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With the millions of songs dancing around in Hainsby’s head, putting together a playlist can seem like a Herculean task. To help, she’s created a loose rubric for herself. “There’s always three things that I like to get into a ride. I like to get in a classic song that everyone will know and love and be able to sing along to. Then I like to include one song that provokes some kind of emotion, and then I like to have one song that either makes people really want to dance and lose themselves, or be like, ‘Leanne, why have you put this in the ride?’ A track like “Mambo Number 5,” or “Barbie Girl,” or something like that.”
One artist you’ll hear regularly in Hainsby’s class is Dua Lipa. “I can’t stop playing her music. Every song at the moment, if I can squeeze Dua Lipa into a ride, she is in,” she laughed.
Hainsby’s is one of the few British cycling instructors on the Peloton app, and taking her class gives you an opportunity to hear other UK artists such as Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Years and Years, music that non-Brits might not be that familiar with. “I do like to rep the UK,” she said. “One of my jobs as a dancer was with a band called Steps, and in the UK, everybody knows who they are. But I’ve mentioned Steps before in some of my rides, and a non-British member asked me, ‘What are the steps [in the class]?’ And I’m like, ‘No, no, no it’s a band.’ It’s a song like that maybe people haven’t heard — and they’ll say to themselves, ‘how did I miss that song in the ’90s?'”
“It’s important to me that there is a song for everybody, and a song that isn’t a typical choice for a workout might reach one person who hasn’t worked out yet.”
Hainsby’s dream, on the other hand, would be to create a themed ride with a British band that everybody around the world is familiar with: the Spice Girls. “When I can have 30 minutes of girl power and just play Spice Girls hit after hit, that would be a dream,” she said.
Cycling No matter how slow you go you are still lapping everyone on the couch poster
While riding to “Wannabe” is somewhere off in the future, right now Hainsby is just focused on doing what she can to help people during the pandemic through the platform she’s been given. “People are coming to the bike for so much, especially right now,” she said. “Maybe it took everything in them to get onto the bike, and they’re not feeling great, but they know they need to move. I really hope to take them on a journey and have this goal, and that starts with the music,” she added. “When I put together my playlist, I want people to feel so good when it finishes. I’m not always bothered about numbers for people, because you could be feeling great and your numbers don’t reflect that. But you can’t take away how that moment has made you feel. So that’s my goal: to make people feel as sparkly as they can, whoever they are.”