ABOUT

ROBYN THALER HICKEY

Owner and Instructor

Toronto Pilates

I’m Robyn… and I love Pilates!

Pilates is more than just fitness – It’s a form of movement. It goes beyond rock hard abs, treadmills, and weight lifting. It’s about being comfortable in your own skin, understanding how your body moves, and building strength with a quiet confidence.

Before leaving my Nova Scotia roots behind to move to “the Big Smoke” to pursue a career in the performing arts, I completed my B.A. Degree in Drama and English Literature from Mount Allison University (Sackville, NB).  After studying theatre arts and diving into the real acting world, I discovered that being fit was considered a part of the job. But I’ve never been a fan of the gym – all the frenzied flexing and fluorescent lighting made me break out in a cold sweat. (Not the kind of sweat you’re supposed to find at a gym…)

In my quest to find an approach to fitness that I actually liked, I discovered Pilates. And it was love at first imprint*.

*This is a geeky Pilates joke. We can still be friends even if you didn’t find it funny.

At my local Pilates studio, I watched instructors at work with injured clients, and I was captivated. I saw them confidently help people move through their pain, and get back to doing the activities they loved. The positive impact was contagious – I wanted to do that too! So, I left my career in acting to study biomechanics and Pilates.

I developed my passion for movement and an expertise in rehabilitation starting with Pilates Process Toronto, a method of Pilates with roots in physiotherapy. I continued my education with certifications in Functional Anatomy for Movement and Injury (Mount Sinai, NYC) and chronic pain management (Polestar Pilates). I am a certified instructor with the Pink Ribbon Program – a physical rehab program designed for breast cancer survivors, I am certified in Level One Pilates for Neurological Conditions and TRX. I also have my Level One Movement for Trauma certification and in 2021, I had the opportunity to work with the International Labour Organization’s Canadian and Myanmar chapters, teaching Pilates and self-regulation techniques. 

Pelvic Floor health is an area I specialize in and I am particularly passionate about. I became very interested in pelvic health after the birth of my son. As a Pilates instructor, I felt the pressure to ‘bounce back’ after baby, but that mentality didn’t sit well with me. Pregnancy and birth are massive events for the body to experience. I wanted to approach my recovery postpartum as I would when working with with my clients; one building block at a time. I delved deep into the world of pelvic floor, eventually completing my dual certification in the Pre and Post-Natal Core Confidence Program (focusing on pelvic health and physical movement for the pre-natal and postpartum body, as well as a focus in Diastasis Recti) and the Core Confidence Program (focusing on pelvic health, such as incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and pelvic girdle pain).

I have built relationships with several Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists and we consult back and forth to give our mutual clients a well-rounded program that will help the client meet their goals. I believe that pelvic floor health and function, when learned to be properly activated, can also alleviate back pain, incontinence concerns, hip pain, the list goes on! 

What I learned in my years of being a movement professional is this: Humans are amazing, dynamic creatures, capable of incredible physical feats! The human body never ceases to amaze me. Even in injury or pain, our resilience and ability to heal is astounding.

As your instructor, I’m here to help you move through your injury safely so you can feel strong and trust your body again. My goal is to support and encourage you as you regain the lost confidence that is a very common side effect of injury. When we work together, my mission is for you to feel comfortable in your skin, and reconnect with what your body is truly capable of.

You’ll leave our sessions better able to enjoy your daily activities… without the nagging worry of injury and pain.

    Marie Bouvet, Pilates Instructor

Hello, I would like to introduce myself. 

I have been a certified Pilates instructor for over twelve years. I have conducted classes in studio and private homes drawing from extensive repertoire of exercises, with or without apparatuses.

I have currently many referred clients who are progressing through a programme of rehabilitation. This was designed to suit their particular needs and abilities.

I have a positive, caring personality and readily communicate this passion and dedication for helping my clients. They appreciate the attention to detail as well as the range of benefit and progression they achieve in their health.

I have my Full certification as a Pilates instructor from STOTT PILATES.

I look forward to working with you, challenging you and motivating you in your fitness journey.

   Kat Franch, Pilates Instructor

My passion for feel-good movement runs deep.

To complement my love for movement, I hold certifications in Mat Pilates Instruction, Pre- and Postnatal Pilates, am trained in Reformer work and have a background in injury and trauma informed instruction.

I’m mindful meeting people where they are in their movement journey and I work to ensure that each client leaves feeling accomplished, proud, and most importantly, good!

My teaching style balances the classical Pilates principles with creativity and thoughtfulness for each client’s individual needs.

   Leila Shaffaf, Pilates Instructor

Hi, I’m Leila!

