stevie santangelo | life guru
stevie santangelo | life guru

1 from celebrity personal trainer, to practical nutrition expert, to lifestyle coach, to soulcycle instructor - seems like you are a natural-born guide/teacher. has this gift always been present in your life?

First, thank you for calling it a “gift” and second, “Not really”. No one in my family does any of the things I do. I didn’t know I had athletic abilities, culinary talent or leadership skills until I was unexpectedly put into situations that “now or never-ed” me into action.  I was a bit inelegant at first but always had my heart in it, so things worked out. Best advice I ever got was “ Teach it the way you would want to learn it” 

I don’t claim perfection I strive for consistency.  I’m more comfortable now because I’m practiced. As an only child I was painfully shy and awkward.  I didn’t like being called on in class or do anything that would increase my visibility. I was keenly aware of every differences between me and the other classmates, so my ability to articulate and explain things in order to connect became my superpower.  To be able to see lots of moving parts then pull a single common thread between them so everything comes together in its now way for each person, has been my lifelong practice. The things I did to find comfort and belonging became my career and THAT IS A GIFT and one that I am grateful or daily.

2  how was your transition from the LA scene to NYC?  any surprises? good and/or bad

Neither coast is easy for the other to acclimate to. There are 2 different speeds-  high or laid back. I lived here 20 yrs ago, in fact, the NOHO SoulCycle studio location where I spend a lot of my time now was the Tower Records Building where I spent a lot of my time then. I’m still in love with what’s in that building. Floors exploding with music and all kinds of cool. Again, then and now. 

The one aspect of, moving back that felt like an “adjustment? The whole carrying my life in various bags from appointment to appointment thing.

In LA we drive half a block to avoid walking. Here, on the daily, I carry 3 or 4 bags of various sizes and purposes.all my workout gear, computer, clean clothes, healthy snacks, shower kit, spin shoes and a “just in case” outfit for later because not all of NYC recognizes athleisure as an acceptable clothing category. Both coasts are sensational as long as I:

1) don’t confuse Rodeo Drive with 5Th Ave.

2) Look for Cal_Mex street tacos here and Lobster Rolls and Rose there.

3) The MTA and the RTD are both something to contend with.

3  you have a great blend of east coast/west coast - tough nyc with eccentric LA makes quite a passionate mix - on and off the bike.  what’s the driving force here?

I vibe with both coasts equally. I'm strong, fast and independent but will "jump that ship" to take a midday hike through the canyons, then work from the beach on my laptop with a reasonably priced fresh coconut. I LOVE a mix of-of everything. Fundamentally _ genetically that's who I am, spiritually I'm diverse, so yeah, Gucci heels, Goldsheep Leggings, and an Oxford button are interesting. On the topic of fashion being a personal expression, there are those that wear what's in the store window and those who dress what in that window. Please yourself-you're always a great idea.

4  for anyone who has taken your soulcycle class, it is very clear that your music and its connection to us is where the soul is - what do you listen for and feel when you are making your now-famous playlists?

Every playlist directly reflects my mood, state of mind and drive. Period. The SoulCycle Originals ( the founding master instructors) told us to LOVE YOUR PLAYLIST- and I have. It always works bc I can't wait for the next song to come on.

Sometimes it's super high energy and clubby, other times I'll pull out a Queen, Elton, Massive Attack moment to bring up the physical and emotional gravity necessary to get us through our days. I share my music like people do an inspiring post on social media. Take those beats with you into your day and ruminate on the great work that we did.

5  so, your inner rockstar is freddy mercury - please elaborate! …

There's, not enough room on the internet to itemize my love and admiration for Freddy as a vocalist, visionary, advocate, icon and warrior.  But here goes.
He embodies, elegance, strength, compassion, and generosity. He had the courage and tenacity to push forward his own musical and personal visions regardless of what was happening around him. From people wanting to have his teeth fixed to his sexual preferences and lifestyle choices and then there was  " there's an operatic part" coming up. 

He's a fighter and a leader that didn't solicit. People gravitated to his energy and were welcomed.  You can teach a person to speak in front of crowds but you cannot teach the thing that makes people. become silent and lean in when you open your mouth. He had that.  Fave quote: "Whatever you do, be fabulous"  

6  top 3 wishes?

1) To live forever

2) Be able to touch any object or person and know it's entire history.

3) To travel the planet teaching wellness, health, and inclusion. To assist in shaping an organization's profile and operation from "adversary" to "advocate" for its own people, for its community, and for the planet.

7  top 3 desires?

Good Question. Let me say that I'm healthy and happy and working on myself. The inside stuff is getting tended to and feels substantial. My desires might be weird.

1) Own a place where I can have 2 or 3 large dogs. Dobies my breed. Rescues only.

2) I want a cake by the slice shop in a tiny spot in the city where I live upstairs. I want to bake in my senior years and enjoy friends coming in from all corners to sit, talk plan and remember.

3) My life to never need an alarm clock again.  Work and career start when I get up not the other way around. 

8 #1 guilty pleasure

Binge-watching weird sci-fi stuff in the middle of the day. I adore doughnuts but that's not anything to feel guilty about. If I'm eating them- I deserved it.