Spin classes and their instructors offer people a way to feel good about themselves


Jeff Helsel

Maria Dolak leads an outdoor spin class in the Quad on March 30, 2021.

Emily Wilson, Staff Writer

“Being an instructor is more than leading people in fitness,” Felio said. “It’s motivating every person in the class to be the best that they can be, while also focusing on what’s best for the class and how I can help them reach their fullest potential.” 

Spin Unlimited opened in 2020 during the pandemic and has recently become a popular fitness trend in the area. 

“We offer a variety of classes,” Felio said. “We have indoor cycling which is done in the dark room, different types of group fitness activities like strength training and Zumba, and Yoga classes.” 

Felio stated that one of her goals is to show people that fitness can be fun.

“My favorite part of being an instructor is making people feel like working out isn’t as miserable as people often think it is,” Felio said. “And showing them that it can be so much fun in the right environment.”

Felio’s goals for those in her classes go deeper than just good fitness.

“My goal as an instructor is to make someone walk out of my class feeling something more than sweat but to feel loved and beautiful in their own skin,” Felio said. “I hope that people gain life lessons in my class. I want people to work to become the best versions of themselves because they want to, not because they feel they have to.”

After hearing some friends talking about their experiences at spin classes, I decided to try it out. 

The first time I went to spin class I went to Zenergy in Morgantown Suncrest Town Center with two friends. The theme of the class was Drake Versus Rihanna. 

I had no idea what I was signing up for, but the staff was very helpful when I told them it was my first time. They helped me get my bike set up to fit my height.

Each class is done in dark lighting, a few lit candles and LED lights only behind the instructor in the front of the room, which all the other bikes were facing. Throughout the 45 minute class, music by Drake and Rihanna was playing, and even some remixes that I never heard before.

This was my first time being this active in a while, but the instructor encouraged us all to push ourselves and try our hardest. After my first class my legs were sore for a week, but I decided to go to another class. 

I have done five classes so far, including a few of the Zen classes which feature different genres of music, and also the last class I did with the theme Frat Party Anthems. 

Frat Party Anthems was my favorite class. During the class, the instructor played music that you would expect to hear at a Frat party. Songs like “No Hands” by Waka Flocka Flame, and “Doses & Mimosas” by Cherub. 

I’ve had a few different instructors at Zenergy, but my favorite is Paige. While the other instructors were good, I’ve noticed that when I’m in classes with Paige, I have more motivation to push myself. 

In each class there’s a moment after we’ve been working hard for awhile, that things start to feel like they’re calming down. During this time Paige will turn off the LED lights and blow out the few candles that are in the room, making the room completely dark.

Paige comforts us by saying things like “it’s all about you right here. This is where you decide how hard you want to push yourself to be better” or “No one is looking at you, no one is judging you”, and other things that create more of a connection like “You have to start living for you”. 

This is one of my favorite parts of Paige’s classes. She says a lot of things that I feel connect with me and things that I go through in life. This is when I start to feel like it’s just me in my own head, thinking about other areas in my life where I may need a push. 

Paige Morris is the instructor at Zenergy in Morgantown, WV, and stated that being a fitness instructor was something she thought was impossible. 

“I never thought that I could be the person at the front of the room leading a class full of people,” Morris said. “It wasn’t easy getting to this point either. I put in countless hours of hard work and dedication, but I knew I wanted it, so I went for it.”

Morris stated that Zenergy has an uplifting environment that makes any day better.

 “Zenergy is a community like no other, and the energy they bring is unmatched,” Morris said. “I could be having a bad day, but I know that I will always have that feeling of love and support from everyone in the room during a class.”

Morris’ favorite part of being an instructor is the effect that she has on others’ lives. She stated that everyone is welcome at Zenergy, and in her classes too. 

“Being a cycling instructor gives me the ability to brighten someone’s day and give them the confidence to do anything and everything,” Morris said. “I want to make every person in the studio feel welcomed and included-no matter how many classes they have taken. There are always modifications allowed, therefore, it is a space for everyone.”

During Morris’s classes, she stated that she likes to emphasize “you can do hard things.”

“The outcome of challenges that people face will be determined by their own decisions,” Morris said. “If you have goals set, you have to choose to put in the energy and effort to make it to the finish line. Although it may be hard, in the end, it is so rewarding. I love sending people home with a positive vibe, reminding them that they are stronger than they may think. We learn to be grateful for everything our bodies do for us, and always walk out of the studio sweaty and with a smile!”

June Smith is a Senior at PennWest Cal in the Psychology program and attends spin classes regularly at both Spin Unlimited and Zenergy. 

“I really love classes at Zenergy,” Smith said. “My favorite instructor there is Katie. I think that she really makes it enjoyable and motivates me to find the strength to keep pedaling even when I think I can’t anymore.”

Smith stated that she’ll never forget her first time at Zenergy.

“After my first few rides the instructor shouted at me during class by name saying how good I was doing,” Smith said. “I was so surprised she even knew my name and it made me feel so good!”

After hearing about Spin Unlimited from Felio, Smith decided to see what they had to offer.

“Spin Unlimited is a studio I attend mostly out of convenience of it being the closest to where I live,” Smith. “My experiences there are always great. I’ve only had classes with Rikki, but I really enjoy her classes.”

Smith stated although she goes to Spin Unlimited more because of the location, she likes Zenergy’s environment more.

“I prefer Zenergy because of the different experience I have there,” Smith said. “It brings me so much joy and peace when I’m there. The staff is so pleasant and helpful. It is the most decompressing I ever get to do! No matter the instructor, it is a great time. They push me the most at Zenergy to be my best self and remind me everytime that even just showing up was a win! It is a well established brand going on their eighth year. I feel like Zenergy’s environment is more homey and welcoming.”