RIDE OR DIE | Danielle Burton, Instructor
Meet Danielle – a Vancouver Instructor whose energy, rhythm and passion for RIDE has played an integral part in building our West Coast community. For Danielle, it wasn’t necessarily love at first RIDE – rather, she saw an opportunity to challenge herself and create a positive workout experience for others that fuelled her journey to teach.
Where did you grow up?
Vancouver, then West Vancouver, then the interior of BC, then Vancouver again. I was super into competitive dance growing up and I think that has definitely carried into my RIDE vibe. I get to travel a lot for work and I love being in new places, but the feeling I get when I fly back into Vancouver…it’s home.
Can you remember your first RIDE class? How long did it take until you realized you wanted to become an instructor?
My first RIDE class was with Ash after Alex from Ossington essentially dragged me there against my will. I remember walking down the street with her after class thinking that I had just gone from being not down, to impressed, to mind blown. To be honest, I never considered becoming an instructor until Alex signed me up for the auditions a year and a half later (wow Al you are getting a lot of play here). I knew I loved it, I knew I was looking for something that would challenge and push me personally. It was the right time for me.
How would you describe your teaching style?
It’s physical and emotional. I don’t think I can actually do one without the other. You’re going to work really hard with a lot of muscle focus, and hopefully also work some stuff out mentally. If a client can achieve something physical & let go of one thing that is holding them down in some way, I’m stoked on that.
Best part of being an instructor is…
Helping clients to realize that they are so much stronger than they think they are. So many times in life we tell ourselves that we can’t do something – catch a beat, RIDE a challenging class, reach a goal – but coaching people towards turning off the doubt and seeing them get stronger every time they’re in the room really inspires me. I love watching people beat personal bests.
Track you’ve had on repeat
Personal – Plaza
AM or PM rides?
AM, but only 7AM (confession – I have never taken a 6am class).
Favourite way to sweat outside of RIDE?
Everything & anything. Starting my day with a sweat is the one thing that clears my head and chills me out. Right now I’m into Lagree, Boxing at All City Athletics, weight training alone or with my fire gym crew, and this crazy Ass Class that I swear by.
How has becoming a RIDE instructor changed you?
RIDE has made me more humble & more centred. Training to become an instructor had a lot of highs and lows, and I had to work at it. I’m naturally more high-strung and teaching has chilled me out a bit in the best way. Seeing the energy that builds in the room from everyone’s collective efforts brings this feeling of responsibility to meet my class at their level – I don’t want to ever let them down.
Go-to quote or words to live by?
Be a tough act to follow.
Who motivates you?
I’m definitely more internally disciplined, but anyone who is going after what they really want out of life every single day inspires me. I want to forever do better and try to be the best version of me for the people I love.
I’m very into reading. Shantaram, Pride & Prejudice, Scar Tissue, The Sun Also Rises are some heavy hitters.
What’s your #1 life hack?
If you can’t live somewhere with a rooftop, get a best friend who does. Also meal prep.
Where can we find you on a Saturday afternoon in the city?
Cruising back from teaching my 9:35AM Lonsdale, doing a workout, then on my roof/Jacs roof or getting tacos (if you don’t know where Los Cuervos is go there asap – best tacos in the city!)
Any hidden or not so hidden talents?
I am an insane parallel parker.
Best memory since you joined RIDE?
Underground! Before we opened Lonsdale we had this tiny, VERY sweaty, old brick building that used to be a bank. We crammed in 30 bikes, 4 fans, a step stool to balance our computers on, and a group of new instructors and just had the best summer. The first time I taught a mini class there I had that insane crazy magic RIDE feeling and I couldn’t wait for more.
#1 piece of advice for someone looking to have a killer RIDE?
Give yourself a little bit of grace. You aren’t going to perform the same way every time you get into the room but who cares? I’ve also been really into putting focus on one specific part of your RIDE & dedicating your 50 minutes to that – maybe it’s form, tension, hitting your jogs, something mental. Just listening to what your body needs that day and going with that.
What has you stoked on life right now?
Having just turned 29! I’m so excited for the last year in my 20s and beyond.
What does RIDE mean to you?
A commitment to yourself and a place where that is supported by everyone around you. RIDE is a challenge, but it’s made me so much stronger and the energy of every single person in the room contributes to what makes it so so good.