After living in Los Angeles for three years, one thing I've learned is that some of the best parties are thrown at fitness studios. Weird, right? Kinda, but true. I've been to birthday parties where an entire studio is decorated in honor of the person celebrating, I've spent a day doing yoga on the beach for a bachelorette party, and I've even "walked the red carpet" to a Studio 54 party at a barre class.
In a city that has no seasons, we often forget that Memorial Day is the official kick-off to summer. To properly celebrate, SoulCycle kicked off summer, and the re-opening of its seasonal studios (including Malibu) in style with a private "Summer of Soul" ride Thursday night in Hollywood. And it was an incredible event. When guests arrived, they had an opportunity to take photos in a Bosco photo booth that could be shared online, printed, or sent to friends via email. Each bike in the studio was decorated with the popular silver SoulCycle bags that were filled with goodies, and as we clipped into the bike, the instructor walked into the room. Senior instructor, Roarke Walker, who is probably the most attractive person I've ever seen in real life, excitedly greeted the room and thanked the riders before getting everyone excited about the 45-minute celebration.
SoulCycle has a reputation for their playlists, and this was no exception. As we rode, cheered, waved our towels in the air and pulled our hips back for our beach bodies to great music, Roarke smiled on the podium. Like, seriously, he smiled the entire time. I have no idea how as I could barely breathe from how much resistance he asked us to put on the bike. When asked about that resistance, he told me, "The full-time re-opening of our seasonal studios creates an infectious energy among our riders from coast to coast. We all want to dance to great the music on the bike, celebrate, and push ourselves even harder. Tonight I made everyone crank up the resistance on purpose. I wanted you to think about how great your butt would look on the beach if you turned up the resistance!" I tried to be mad, but seriously, that smile.
After class, we were invited to relax and enjoy some post-ride refreshments. Skinny Pop, Do, Cookie Dough Confections and Pressed Juicery was the spread. I also took a second to peek inside the gift bag that was decorating my bike, and I found a limited edition Summer of Soul tour tee, listing all season studios on the back, similar to a vintage concert tee, as well as some summer essentials like a beach towel, beach ball, Olly vitamins, Essie nail polish and Sage&Row shave cream. Like I said, these places know how to throw a party.
SoulCycle has parties like this often, so keep an eye out for their weekly emails and Soul Wrap-Ups at the end of the week. The next studio opening in Los Angeles (and accompanying party) is in Manhattan Beach. See you there!