“I’m a Soulcycle instructor to pay my bills and adult and invest in myself, and no matter what city I’m in, Calabasas, Hollywood or Downtown [L.A.], my job and purpose is to go in there and try to inspire people in some way,” says Claire Reneé, a naturalista, dancer, singer and Soulcycle instructor. But although she’s a Soulcycle instructor by day, she’s also a passionate musician and a dancer.
When she’s instructing Soul Cycle classes, she enjoys being able to help people reach their fitness goals and find something out about themselves. When they’re in a dark room, a space solely for them, it’s about being a servant and serving her community and being that uplifting force for so many.
She’s also able to uplift the community through her music, including her video for “Easy Come Easy Go (Nights with you),” out recently.
And channeling her inner creativity is something that’s always had a place in her spirit.
“I’ve always danced, that was the first thing I’ve ever done creatively, since I was 4,” she says, “I went to the Dance Theatre of Harlem and Alvin Ailey, so dance has been my life for a long time.”
She always thought she would join a company and that would be her life. But things happen, things change, and although she did audition and do the commercial dance thing since she was in her early teens, about two years into college she thought that she had a little bit more to say.
“In college, I decided I wanted to focus on music business,” she says. She wanted to help her peers and everyone else, but eventually she realized she also wanted to focus on herself as a complete artist.
She went to Berklee College of Music and worked on voice and writing. After that, she ended up at New School in New York for Jazz. She realized she had so much more to say and didn’t want to do background dance. She wanted to be the name on the ticket, too.
“It was time for me to take charge and focus on building myself as a complete artist,” she says, “I’m still on that journey, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made.”
She needed a job to help support her goals and passions, so she ended up taking a front desk position at Soulcycle. Over time, she decided she could lead a class herself and auditioned in New York. On her first try, she made it and she went into training for a few months.
“It’s been an interesting ride and incredible journey,” Claire says of her time with Soulcycle.
Time to unwind
“I am a big introvert,” she says, “I love to chill at home most of the time, but to keep my sanity and mind clear I love to meditate. Every morning before I get out of bed, I take 16-count breaths until my snooze button goes off. At the end of the day, I take a longer meditation. I ask myself what my spirit needs, do I need some balance, if I had a chaotic day, I’ll need to simmer down.”
Ever since she moved to LA, she loves going to the beach. She loves that that’s an option year-round, unlike winter in New York.
“I love hiking, walking around and seeing the city,” she says, “I love coming across different art, graffiti is a cool thing for me. I also love museums whenever I can go.”
But in addition to self-care and alone time, Claire also values the time she spends with her friends and family greatly.
“I always just find time,” she says, “Even if things are tight, i always make sure I make time to call my mom and to see my friends.”
According to Claire, we always make time for what (or who) we want to. And that’s a major reason as to why she’s able to incorporate self-care by allowing herself to breathe, have a day off, get her nails done, etc.
“Even something like getting a new pair of sneakers,” she says, “I make time to make myself feel better.”
After some days or weeks when she doesn’t have a day off, she’ll treat herself to a sports massage to take care of what she puts her body through every single day.
The Daily Grind
At about 6:15, Claire gets up to start meditating even before she leaves her bed. Once she’s up, she’s teaching early. If she has a 7 a.m. class, she’ll get up and do the basics and throw on workout clothes, brush her teeth, shower, wash her face and use her Rise 'N Shine Daily Moisture Lock by Farmacy. The echinacea is really good for her dry skin. It’s a staple in her routine for that reason, and because when she sweats in class she still doesn’t end up with a burning sensation in her eyes.
“I usually don’t check my phone in the morning,” she says, “After I meditate I try to leave everything on the lock screen till I’m done teaching. I check it around 8 a.m. after class is over so my mind is clear and I don’t see anything that upsets me or puts me in a weird mood.”
After she gets home, she cooks a big breakfast with oatmeal, bagels and pancakes. She’ll carb-load for the day and then make green tea or some sort of chai latte as a treat for herself.
Sometimes she’ll throw echinacea in with her tea to keep her immune system strong. The next part of her day goes to working on music if she has no other class for the day. But a large portion of her day is also dedicated to replying to emails.
Her evening routine is largely the same beauty wise. For food, she finds cooking to be therapeutic. She’ll dance in the kitchen and everything! After a healthy, hearty meal, she’ll read or watch one of her favorite shows (she loves Insecure and Game of Thrones) to wind down and chill and get out of her own head.
Before she goes to bed she’ll meditate to calm her spirit, have more tea use a Vitamin C serum, ice her face to soothe her skin and shrink her pores, and tie her moisturized hair up or style it overnight. Some days she’ll need to stretch before she lays down to sleep.
No matter what route she takes on a particular day, a major part of her evening routine is making sure to wind down with some form of mediation.
“Because I don’t sit at a desk, sometimes my days are varied, some days are busier than others,” she says. Sometimes she’ll have time to go to the beach, work on more music or more. She tries to focus the open slots of time she has on building her brand.
Although her days vary, she finds motivation through the people in her class.
“There are people in that room who need you and I’ll pull energy from them as well,” she says, “Even if I wake up early and feel like I can’t, by the second song I realize they’re in it, giving me something, and that keeps me motivated.”
Talking to her mom also serves as a huge motivation.
“She’s one of the hardest working people I know,” she says, “It’s been really great to see my mom really living, going to concerts or on cruises — that motivates me too. If I’m alive and I’m here, what do I really have to complain about?”
She breaks it down to one simple thing — she’s here, willing and able. She has all her limbs and a beating heart. If she’s feeling really low, that will get her through. Even if she’s tired, that thought shifts her energy, even if just for the moment.
But beyond a flawless daily routine and a busy professional life, there’s one common denominator in all aspects of Claire Reneé’s life that she lives by.
“I focus on gratitude,” she says, “ it sounds kind of cliche, but throughout the years I was one to focus on where I wanted to be, what I didn’t have, and trying to compare myself.”
But once she started focusing on what she did have she realized that her life was actually abundant and that she was grateful and not complacent or satisfied.
“You don’t have to settle, but definitely be grateful for what you have in the moment.
So if you’re feeling overwhelmed or underwhelmed, take a step back. That’s your ego talking to you.
Watch out for more amazing music and visuals from Claire Reneé in the near future! She’s working on new music and thinking of working on a full-length LP. She’s working on a music production of her own of her own and staying creative and open along the way.