Dana Canino wanted to build a community within New York that was warm and inviting through a business in which she could give back to the charity of her choice. The result? The Movement fitness studio. With the tag line “Give back. Move forward.”, Dana and co-founder/husband Jordan are doing just that, donating $1 per person per class to the National Brain Tumor Society in honor of Jordan’s mother. Dana shares her experience of pursuing her passion for creating awesome customer experiences, how she incorporated her spiritual nature into the business, and why she thinks there’s plenty of room for all fitness studios to succeed.

Merging Fitness and Philanthropy. Meet Dana Canino.

Talentedly: What were you doing before The Movement?

Dana Canino: I started my career at a tech startup company called Yext. I learned a lot of invaluable sales skills at Yext. I then went on to become the Miami Manager for LivingSocial Adventures. I created and executed unique events in Miami as well as hired, trained and managed a staff of 15+ employees to run my events. This is where I found my love for interacting with customers and creating awesome experiences for them. Both companies had incredible work environments and company cultures. They were innovative, efficient, fun and inspiring. They helped me know what kind of company culture and employees I wanted when creating The Movement.

TLY: What inspired you to start the company?

DC: My husband Jordan graduated Wharton Business School with a major in Entrepreneurship and always knew he wanted to start a business. I was ready to make the next move in my career and it was a natural step for us to create something together. We wanted to create something that helped others. A business in which we could give back to the charity of our choice, the National Brain Tumor Society. This is in honor of Jordan’s mother, Andrea. We donate $1 per person per class directly to the NBTS. We wanted to create a place we could be happy and passionate about every day. A community within New York that was warm and inviting that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

TLY: There’s a spiritual and mental component to your company — where did that come from? What’s the key to having both physical and mental strength? 

DC: I think it came naturally from the love we put into creating this business. I am a spiritual person by nature and think the key to having both is practicing and working on both. Many of our classes involve strengthening, not just the body, but the mind and spirit as well.

TLY: How do you choose which classes to offer? Do you have a favorite?

DC: Our classes were developed by all-star instructors in NYC who created innovative and effective methods but had nowhere to house them. We are a hub for those methods. It’s fun because that gives us the freedom to have many different types of classes so our clients will never get bored and there’s something for everyone. I definitely don’t have a favorite – that’s like choosing a favorite child 🙂 I love them all equally but for different reasons.

The Talent Pool: Dana Canino

TLY: What has been the most challenging part of building your own company?

DC: Having to make major decisions and trust in them. You have to follow your heart and trust your gut and be confident that it will all work out the way it should.

Also, building a staff that you love and trust is so important. You can’t teach nice. It’s crucial to surround yourself with people you enjoy and trust to help your business grow.

TLY: Do fitness studios play nice together? That is, are you more of a network or competition?

DC: We definitely are a huge support system! Jordan went to college with the owner of bari studio, Alexandra Bonnetti. She was a huge help for us when we were getting started. We have tried to pass that on and help other studios and new businesses in general who have reached out to us. I believe there is enough room for all of us to succeed, and if we support each other, we can all make it.

TLY: What has been the most rewarding experience with The Movement so far?

DC: I love the day to day interactions with our clients and seeing them happy from their experience here. Whether it’s sharing a laugh or talking about something deeper, I love connecting with and getting to know our clients.

Also, I love seeing my staff happy and bonding as friends and knowing that its because we created an enjoyable place for them to work.

Lastly, it touches me the most when people come in to work out and tell us their story of how cancer has affected them personally in one way or another. I am so glad to know that they feel rewarded for being able to give back to a great cause as they help better themselves as well. We are grateful to be able to donate to a great cause and hope it will positively affect people now and in years to come.

TLY: What skill has helped you most in your career?

DC: The only constant is change when creating and running a start up business. Being adaptable to change and being open minded throughout the creative process has been helpful.

I also think Jordan and I have done a good job with keeping life in perspective throughout this process. You have to look at the business long term and not stress about the small things. That will drive you crazy. Life is too short. You have to enjoy the ride.

TLY: Quote or mantra to live by?

DC: We lose ourselves in the things we love. We find ourselves there, too.

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