I love Pilates because the mindful movement practice helped me learn to recognize and appreciate my body’s existing strength in order to work with and not against it, despite challenges with chronic pain. The body and its ability to adapt fascinates me. This interest grew from a childhood with many casts and crutches, to teenage years in scoliosis treatment and a spinal fusion. I have a background in biomedical engineering and really enjoy learning about anatomy, movement, and our mind-body connection. I am certified in Mat and Reformer Pilates by Muse Movement in Toronto. And have taken courses to learn safe and effective strengthening for those with scoliosis and spinal fusions.

Whether for fitness or rehab, Pilates can be so many things: gentle and restorative, powerful and intense, focused and controlled, as well as silly and fun! How ever you like to move, I want you to have fun, connect with and learn about your body. I do my best to encourage you, spark curiosity and help you find some ease and joy in movement. My goal is to help people to commit to their practice, ride the waves and stick with it. In our long lives, consistency is key, and every little bit counts. Congratulations on taking the first steps! I look forward to working with you!

   Nicole Thacker, Pilates and Essentrics Instructor

Nicole Thacker (she/her) is a certified Essentrics instructor and a Certified Pilates teacher. She believes movement is medicine and should be fun, and creative and leave you feeling empowered and connected in your body.

She aims to build classes and private sessions that are accessible to all by offering various variations and layers for you to choose what feels best in your body on any given day.  

  Natali Osadchin, Pilates Instructor

          Natali is a certified Pilates instructor with a deep love for art, nature, and anything rooted in beauty, line and form. Her classes are contemporary with a                classic feel, with a focus on accessibility and providing modifications for all levels.
         Growing up with anatomical postural issues, Pilates was the only practice that provided not only immediate relief but also long-lasting solutions for                      Natali, and she is excited to share it with others.

   Eleanor Van Veen, Pilates Instructor

Hi Rebalance movers! I’m Eleanor van Veen — a certified pilates instructor, contemporary-based dance artist, dance educator, coffee-enthusiast, and music-lover in Toronto. Growing up on Cape Breton Island, I danced competitively and played many sports. Since my childhood, I have felt a fundamental need to move and be moved, which influences my ever-flowing-and-feeling practices today.

Movement has brought me immense awareness, joy, patience, and presence. It is a pleasure to share this with others through gentle, enjoyable, and/or challenging flows. My pilates offerings lean towards mobility, stability, strength, and things that just feel good. My practice is accessible and trauma informed. I have worked with many people ranging from the ages of 5 to 75. From my own experience with chronic pain and injuries as a professional dancer, I whole-heartedly understand the importance of tuning in, and I lead privates and semi-privates for people to safely try this.

I am excited for this opportunity to make meaningful connections with Rebalance movers, as they make meaningful connections to their own bodies. Thank you for reading this, and I hope we can flow together soon.
   Sarina Moledina, Pilates Instructor
Sarina has been on her movement journey since the age of 3 – starting with ballet and gymnastics, Sarina has also danced jazz and acro and cheered competitively for over 15 years, loving every minute on the dance floor or the mat.
When her corporate job brought her downtown, Sarina discovered her love of Pilates and started practicing at studios across the city. With a foundation built in full-body integration and healing through movement, Pilates was a great challenge for Sarina, helping her grow strength and confidence while helping her connect to her body, and work through injuries.
Sarina believes that Pilates is for everybody and is proud to be a part of the Rebalance Community!

  Julie D’Uva, Pilates Instructor

Hi, I’m Julie and I’m excited to be a Pilates Instructor offering private Reformer sessions here at Rebalance. With a background in sociology and communications, and a lifelong passion for movement, I’ve developed a deep curiosity about human behaviour, connection and how we navigate life both physically and emotionally. 

My journey has been shaped by overcoming physical setbacks, which has influenced my teaching philosophy. I centre my approach on gratitude for the body’s resilience, understanding firsthand the challenges that health issues can pose to mobility, and how rewarding it can be to regain strength in the body.

I believe the ability to move our bodies is a true privilege, essential for living well and achieving our goals. My mission is to empower others to build strength and discover the joy and vibrancy that comes with a dedicated Pilates practice.

I came to see Robyn to fix my chronic lower back issues for good. Robyn was quick to assess my limitations of movement (which were many) and set about getting me back on track.

As I saw results, I started to increase my visits. Robyn varies our sessions with so many different exercises that I am long past counting. Her approach has been measured and consistently more difficult as I have become stronger.

Robyn is dedicated to the mechanical and anatomical side of Pilates, and is happy to explain things to me in detail. Her love of anatomy is infectious.

Robyn’s sessions have seriously added to the quality of my life. Getting out of bed pain free, being able to shovel my driveway, being able to carry camera equipment around all day without fatigue or pain – these are small but tangible improvements in my daily life. I am ready to start up other activities I haven’t been able to do in years.”

- John C.