Monday, December 14, 2015

What Would You Do?

I giggle every time I see this video pop up on my Facebook feed (which is like, every third post right now). In case you missed it:

No rompas más mi pobre corazón me estás pegando justo entiendo......󾠙󾠙󾠙󾠙󾠙󾠙 caballo dorado saco ese baile
Posted by El Mimoso Oficial on Thursday, December 10, 2015

But, it got me thinking about new students or students who struggle to keep up with our classes. What options do we have? We can:
  • Offer more visual cues than usual to help him or her out
  • Use some verbal cues until he or she gets used to the class format
  • Ignore it
  • Kick him or her out of the room (JUST kidding. Don't send hate mail.)

Of those three options, I usually offer more verbal cues (along with visuals) than I normally would. And it's not because I mind if someone is on the wrong foot or arm - calories don't know the difference, right? But, I do worry about other students getting distracted, or worse, getting hurt because they've collided with someone sashaying in the wrong direction.

I also try to identify if the student is 1) oblivious to the fact that he or she is off, 2) aware of it but doesn't mind, or 3) frustrated by not being able to pick up the moves. The folks in group number 2 don't really need anything other than understanding peers; if they're happy, I'm happy. Group number 1 makes me nervous because that's when people can get hurt. For them, I may stand next to them for certain moves with directional changes until they catch on. And I feel for group number 3 - Zumba should be super fun, not frustrating! For this group, I exaggerate my cues and, after class (and discretely!) ask if they have any questions. Sometimes people ask me to review moves with them, which I'm always happy to do.

So, how do you handle a student gone rogue?


  1. I will answer back with another question. What do you do with the student (s) who insist on being front and center and when the class moves forward these individuals do not? I have seen it and almost plowed into a woman who did not budge while taking a class.

  2. I was pretty much that student when I first started. I couldn't keep up, when I got confused I would just stand still and try to move as little as possible. During the fastest part of the class, I would duck out to the restroom(as an excuse) and wait until I heard the music slow down for cool down. Only one class I went to did the the instructor try to teach me the steps. But I was not happy about what I perceived to being singled out. My solution as a Zumba Gold teacher is to either ignore it(if safe) or try to slow it down and make my steps easier to follow. It still catches me off guard when I have someone who can't keep up with me because I am still comparing my skills with those who are more advanced and experienced then I am. Just encourage those who need more help, some people really do have two left feet and no knowledge of how to stay on the beat.

  3. Interesting you ask. I was in that situation a few days ago where I had one participant who was totally off and I was afraid she would hurt herself or someone else. I went next to her showing her the moves amd she said she had a hip injury. So I got her into step touch and toe taps in half tempo, the frustration vanished from her face, even though she was not doing the choreo, she was able to stay on beat without hurting herself.

  4. Thanks for the feedback and ideas, everyone! Very helpful to hear about other people's experiences when it comes to this situation.

  5. There are so many good tips how to keep up when you can't embrace everything. It is especially helpful when you write for prices service and need to make a lot at once.

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