Anne Stauff, Queen of Theme Rides
Instructor Anne Stauff is well-known for her sweat-drenched, heart-thumping, always-jumping rides – all while rocking out to the ever-changing musical theme of the week.
From “Prince vs Bruno Mars” to “Ladies of the 80s” to “Superheroes,” Anne is truly the queen of theme rides! Her costume room is stocked full of ripped-from-the-hangers-and-probably-glue-gunned looks, authentic cowboy hats and holiday-themed leggings. She’s ready to go at a moment’s notice to find a killer (yet bike-friendly) costume to celebrate the musician or band of the week — whether she has to cut sleeves off an Alice and Olivia top or turn a designer scarf into an ascot for a Prince tribute ride.
We asked her about her favorite theme rides over the years:
What has been your favorite theme ride or “concert,” as some of your riders call them?
Anything ROCK!! Last week was Southern Rock, and I have three coming up in October for three Saturdays in a row: 70s, 80s, and 90s Rock!
What inspires you to create a theme ride?
I needed a way to corral my thoughts and themes! I think riders like knowing what genre is going to play that day.
What has been your favorite costume?
Hands Down: Braveheart. I was teaching the Monday evening class in Ridgefield after being stuck in the house for three days due to a snow storm. Apparently I had some pent up creativity and energy! I dressed in a kilt, blue face paint and made the class’ theme “FREEDOM,” channeling my best Braveheart. I bring it out now and then on special rides!
What do your teenage kids think of you dressing up for rides?
Exactly what you think they think! I now “threaten” to walk them into school in my various costumes! They seem to get ready for school extra fast on theme ride mornings!
How do you organize your costumes — are they organized by theme in bins?
No, but now I am going to do that! My closet is color-coordinated so that’s how I organize everything. The worst thing anyone could ever do to me is sneak into my closet and put a brown shirt in the black shirt section!
Do you like Halloween? If so, what’s your favorite over the years?
I love it! One year I was Napoleon Dynamite and learned the “Vote for Pedro” dance
Why do you think riders respond well to your theme rides?
I think we all have that need to express ourselves with our inner dress-up/rockstar/fantasy. We all sing to Adele, Stevie Nicks, etc. and imagine how cool that would be to perform (whether you openly admit it or not!). I also believe that when words fail, music speaks. We all know those thoughts you cannot express, but there’s a song out there that you can relate to. Somewhere, someone is belting out exactly how you feel in a favorite song!
I also think if you embrace your inner performer, you can get into the ride that much quicker and you let yourself lose your stress more quickly. You instantly know this is going to be a fun ride. Also it’s like escapism from all the other stuff we deal with outside the studio. As a rider, I remember taking one of Meagen O’Connell’s Prince rides and thinking, “Today is going to be awesome! How can we not? We’re all dressed like Prince!” When people see me dressed up as the flavor of the day, they instantly know we’re going to have fun.
Do you have a mantra for theme rides?
Let the MUSIC speak for itself!!