Stacey’s class is more aspirational than challenging – it’s not the hardest class you’ll take, but it IS the most well-thought out. Due to her history with the brand, her workouts seem to embody what Soul stands for. The East 83rd Street studio suits her, as it has a ton of bikes and can accommodate all of her disciples. We also love her use of the disco ball and the black light in Studio A. If you’re able to get into one of Stacey’s classes, it’s a worthwhile experience.
In every class at Soul, there’s usually a clear moment when class starts. Not in Stacey’s class … It just starts. She doesn’t say anything, so pay attention. For the first three songs, she said maybe 10 words total. Throughout class, you’ll come to rely on your ability (and the cues of her regulars) more than her. She doesn’t ride the bike but she is on the podium dancing for pretty much the entire class. We recommend you book a bike in the middle of the room so you can see her and feed off her energy. The choreography was limited to tap backs and side crunches, but these were incorporated seamlessly into the ride and didn’t feel gratuitous. She was passionate about the technical aspect of the tapback (probably because she invented them). Her playlist was fun to ride to, and full of familiar songs, always with a beat you could catch quite easily. The ride was balanced and varied – one minute we were on a hill, the next we were riding on the beat with a tapback, and sometimes she broke up one song into intervals (a mix of moderate riding and sprints). The “arms” workout was more of an arm plus core workout, which is a bonus in our book.
Stacey is the Soul guru. She doesn’t talk much so when she does, you tend to hang on every word. Stacey tries to make eye contact with her riders, which is a powerful gesture. She is effortlessly cool and stylish, and probably inspired the Athleisure trend. Stacey has been with the brand since its humble beginnings, and riding with her is as close to the founding principles of Soul as you can get. She knows the moves better than anyone, and her insights on form and the purpose of the choreography is from a place of authority. She pushed us – in a positive way – to ride for ourselves. She prompted visualization and introspective moments, which allowed us to go deeper within ourselves, find more inspiration, and to go a little longer and a little harder. It was a mind, body and Soul experience. As class ended, she told us “Go live your best life.” There is no denying the rush of endorphins she elicits.
The East 83rd Street location is huge. It has two levels and two studios which are usually booked to capacity. Studio A has 71 bikes. The sheer number of people in class is inspiring but the space os also tricked out with a disco ball and black lights. LOVE. It’s worth noting that this location is starting to show the wear and tear that comes with the high volume of ridership, though. The lockers and men’s and women’s rooms are on the lower level. There are a decent amount of showers (four) but the ratio of people to showers is not ideal. The studio has all of the Soul amenities you know and love. The women’s locker room doesn’t have a great deal of ventilation (probably because it is on the lower level), so with all the hair dryers going, your shower may not fully “take.” This is less than ideal. The retail space is the largest of any location and they have EVERYTHING, so don’t fret if you forget something!
1470 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10028 Upper East Side Spin $$$$
SoulCycle East 83rd Street
Upper East Side Spin, $$$$
1470 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10028
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Black nail polish, earrings, a whole lotta tats, and love for lovin’ best describes Noa. And did we mention he loves rock/punk? If you’re ready to rock (and we mean ROCK) out, then you must give Noa a chance. Noa pulls you into his world of love and warmth from the moment class starts. He gives shout outs to his regulars and encourages riders right from the start. We’ll just warn you upfront that his style and music selection (99.9% hard rock/punk) is nothing we’ve ever experienced at SoulCycle. It’s likely you’ll forget you’re in a spin class when you’re with Noa. He has the ability to capture you and pull you from the outside in. Get ready to enter Noa’s world.
As for his workout, Noa was light on jumps but he sure did enjoy choreography. From around the world to tap backs and push-ups with claps, he incorporated all of the advanced moves. For those of you who haven’t tried the push-up clap, it’s not as easy as it looks. Our recommendation: make sure to engage your abs, otherwise it won’t be pretty. While it wasn’t the hardest class we’ve taken, we left feeling spiritual and more in touch with our inner selves than when we entered. Turn up the resistance and you’re guaranteed to get a solid sweat.
Daniel is outgoing and started by greeting people as they checked in at the front desk. Upon entering the studio, it felt warm before class even started, and we were the first class that day … Daniel acknowledged the temperature and assured us they would get it cooled off, which they did. We started class with a two song warm up, nothing too strenuous. During class, we definitely got our sweat on. We tackled some sprints, a couple of moderate hills and hit up some choreography – love those sexy corners. His playlist was good and, while we didn’t recognize many of the songs, there was always a great beat to ride to.
Between the air situation and his laptop, Daniel seemed distracted. He faced his computer (not class) about 50% of the time, but when he dialed into the class, the energy in the room was great. When he was distracted, the energy dipped, the room was out of sync and it was hard to stay engaged.
Olivia is the epitome of inspiration both in and out of the studio (ICYMI, she won the Biggest Loser in 2011). Her own personal fitness journey infiltrates her Soul teaching style and we drink that up. Olivia has a ton of energy and she works the room (she didn’t ride in our class). She used her movements off the bike to help keep the room in sync: she was the conductor and we were her orchestra. There was a good amount of choreography (mostly tap backs and push ups) which worked with each song fluidly, and her playlist was on point! Olivia had several tips on form and offered different perspectives on how to think about and achieve proper form throughout class. She was vigilant about checking in on our form, giving tips or giving riders shoutouts for riding with proper form. Olivia is big on gratitude and her inspirational tidbits will give you all the feels. When you leave Olivia’s class you will be drenched in sweat, riding that Soul high with a smile on your face.
If you like dancing on the bike at Soul, you should check out Emma’s class. Every song (even in our warm up) had choreography. There wasn’t a Soul-inspired move we didn’t do! The ride was not dominated by fast runs or crushing hills; it walked the fine line between the two, making for an even-keeled yet challenging ride. Emma played with intervals, varying the intensity with purpose. But her cue to add resistance was a bit confusing: “add a centimeter.” Consistency is key. “Put a little on”, “half turn”, “quarter turn”, etc. should be the Soul gold standard, just sayin…..
The weights portion of the ride was a full upper body workout, and we even got into the abs with some of her moves – not mad about that! Emma’s playlist was good but some songs were a bit obscure. At least they all had a beat, making it easier to ride to the rhythm as a pack.
Emma didn’t ride with us and roamed the room as she taught. She had great energy but it can be hard to command all of that space from the floor. That’s not to say she didn’t give it her all! There was a lot of YES!, WHOOP! and GO! Emma is definitely there to cheer you on. Overall, Emma’s class is what we have come to expect from SoulCycle – definitely a solid option if you are up for it!
Junior is a force of positivity who teaches a class that will have you sprinting your legs off one minute and climbing an epic hill the next. You’ll leave class feeling worked but with a sense of strength, accomplishment and pride because Junior celebrates that aspect of the workout as well.
From the moment Junior walked into the studio, he radiated positivity, strength and happiness. He never stopped smiling and reminded us to smile too – it’s easy to forget when you’re pushing up that hill! Junior gave us the option to be “strong or stronger” in our 45 minutes together. He “spoke Soul”, emphasizing the importance of showing up for yourself and working hard. Junior rode the entire class with us – hopping off the bike just a couple of times to encourage us to push harder up that hill or faster in that sprint. He led a grueling arms workout, which he did with us using two five-pounders in each hand so he could “feel our pain.” After Junior’s class, we wanted to take a nap, so when he told us during our stretch that he was off to track practice, we were shocked. He lives and breathes hard work and he will bring out the work horse in you, too.