How Much Do SoulCycle Instructors Make?

January 3, 2024

The fitness juggernaut that swept America one candlelit studio at a time once seemed like just another health fad, a flash in the organic-coconut oil-greased pan. But the company is now a national chain with nearly 100 locations and a cult-like following for instructors who look half motivational speaker, half sex object.

The appeal of SoulCycle is the way it brings together music and movement in a way that’s uniquely engaging—especially compared to other “spin” classes, which often lack a connection between the beat of the song and the movements of your legs. But the company’s popularity has also brought with it a darker side. Several former employees tell Vox that they’ve been yelled at and cursed at by riders. And many instructors are required to sign non-disclosure agreements that prohibit them from talking about their experiences outside the studio, meaning they can’t even explain why they left.

Star instructors are compensated handsomely. A top New York instructor named Stacey Griffith can reportedly earn up to $800 per class and leads 15 to 20 classes each week. Top instructors get extra bonuses and receive tips from riders, as well as pricey gifts.

And yet the stars aren’t immune to the drama that permeates every workplace, regardless of how much money they’re making. In a recent article, Rachel Cutler and Ashley Rice—the founders of the management firm that managed SoulCycle’s celebrity instructors before leaving to start their own company—describe the pressure of keeping up with the demands of clients who demand more from their classes.

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