We’re excited to post our Q&A with Jennifer Nichols, founder and owner of The Extension room and developer of The Extension Method™. Read below on how this toning program sure to get you a dancer’s body for the upcoming summer and how you can WIN a pass for you and a friend to get started!
TF: Why did you design The Extension Method™?
J: I originally began to design The Extension Method™ in 2003 for a few different reasons. I was at a point in my dance career where I was complimenting my daily class work with extra conditioning at the gym, and it was inevitable that whatever I did there, some ballet technique snuck in. People starting asking me what I was doing and if I could show them some exercises. At the same time I met a chiropractor who treated dancers and athletes. He saw the potential benefits of dance training for athletes and wanted to find a dancer who was keen to apply these and create a program. So, under his encouragement, I started to develop The Extension Method™.
TF: Dance and ballet has since reached cult status for working out. What makes The Extension Method™ different from barre classes and other forms of dance fusion?
J: What makes The Extension Method™ stand apart from other forms of dance/ballet fitness, is that it is the only program that is a ‘fully comprehensive’ workout, not just a barre workout. I started creating this program over 10 years ago, long before it became a fad. It has evolved into a program that covers all aspects of fitness in 6 uniquely focused classes targeting different areas. The Extension Method™ now includes:
- Allegro Ballet Bootcamp (our most popular class)
- Developpe Ballet Sculpt
- Barre 101
- Classical Core & Port de Bras
- Coda Ballet Cardio
- Adagio Ballet Stretch
I have been told by students that have tried out other barre classes that the Extension Method Barre 101 has far more ‘dance’ involved; we don’t simply use a barre as a ‘prop’ to hold onto and perform basic fitness movements. Participants are actually performing proper classical ballet movements that are adapted for a fitness focus. Part of the difference is that our instructors are all current or former professional ballet dancers who have danced with major companies and/or trained at serious professional ballet schools.
TF: Why did you choose King East for the location of The Extension Room?
J: I guess I could say I didn’t choose King East originally, it chose me. I had opened a studio in the west end of Toronto in 2010 and was open for under a year when the building sold. It was devastating to have to move, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. After searching the city everywhere for another location…I happened upon this stunning building at 30 Eastern Avenue. It needed a lot of work but I saw the potential and was sold on the sheer size of the place. So I got to work with a contractor, gutted the space and rebuilt my own style. With dance, the most important thing is room to move, and space is such a rare commodity in a downtown urban neighbourhood. I couldn’t pass up the potential in that space, despite the risk of moving my core demographic to the east end.
Participants who pop in for class on the weekend can enjoy brunch afterwards at chef Jamie Kennedy’s incredible Gilead Cafe which is just next door, or stroll one block south to the beautiful Distillery District. The development all around me is incredibly exciting and I absolutely LOVE our Corktown community.
Comment below with whether or not you think you’re a good dancer to be entered to WIN two passes to the Extension Method™ class of your choice! The winner will be chosen on May 31st. Good luck Fashionistas!