Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Insider Advice: Instructor Do's and Don'ts

This is what I imagine the Zumba police look like. Photo credit: NPR
Ok, ok, I know - I'm not the Zumba Fitness police. But, some of my students were chatting me up after class the other day, telling me what they like and don't like about different classes. Their insider advice is too good to keep to myself! Feel free to add your thoughts below or on Facebook so we can learn from each other.

Do: Know your audience.
Some groups will want more dance than fitness, others more fitness than dance. Some come to your class for a booty-shakin', chest-poppin' good time, and others just want to be able to follow along and get a good workout. Read the crowd, and choreograph accordingly.

Don't: Make it about nailing moves the way you do.
Not everyone dances like an extra from Step Up 2, and we're not there to make people feel bad about themselves. Always build in progressions so participants have a choice and can follow you at their own level.

Do: Teach.
Sounds obvious, but students tell me they like it when the instructor occasionally explains things, like what muscle group you're working or how to modify a move.

Don't: Focus on yourself.
Its all about you when you take other instructors' classes, but when you're leading a class it has to be about the participants. You want to make sure they're safely navigating the routines and having fun! I hear they can tell when you stare at yourself in the mirror, so it's something to be mindful of.

Do: Remember to have fun!
Your energy is contagious. When you're tired or having a rough day, ya know - FITYMI (fake it 'til you make it!).

Don't: Worry.
We all make mistakes and most of the time we're our own worst critics. Your class is there because they like you and they're more forgiving than you think.

What other Do's and Don'ts have you picked up?

1 comment:

  1. Always be ready to hit it hard!
    Engage your students!
    Ask for request or anything different they'd like for the next session!
    Have a comment card ready to hand out & ask this is to help me out. Fill it out anonymously or put your name so I know what you like. Then be prepared to make each class feel like it's dedicated to them. They will remember... they will say hey thanks for more popping or more arm movements... try to cater to everyone!
    Everybody's there to workout but really more of a party! Get crazy & have fun!