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RIDE OR DIE | Dani Pagnan, Instructor

ride cycle club

Get to know Dani – known for her laid back yet motivating teaching style, killer abs and that signature voice, we can always count on Dani for a RIDE experience that is the perfect mix of fun and challenging. She keeps things chill while getting you to work hard and push yourself in the best way – a killer combination for a great RIDE.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Guelph!

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 Julie. I heard RIDE was coming to Toronto and needed to know what it was all about. She certainly sold me on it, and after one class (where I couldn’t find the beat let alone get out of the saddle) I was determined to join the RIDE team.

How would you describe your teaching style?

Pretty laid back. I let the music dictate a lot of the class. But if you drop your arms or sit down, I will call you out.

Best part of being an instructor is…

The people you meet…and getting to pretend you’re a DJ for 50 minutes.

Tracks you’ve had on repeat

Benoit & Sergio – The Way You Get (thanks Tor)
Gesaffelstein – Hate or Glory and OPR
Michael Jackson – Will You Be There

AM or PM rides?

Mornings are my favourite.

Favourite way to sweat outside of RIDE?

Barry’s Bootcamp when I need my ass kicked, MISFITSTUDIO when I need to reset.

How has becoming a RIDE Instructor changed you?

In a million ways. Most notably it’s given me a new crew of friends who are like family, and a place where I can completely be myself.

Go-to quote or words to live by?

Don’t overthink it, just do what makes you happy.

Who motivates you?

My BFF (Best fitness friend) – my sister Dee.

Favourite book?

Can’t think of a particular favourite…I just re-read Kitchen Confidential, if you haven’t read it, I suggest you do.

What’s your #1 life hack?

Always order extra dipping sauce.

Where can we find you on a Saturday afternoon in the city?

Union / the Drake / Trinity Common – essentially any patio with good company, or trying to learn to ride a bike that is not stationary.

Any hidden or not so hidden talents?

I can do the worm, kind of.

If you could brunch with any person (past or present), who would it be and why?

I’d probably choose Taylor Swift and bring my Mom along, she’s obsessed. I’d win daughter of the year for sure.

Best memory since you joined RIDE?

There are way too many… the lululemon Waterfront 10k cheer squad definitely goes down as one of my favourite days of the year, training in the Underground, watching the classes grow and everyone slowly develop into amazing Instructors, the studio opening its doors last May, or Dez dressing as a snowflake during our Christmas RIDE. Dez should always dress as a snowflake.

#1 piece of advice for someone looking to have a killer RIDE?

It’s dark in that room for a reason – no one can see you and nothing else matters so let yourself completely go.

What has you stoked on life right now?

It’s summer which is hands down the best time of year in TO.

What does RIDE mean to you?

RIDE means a lot of things to me, and it’s hard to think back to a time before RIDE was part of my life. It’s my favourite place to hang out, sweat, blow off steam, or shake a bad mood. The riders, the staff, and our boss man Ash make the RIDE community what it is, and I’m so so grateful I get to be a part of it.

Catch Dani on the podium at our Ossington Studio.