“I was used to standing out, from a very young age,” says Nichelle Hines. Born and raised in San Francisco, where she was one of five black students in a graduating high school class of 340, Hines recalls her diverse upbringing with fondness. Today, as one of the most beloved instructors at Los Angeles’ highly sought after Cycle House, and a part-time actor, Hines continues to stand out. Bold and enthusiastic, Hines attracts fitness enthusiasts, professionals, and celebrities alike. Hines’ classes have an entirely different timbre than other boutique fitness classes of similar acclaim. Hines commands her room of riders, packed in bike-to-bike—an enthralling mélange of ethnicities, fitness levels, body types, and style.
She moves about the room pronouncing Jay-Z lyrics with gusto, and calls out individual riders with verve—moving them to work harder, and give more. The feeling post-Nichelle is more than a typical exercise-induced euphoria; it’s also one of communal excitement. Hines toes the line between warm and intense in her pedagogical style, undoubtedly polished by her refined acting technique from her early years at graduate school at NYU. A young talent, Hines continues to act today, honing her art, but not placing too much weight on what she considers a craft that’s never been the perfect fit for her path.
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