I love life, so it would be great to live way beyond 100!

What does being a MISFIT mean to you?

To me, being a MISFIT is embracing the freedom to do what feels right for you.

Come MOVE with Deanna! Find her on the MISFITSTUDIO schedule.

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