Dr. Shakkiah Curtis has always loved fitness. After visiting her sister in Los Angeles a few years ago and taking a spin class at a local gym, she knew she would want to continue taking classes like that one.
“When I got off that bike, I was thinking, ‘what in the world just happened to me?’” she told Blueprint365. “I fell in love with it.”
Moving back to Milwaukee in 2019, she looked for a space where she could continue participating in spin classes, but couldn’t find one that she enjoyed fully.
“It had become such a part of my life,” she said. “I tried a few spaces and it wasn’t welcoming. I didn’t get that same feeling. I remember just being so frustrated and complaining about it.”
She opened her cycling studio, Spinn MKE, the only Black-owned cycling studio in Wisconsin, in the Bronzeville district last July. A couple of weeks ago, the studio celebrated its one year anniversary with a block party. Community members came to enjoy healthy food products from local Black-owned businesses and practice spinning on some of the bikes.
Curtis reflected on the feelings of nervousness she had when she first opened. She recalled a line of people waiting to take spin classes the first day the studio opened. Since then, the community has embraced her studio and prioritized health and wellness.
“It was just so amazing to have that much support and that kindness,” she added. “Although it’s been an educational journey in, in a lot of ways, education towards fitness and health and the benefits of it, because again, it’s not a standard type of fitness in the community. It’s been love. A lot of people have been like ‘I don’t do the bike, but we’re gonna try it’. And they come in and I tell them to spin with me one time, and you’ll fall in love with it.”
Curtis and her team are grateful for those who partake in their classes and are committed to creating a culture and community of fitness and wellness in Milwaukee.
“It’s something about being able to do it around people that are motivating you, looking like you, feeling like you,” she added. “It’s open to all, we have all walks of life, but to be able to have a space that is designated for a community that looks like you. That’s the goal.”
Spinn MKE offers three to four classes a day with seven different instructors. There are gospel spin classes on Sundays, HIIT and Hills classes, and Twerk Spin on Fridays.
“We offer such a uniqueness that fits our culture and community,” she said. “If you don’t like working out, it will give you the motivation to do that. It was created for people that always had to push through the biases. It was created for a community that people have always kind of been counted out.”
Curtis’ goal with her business is to ensure that they represent culture and greatness with every class.
For more information about Spinn MKE and to view the schedule to take a class, visit their website.