An Artist and an Athlete

A friend of mine who is a successful dancer and choreographer told me how she was both an Artist and an Athlete.

I have seen her perform Cirque du Soleil back bending awe-inspiring moves on the stage. Using muscles and strength, contorting her body, kicking, flexing, soaring! There is also a narrative to her dance, a story she is telling a character she is becoming… Certainly that is part of what makes the audience respond and connect.

This friend of mine tried to tell me that Dance is the only place that artistry and athleticism achieve synergy.

Well not if you’re a SHiFTer.

As an instructor I have the esteemed privilege of making playlists. I have been teaching spin for 14 years and still every time I go to make a playlist, it feels like an honor. Approaching it as an athlete, class leaders craft playlists which combine momentum and movement, syncopation and strength, rhythm and resistance.

It is also like making a mix tape for a cute boy!! I think of my riders, I think of the lyrics, the mood of each song, creating something as an Artist.

What happens at SHiFT is that everyone who walks up those stairs becomes a Warrior Poet!

I see the fierce determination on each face. I recognize that alchemy occurring, where body and soul meet. The sprint may generate from the core, but the spirit takes over at some point. You may get up the hill with your glutes, but why are you smiling and actually having fun? When you hit the saddle for an interval it’s not just a change in music that catapults us to follow along, it’s a connection you are forming – to the music, to the bike, to the room, to yourself…. Your narrative takes hold. Artistry and Athleticism.

So I told my dancer friend about SHiFT where an indoor cycling class is turned into a journey. I hope she comes to a class soon. I hope you are sweating next to her, as the Artist and Athlete you always are every time you enter the SHiFT arena.

Guest written by SHiFT instructor Emily Webster.