What classes do you teach?

Currently, I teach a cycling class, I teach barbell, and then also I teach a hot yoga sculpt class.

Tell me about the cycle classes you led during Pride month.

For Pride, for years now, I’ve probably done four or five Pride classes at different places where I’ve worked because it’s part of who I am, I’m a strong ally. So I did a Pride Ride at Life Time for the first time, and I just wanted to make sure that I was highlighting LGBT artists and also LGBT icons within the ride. It’s just something that I’ve tried to promote as an ally—you don’t have to be a part of a community to support and respect that community.

Why do you think it’s important to have LGBTQIA+ representation in the gym?

For me, it’s an expression of who I am. When you teach, it’s not just [a] barbell [class], it’s an expression of who you are, the music that you select, the exercises that you select. For me, it’s important to just express who I am and what I enjoy and what I support.

How will you continue pushing for representation going forward?

At CorePower, I also did a Pride yoga sculpt, a community-based donation class, so no one had to pay, but we asked that they donated to the Trevor Project. At the beginning of that class, I talked about how it’s great during Pride Month where businesses have flags that are outside and you know that they are LGBT friendly, but [on] July 1, that stuff comes down. We really need to think about who we are supporting year-round, and as a Black, straight, cisgender female, I understand how I walk into spaces sometimes—in group fitness spaces—and I am the only one. You’re always wondering, “Who is for me? Who is against me?” So, you know, I just talked about that at the beginning of that particular class, how the flags indicate support and respect—but what happens on July 1 and the rest of the year?

What are your favorite moments from your Pride Rides?

For Pride, [one of] my favorite moments is “Kill the Lights”—I love that song. I’ve seen one of my favorite drag queens perform it in Pittsburgh, Lola LeCroix. I love that song because it reminds me of the performance I saw with her, but then also it’s an [LGBTQIA] artist. And then one of our local drag queens, Emory Starr, actually came to class and I played one of her songs, too. So those are my two favorite moments, besides the energy and the love that was coming out of the class, but just purposely putting this playlist together that features a lot of trans artists, which I know that there’s a lot of discrimination against trans people.

Is there anything else you’d like to say about these classes and the work that you do?

I’ve been doing this for well over 10 years, and I just love to see the transformation that happens with people in class. You can come in and have a shitty day, and I feel like by the time you leave class, it’s the best decision you’ve made that day for yourself. 

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