Stage plays can create powerful emotions in the audience. Characters come alive in a compelling way that makes us forget where we are. Theater can teach us to think in new ways.
Actors, directors, and designers work hard at this ancient art. They know about creating energy and conveying a message. What can we, as indoor cycling instructors, learn from the stage about how to create and direct class energy?
The comparisons between putting on a stage play and putting on an indoor cycling class are striking. Both require:
- A physical structure that makes energy rise and fall in an intentional way
- Significant preparation
- A strong sense of presence during presentation
- An understanding that the “audience” comes first
- The ability to adapt to changing or unforeseen circumstances
- Constant learning and honing of craft
Upon examination, these two seemingly disparate professions have a great deal in common. Humans have been practicing and studying drama for thousands of years. Indoor cycling started in the late 1980s. Let’s examine more closely these six ways in which the relatively new field of indoor cycling can learn from the ancient art of theater. The similarities may surprise you.
Bill Roach is a regular ICA contributor. Karla Kash is a Spinning®certified indoor cycling instructor and associate professor of theatre at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa.