Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Workout Wednesday: Soul Cycle Instructor Interview with Hayes Callaway

Photography: Me ~ J Petite Photography
Thank you all for your amazing messages yesterday, and wishing me luck on my upcoming audition to become a Soul Cycle instructor. For today's "Workout Wednesday" I decided to interview my favorite Soul Cycle instructor Hayes Callaway. Hayes will always have a special place in my heart because he was my first instructor, and his energy made me addicted to Soul Cycle. 

Every week I look forward to riding in his class, and recently he announced that he is retiring from Soul Cycle after 3 years of teaching to continue his journey abroad in Thailand. I was so excited that Hayes agreed to interview, and shoot with me before his final week in Dallas. If you live in the Dallas area make sure you take his class before he's gone on the 16th!!! He seriously is amazing, and Dallas is going to miss this fun loving coach. 


Jess: What made you want to teach Soul Cycle?

Hayes: It was a funny story actually. I was in New York City, in college, really stressed out, and a friend of mine told me that you should go take a class. I was like "No I don't want to do that.... this cult stuff... I don't want to get mixed into that." My friend insisted that I go take a class, and I finally did. I will always remember that my first was a 7 am in West Village with Lilly. In my first class I think I sat for most of it, and didn't think I even finished the class. When I walked out of class I went to the showers, and sat in the shower with the cold water running over my head trying to understand what the hell I just did to my body. I was intrigued, like, I wanted to try it again, and figure it out. I kept going to a few classes, and then I took class from a guy named Parker.

Jess: Wait Parker Radcliff?

Hayes: Yes.

Jess: Funny story. Parker and I were good friends in high school in Utah, and dated as friends for a hot second. With following Parker on social media thats how I learned Soul Cycle existed. I freaking love Parker! He would make me laugh so hard!

Hayes: Stooopppp. He recruited me.

Jess: What was recruitment like?

Hayes: Its such a long process, and you'll be going through it. It's an audition, couple interviews, and finally got a call that I got into training. I did the training in New York, and then was teaching full time while doing 20 credits in college.

Jess: How long have you been in Dallas, and was it Soul Cycle that brought you here?

Hayes: I moved to Dallas as of May 2016 for Soul Cycle.

Jess: Were you hesitant about moving?

Hayes: No I've always been one of those people that can take a leap of faith, and trust that everything will fall into place, which I think really did. As I look around, and see what we have built here in the last 2 years I'm pretty proud of what we have done.

Jess: Yes the community between teachers, staff, and clients is absolutely amazing. That keeps people coming back. As a fitness instructor I really appreciate that there is a community within the studio because a lot of people like you and I aren't from Dallas, and gives people a sense of belonging to something. Also so many friendships are made though the community in the studio, which I think is amazing.

Jess: When you started teaching was it a natural thing for you or was it something you had to work at?

Hayes: Naturally as a person it's easy for me to pick out the good in someone when I'm just talking with someone, so teaching was easier for me because I was able to find those nuances. The biggest thing I had to develop was coaching, like, athleticism..... and being able to push people. I think I'm a good motivational coach, and mixing motivation with athleticism is where I think you peak.

Jess: You have a very distinct style in teaching like most of the instructors in Dallas. Has you style been something you've always had or has it developed?

Hayes: Definitely developed. Every single class you teach, regardless if you have taught a week or 25 years, as a fitness instructor you can learn. I constantly learn new ways to develop new things. Like "oh my gosh that drop was sick maybe if you tried it this way or that way." I remember when we first got on the field we would get so worried, and think that it was such a bad class. You can't think of it as a bad class because you got to think that there's going to be so many other classes that I am going to have, and odds are there are going to be some that are bad.

Jess: I just love your classes! Everytime I come into your class its so fresh, and never feel like your classes are mundane. It's easy to have a class feel stale when you take from one teacher, but I have never felt like that with you. How much time do you spend outside of the studio planning your classes? Just based upon your classes I feel like you put in a lot of work.

Hayes: I definitely put in a lot of work in terms of what the sound sounds like. I don't really plan out the choreography, and just ride with the music. It's kind of like when you are on the dance floor you are not really judging the moves you are making, and just kind of make it happen. I'm a huge advocate of not doing "hey were are to do 8 counts, 2 counts, 4 counts...." I like to take people on a journey.

Jess: Do they teach that with Soul Cycle?

Hayes: I think they try to teach it, but think it's something you have to personally develop yourself. It's about having an ear, and a unique way of listening to music so that you are able to hear it and bounce off that.

Jess: Do you get messages constantly about people saying they love your classes?

Hayes: When I announced I was leaving Soul Cycle it was a flood of really sweet messages. So many people said that I changed their life, and you don't really realize the impact you make on people until you step back and take a look at the bigger picture.

Jess: I completely agree. Soul Cycle came in my life when I was going through a hard time, and taking your classes really did impact my life. Fitness for me is a way to escape life, and everytime I came to take your class I left my shit at the door to embark on a journey. I may have done a couple ugly cries in your class. I want you to know that you have made such an impact on my life.

Jess: With you retiring from Soul Cycle to move to Thailand what is the one thing you'll miss?

Hayes: All the people that I have met through working at Soul Cycle. 

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