RIDE OR DIE | Andra Eksteins, Instructor

Meet Andra – a Toronto Instructor who held down the front row with intense passion before transitioning onto the podium. Andra brings heavy, goosebump-inducing beats to every class, and her natural rhythm and dance moves on and off the bike will get you stoked and cranking that tension. Get to know Andra!

Where did you grow up?

Toronto.

Can you remember your first RIDE class?

My best friend Lily took me to my first RIDE class in Vancouver in 2014. To be honest, it was all kind of a blur; the dark room, the music, the heat. All I can really remember from that first class was the “1,2 – 1,2” and how the instructor said those words. I could barely get the beat and probably looked ridiculous. To this day, I can still hear the “1,2”. Or maybe that’s just me saying “1,2.” “1-2!!!!!…” Say it. It’s addicting.

How long did it take until you realized you wanted to become an Instructor?

I knew it right away. Before my first RIDE Toronto class I had been riding all over the city with a fire under my butt knowing I wanted to teach one day. As soon as I did my first RIDE Toronto class, I knew RIDE was where I wanted to be. It was so unique and so different compared to everywhere else. I instantly felt a connection with the classes, fellow Riders, instructors and the entire community. I knew I wanted to be part of it. Rider -> energy exchange -> Instructor. Hi here I am!

How would you describe your teaching style?

I try to create a space where Riders can let go, be free in that room and remove themselves from real life for 50 minutes by encouraging them to surrender themselves to the journey of the class. I’m passionate in my classes, physically, vocally, emotionally, and I push my Riders to be passionate too, whatever that may look like for them. For the most part, I like to let the music dictate the class…oh and my dance moves.

Best part of being an Instructor is…

Two things.

First: It’s so inspiring to see clients work hard, grow, push their personal limits and boundaries, move to the front row, and double-up, all while smiling, laughing, yelling, and woop-ing throughout the entire process. There is such a unique energy RIDE clients bring to the studio and witnessing that first hand is awesome.

Second: Dani also said it, but pretending to be a DJ for 50 mins spinning heavy hot beats (literally) in that sweaty room with the most amazing people bringing unbelievable energy at ungodly hours of the morning is basically like being a famous world touring DJ…right?!

Track you’ve had on repeat?

WOW. Big Q.

1. Losing It – FISHER (if you know, you know). RIDE vs LOSING IT – who’s in?!

2. We were riding high (rodriguez jr. remix)

3. Super into anything 16BL and Cubicolor right now.

AM or PM RIDES?

AM to RIDE and PM to teach.

Favourite way to sweat outside of RIDE?

Barry’s Bootcamp, runs in Christie Pits park, dance parties in my apartment (but actually dance parties everywhere?).

How has becoming a RIDE Instructor changed you?

RIDE has taught me how to take control and follow my gut. I think it’s easy for a lot of people to go with the flow of how things organically progress in their life. RIDE has proved to me that I am in the driver’s seat and it’s shown me I’m not afraid of that.

Who motivates you?

My dad. He’s the best.

What’s your #1 life hack?

When boiling water in a pot, start by adding roughly 2 inches into the pot and at the same time put on a kettle filled with water. When the kettle is fully boiled, pour the water into the pot. You will have a full pot of boiling water in 3-4 mins, as opposed to 10 mins.

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

Bopping around the city, grabbing a fresh loaf at Brodflour, chilling in Trinity Bellwoods. If it’s rainy – binge watching mind-numbing reality TV with my roomie.

Any hidden or not so hidden talents?

It’s actually a not-so-hidden almost talent, but I’ve been working on my shuffle.

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

My girl Elena Cruz (@ecruz_n) so she could give me some shuffling tips (see question above).

Best memory since you joined RIDE?

It’s too hard to choose a single memory, but I always remember and love whenever I share the podium with someone new for the first time, whether it’s a co-teach or just a podium RIDE. It’s a totally different viewpoint up there – literally and figuratively – so to share that perspective with someone is special. You see another side of them as instructors, but also as people.

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

Allow yourself to be swept into the journey of the class. It’s pretty magical when you just let go.

What has you stoked on life right now?

SUMMER IN THE CITY.

What does RIDE mean to you?

RIDE means passion; a passion for sweat, music, athleticism, movement, energy, and community. RIDE has been a therapeutic force in my life that has given me a place to let go, forget about real life stresses, and be myself. Oh, and I’ve met some pretty incredible people through it all.

RIDE with Andra – find her on the Ossington Schedule.