For SMU students who want a little flash and funk with their workout, SoulCycle is the place to see and be seen.
The national spin studio, known for training celebrities and athletes, opened up its first Dallas location in May and students are flocking to it.
“Every time I go to SoulCycle I swear I leave smiling. It’s one of the only workouts I actually get excited to go to,” junior Lauren Hutchinson said. Hutchinson loves it enough to pay $30 per session. Classes require an online pre-registration, since there are only 60 bikes available. The studio also features a boutique, selling SoulCycle’s branded fitness apparel and accessories. Prices range from $50 to $200 per item.
The biking boutique located off of Northwest Highway in Preston Hollow is one of 67 studio locations nationwide. The studio is brightly illuminated with neon inspirational signs, sleek white lockers line the walls and riders train to the hottest club music.
But bring your wallets, because SoulCycle doesn’t offer discounts to buy packages of classes. Instead, it’s pay-as-you-go per class, which officials say ensures customers purchase classes they actually use.
SoulCycle employees believe each rider should pay the same price per class and that everyone should have the same experience. Group packages, different price levels for members and discounts can compromise the integrity of the experience, said Leura Burdine, studio manager at the Preston Hollow location.
Andrew Wright, an SMU alumnus and SoulCycle employee, estimates that 10 to 15 percent of customers are SMU students.
SoulCycle extends group rides to sororities as part of its advertising campaign and plans to host SMU campus events such as bike demos and complimentary classes, Wright said.
Lindsay Barns, an SMU senior and SoulCycle employee, says each spinner can burn 500 to 700 calories per 45-minute class.
“The founder of SoulCycle once said, you dress up to show up,” said Shelby Dunn, SoulCycle employee and SMU Pi Beta Phi President.
The employees also believe quality fitness clothes motivate the mind and boost confidence; if you look better, you perform better.
“It’s the same argument for why you would wear a suit to work, to demand respect from others and demonstrate that you see value in what you are doing,” Dunn said.
SoulCycle plans to expand its empire by opening another Texas location in Austin this month.