I’m really curious how you would respond; would you teach for SoulCycle?
But before you answer, imagine you had the following conversation at the end of your last class…
A women approaches while you’re collecting your stuff.
“Hi .” “My name is Elizabeth Cutler and I really enjoyed your class tonight.”
You respond; “you’re welcome Elizabeth.” “I enjoyed seeing your smile there in the back.”
Then she looks you square in the eye and asks a question that could change your life…
“I’m one of the founders of SoulCycle Indoor Cycling and we are opening a new studio near by, later this Spring.”
“Would you consider being one of our Instructors?”
Flabbergasted by her offer, you open your mouth to respond. But before any sounds come out she continues…
“I realize that you have a devoted following here and I’ll understand if you say no.
“Before you decide, I’d like to explain that our Instructors earn on average $50,000 per year, many considerably more, teaching 8 classes a week. We really want to keep you once we have you, so we offer a full benefit package that includes excellent health insurance.
“So what do you say ?”
“Are you ready to teach at SoulCycle?”
What prompted this post is a fascinating article; The Carefully Cultivated Soul of SoulCycle in New York Magazine.
Do you have any participants like this person, who sounds like she’s traded one unhealthy addiction for another?
“I would do anything that I could to afford these rides,” says 27-year-old Jaime, who often takes thirteen classes a week (estimated cost: $21,632 per year). She’s arranged her schedule to have Mondays off work so that she can always be at her computer the moment classes are released. She counts her instructors among her closest friends. Her social life revolves around people she’s met at SoulCycle. On the anniversary of her father’s death, her instructor had the class ride to “Nessun Dorma” from Turandot, one of Jaime’s father’s favorite operas. “I’m seven years sober. You don’t really get love and acceptance and encouragement and self-gratification from a cocktail,” Jaime says. “I mean, I … this is what I need in my life, and it just so happened it’s an exercise class.”
Interesting how the founders of SoulCycle split along the lines of Indoor Cycling 2.0 – entertainment based vs. results driven classes.
But as much as the performative aspects keep riders coming back, they have also driven more serious athletes away, often into the open arms of Flywheel, where a metrics-based workout is coupled with more self-restraint. Though Ruth Zukerman declines to discuss her exit from SoulCycle, some chalk it up to a difference in instructor style. “It’s a slippery slope, because sometimes when you build these superstars, it kind of goes to their head and they become divas,” she says. “Yes, be entertaining, be inspiring, but at the end of the day, it’s about the rider. It’s not about you.”
Now I realize that there are many who would recoil in horror at the thought of being affiliated with SoulCycle…
They’re clearly offering people a form of exercise they enjoy and are willing to pay big money to attend. Spend a few minutes looking at the Instructor bios and you’ll see most have the same (if not better) credentials than many of the Instructors that I know personally.