Wednesday, May 6, 2015

#LetItMoveYou, and your students!

This post is by Dana, a guest blogger on The Z Beat!

Zumba’s marketing department #hititonthehead with their tag line #letitmoveyou. In fact, before I discovered Zumba I joined just about every local gym and subsequently I let all of my gym memberships lapse year after year. Exercise just wasn’t a part of my life. When I did go to the gym I would walk on the treadmill for a few minutes. Hop on the bike for a few spins. Lift a few repetitions of light weights. Flounder around and go home.

My motivation to get to the gym was ZERO. 
{Insert Zumba} Six years ago I bumped into my first Zumba class. I must admit initially I was completely lost. I felt like I was the only one in the room who didn’t know the routines and I certainly couldn’t remember the moves. However, after encouragement from the instructor because really that is such an amazing aspect of Zumba (encouragement from others and Zumba comradery) I went back to class. And before I knew it I was finding reasons to leave work early to get to her class on time (shhhhh don’t tell my boss). I even got a dog walker to take care of the dog (phew another problem averted)! What happened to me, and where was that person who preferred eating snacks and watching TV in the evening?

I will tell you what happened. I fell in love with Zumba

The fitness.
The dance.
The health benefits.
The psychological benefits.
The community.
The friendships.
The fun.
The music.
The weight loss (20 pounds down)!!

I let the music #moveme. Every time I turned the music on I literally felt the music in my body. After the very first beat my mood, my demeanor, my day completely changed for the better.
Photo credit: Zumba Fitness
I see this happening in class too. I can instantly point out when participants just show up to class versus coming to class where they feel more comfortable.

They start to smile more.
They work harder.
Jump higher.
Shake lower.
Mouth the words to the songs.
Close their eyes.
Whoo hoo.
And come back for more!

Before they know it Zumba class becomes a part of their schedule instead of just exercise they feel like they have to do. One of the best parts of being a Zumba instructor is watching an exercise class become part of someone’s fitness journey.

Here are some helpful tips to get people into that amazing #letitmoveyou frame of mind.

1. Be personable: It is obvious that Zumba instructors need to be enthusiastic and vibrant but adding that extra touch to class with a personal tidbit about yourself or a funny short story can make it easier for students to relate to you, and make their experience with you more memorable.

2. Smile: I can’t tell you how many times people tell me they love that I smile during class. It is so important! If you are having fun you will definitely spread the love.

3. Make Eye Contact: While you are in the front of the room, make sure to make eye contact with people and even consider giving an encouraging nod or thumbs up when someone squats lower or you can see they are really pushing themselves.

4. Be a Constant Source of Encouragement: Welcome newcomers to class. Ask and remember their names. Congratulate people on their weight loss and fitness successes. Thank people for coming to class. These types of interactions are so meaningful and truly engaging.

5. Cater to the Crowd: Ask people for their favorite songs so you can develop choreography “for them”. The smile on their face when “their song’ comes on is fantastic!

Promoting a personalized fitness experience and really being mindful of every participant in the room will help each person not only experience, enjoy, and love Zumba, but it will help your students feel the music; and it will be your hour that #movesthem.

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