Virtual spin classes are a whole new world, as we learned from super-popular Peloton instructor, So You Think You Can Dance alum, and former Broadway dancer Jessica King. Here's what you should takeaway.
What It's Like
So what’s it like to teach a class when no one is actually in the room?
"It can be really fun," King says. "I go into an imaginative space and play games with myself: Who am I talking to? What do I want them to feel or know? There’s something to be said about looking through the camera and being able to speak to someone you’ve never met. Some of them have really funny leaderboard names, like Soggy Waffles and Magic Panties. There’s one whose name is Dude, and his location is “In My Basement.” I’m always talking to the dude in his basement.
How to Make the Most of It
What do we need to know to get a really good virtual workout?
"Remain open," King suggests. "If you can immerse yourself by putting the headphones on or dimming the lights, changing the environment to match what you see on the screen, then it brings you in to what’s happening on our side of it. And honestly, just trust us."
How to Pick the Right Instructor
What should someone look for in an instructor?
"I’d say to look for an instructor who not only engages you physically but who can keep your attention and captivate you," King suggests. "An experience that would feel successful to me as a rider would be one in which the instructor had the ability to transport me out of whatever’s going on and into this 45-minute experience. I’d be able to lose myself."
What it Takes to Gain a Following
What’s it take to gain a following in the virtual space?
"I think leading by example is one of the most motivating things," King says. "Walking the walk and having the aesthetic that complements that. Nine times out of 10, the reason people click on my ride is they think, 'Wow, she’s hot,' or 'I want to look like that.' I get it. If all you have to go on is a photo to choose your workout, a hot body is it."
Some Rules of Conduct
What should you never message to a virtual instructor?
"What really blows my mind is when people make comments on Facebook and think that I can’t see them," King says. "A woman once commented, 'No wonder my husband rides Jessica’s rides. He can get lost in her cleavage.' And then a whole thread, 60 or 70 comments, goes on about my boobs. It’s like, Hello?! I can read this! Try not to forget that we’re people. It’s a really vulnerable thing for us to be on the stage, sweating, half naked, baring our soul. Sometimes feedback is welcome, but whatever you do, don’t talk shit."
For more on virtual reality, see: