I taught my first class this past Thursday! I really enjoyed the experience. Given the day started with blizzard like conditions, I was unsure if the gyms would remain open. Fortunately the amount of snow was about four inches and the hurricane like winds blew it off the south end of Manhattan. The snow had stopped by mid afternoon and mass transit wasn’t affected. So class was on!
I spent the morning unpacking my new apartment. I then spent an hour or so running through a full 45 minute class playlist and finalizing what I hoped to be a fun, but challenging class. Previously I had only created twelve minutes of instruction for my audition with the club. The audition process in and of its self was interesting, feeling like an acting audition more than any interview I ever went on.
Prior to the audition, I became certified as a Schwinn Indoor Cycling Instructor and AHA CPR & AED student. I then spent countless hours going to the best indoor cycling classes around Manhattan to learn and critique instructors, keeping the best elements in mind when creating my indoor cycling experience. I was fortunate enough to have a friend’s friend mentor me, providing invaluable, behind the scenes tips in the life of an indoor cycling instructor. She let me hear myself on a mic prior to a class she taught, which was an interesting experience, then she killed worked us hard for the next 45 minutes. Thanks Ariella!
Prior to the audition, I took a class in the Times Square gym location where the audition was to be held and chatted up the teacher afterwards. He provided some insight into the audition process, then told me to stay and mess around in the studio, use the stereo, project my voice into the space and just get comfortable with instructing. As he left he told me to “spin like a mad man” which I did two days later.
The audition was interesting. To calm my nerves, I arrived a few hours early, wanting additional time to go over my audition in the actual space. When time came, I felt confident in my routine. There were several instructors and myself. We were to each answer a question about cycling instruction prior to completing a five minute segment of our “class”. I nailed my question and took the energy of the class to a different level. I think I may have scared one of the women, as I screamed “SPRINT” during Foo Fighters’ Run. After nearly two hours of cycling auditions and weeks of preparation my first audition was a success! Seven business days later I found out I passed and got the gig.
Back to Bomb Cyclone Day…
To ensure that I was comfortable in the cycling studio, I arrived early to inspect the room, stereo system, lights, etc. The gym was fairly new and had a great view of Avenue A from the fifth floor. I was surprised at how packed the gym was at 6 PM. According to the online schedule, the class was listed as full so I was unsure what to expect in terms of participation. As I adjusted my bike and set the bikes in the class back to a baseline fit, I began to get a little anxious. I had to perform 33 minutes of previously untested material to strangers. I could not tell if it was to be a class full of regulars or a bunch of New Year’s resoluters.
Beastie Boys “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” played over the speakers as people started to filter in. I chatted the individuals up as they set up their bikes and warmed up. Only a quarter of the bikes ended up being taken and people lined the back half of the room, as human nature demands. With class starting in a minute any major anxiety seemed to have blown away with the snow.
The whole experience was interesting. I fumbled through cueing some songs and came through strong on my very rehearsed audition portion. Watching the class was new to me. Some individuals seemed in tune with what I was doing, others not so much. Scanning the room, certain individuals cracked small smiles in between huge breaths, while some avoided eye contact altogether. At first I thought I had maybe offended them, looking at them too long while I instructed, but one guy came up after class and thanked me. So maybe they just don’t feel the need to look at the teacher. Fine with me, I’m just glad I didn’t scare them.
A few students hung around after class to say thanks or that they liked my music selection, asking me to share the playlist. Needless to say I was ecstatic to hear that nearly half of the class participants enjoyed themselves, enough to hang back for a few minutes. The rest rushed out, as many often due, time being of the utmost importance in a place like NYC.
I walked out on high. It was more fun then I could have imagined! There is plenty of room for improvement as I get more comfortable yelling at a room full of people and become more familiar with the music. I have two new classes next week to practice this routine, before I have to switch the music up.
Please let me know if you are in NYC and looking for indoor cycling classes to take, I would be honored to teach new people!