It doesn't take more than a minute to realize that Ashley Ander was put on this earth to do two things: exercise and perform. First, there's her physique -- it simultaneously shames and inspires us regular folks with its graceful power. And while her abs might look like something dreamed up in Homeric poem, it's her power of personality that is more compelling. In person, her dancing background is on display at all times -- she's constantly moving, hopping from foot to foot, striking a pose or throwing her head back with laughter. So it's fitting that Ander has found herself in a place that allows her to burn calories in front of a rapt audience, every single day.
Years ago, while living in New York, Ander discovered spin and thought it was an interesting, if unspectacular, pastime. But after finding a spin studio that highlighted mood and dance over straight street riding, she fell in love.
Once in Vancouver, she knew that the city was ripe for a new exercise movement/revolution, and so she combined all of her favourite spin experiences -- the music, the atmosphere, the performance -- to create Ride Cycle Club, arguably Vancouver's premier spin studio. With its moody lighting, thundering sound system and workout-like-you-party attitude, it's A) exercise and B) an experience. It's spin on MDMA at Coachella.
"It's changed my life. To be able to bring that to other people's world and have them enjoy it so much is why I did it," says Ander.
For Ander, the business she created not only inspires others, keeps those abs looking like CGI (boxing three times a week helps too) and allows her to "live the dream every day," it also pays homage to the performer that is still very much a part of her personality. "The nice thing with teaching is that it allows me an outlet to perform and dance on the bike -- to entertain. It just fulfills that same feeling I used to get when I was dancing."
Meet Ashley Ander.
Breakfast at home
“I make the perfect poached egg. I don’t cook but it’s the one thing I’ve nailed.”
Workout at Eastside Boxing Club
“I always say to people, ‘Are you afraid of your own sweat? You're working to get this sweaty. Enjoy it. Taste it.”
Refuel at Glory Juice Co.
“I can leave the house without a full face of makeup on. I can go out after teaching two classes and feel good in what I'm wearing. I think that's a good strength I have.”
Training instructors at Ride Cycle Club
“You walk in that room and you're having a shit day – I want that instructor to be able to turn it around for you and inspire you in a way that breaks you out of the funk.”
Dinner at Nicli Pizzeria
“As soon as you show somebody your weakness – you're tired or you're hungover – then why should they listen to you? You have to be on your ‘A’ game no matter what.”