Erin Lindsay has a knack for selling out shows—first as a Rockette, and now as a SoulCycle instructor.
"SoulCycle really is like dancing on a bike," says Lindsay, who spent six years as a Radio City Rockette before transitioning to SoulCycle.
“Let’s do this damn thing!” Erin Lindsay shouts to the crowd. “Yeah! Yeah!” a high-ponytailed girl shouts in reply from the front row. “Are there any first timers?” Lindsay asks. A hand slowly rises in the back from one of the few male, and even fewer non-Lululemon-wrapped, participants. “Hi, there.” Lindsay waves to him. “Welcome to the clan.”
Make that the cult. Fifty-five “riders” fill the candlelit room at Chestnut Hill’s SoulCycle this Sunday morning, with Lindsay at the helm—yelling, sweating, dancing, singing, laughing, and spinning on her stationary bike so hard that her shock of red hair shimmies. Part drill sergeant (“Faster! Faster!”), part spiritual guru (“Make this more than a workout—set your intention”), she personifies the principle of tough love. The music is unequivocally awesome: Ellie Goulding, Rihanna, Vicetone, Flume. By the third song (there are 10 during the 45-minute indoor cycling class), the riders are bouncing up and down, right and left, as perfectly synchronized as a line of Rockettes… with whom Lindsay, incidentally, once danced.
"I saw the Rockettes for the first time when I was 7 years old," she recalls. "They were performing at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, where I grew up. I said to my dad, 'I want to do that one day.'" While a student at Marymount Manhattan College, she auditioned five times before being hired on the sixth. From Radio City Music Hall in New York to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Lindsay high-kicked her way across the country for six years. Going into her seventh year, Erin decided she was also interested in pursuing a career in fitness. As a result, she put her dance career on hold so she could help others find the same joy through movement that inspired her.
Lindsay had heard about SoulCycle and decided to try it. “I ended up falling in love with it,” she says, “but they were emotional rides. I had a lot of confusion about what I should be doing, and SoulCycle was my way to clear my mind and have confidence again. I was riding for my life.” Marvin Foster Jr., SoulCycle’s senior manager of new talent, noticed her. “Her energy was palpable,” he says. “She lifted the people up who were riding around her.” He offered her a job.
At noon sharp every Monday, SoulCycle opens sign-up for classes. By 12:02, Lindsay’s classes are often sold out. People like MaryRose Pino are one reason why. Recovering from a debilitating fall, she now takes five classes a week, all with Lindsay, as part of her physical therapy. “Erin has helped me regain my self-confidence,” Pino says. “She pushes you to your maximum, but in a way that you want to be that much better.” The same could be said about SoulCycle for Lindsay, now enjoying her second year as an instructor. “I love the feeling of anticipation and adrenaline and never, ever, ever giving up,” she says. “That is what SoulCycle means to me.” 200-230 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, 617-658-9010