10 Tips for Fitness/Dance Instructors

Command Presence – You need to have an air of command and control over your studio space. Even if your nerves are making you shake in your Zumba shoes – fake it until you make it – your students need a leader, a guide and a mentor.

Be Prepared – Preparation breeds confidence. Have a plan for your Boot Camp class and ensure that you think of how transitions from each exercise will take place. If you coach a dance or aerobics class, write out your choreography and practice teaching and cueing. The more prepared you are the more confident you will be while instructing – and confidence is contagious!

Have a Plan B – We all know things do not always go as planned. What if the mic doesn’t work or worse what if the stereo goes out? Do you have a small portable speaker in your gym bag that your phone can hook up too? Have you practiced coaching without a mic? Do you have an alternate workout if your student’s are not catching on to choreography or perhaps the look on their faces scream, “ I hate this, when does this class end?” Having a plan B can save you from a lot of heartache and stress. Things happen – preplanning will allow you to get through them like a pro!

Dress the part – Although you work at a gym, you shouldn’t look as if you are there for your own workout. You should always look neat and professional. In addition, be sure to wear clothes that you feel comfortable in. Never wear a new outfit for the first time to a class – be sure to practice your moves and ensure that it doesn’t reveal anything or make you feel self-conscious.

Be honest – We all mess up. We all get brain fog. Just own it. Your students will love your humility and you will fell less stressed trying to be perfect all the time.

Rest – Teaching classes all week, all different styles, and at all different times can take a toll on you. You must take care of yourself. Be sure that you are not only getting the right macronutrients to sustain all the activity but the right micronutrients to keep inflammation away and your immune system strong as well. In addition, get your sleep and take some recovery days off from working out.

Continue to learn – not all learning requires a certification and tons of money. In today’s day and age, you can learn for free anywhere and anytime. In fact, “arm chair research” is where I have learned more about health and wellness than any of my certified courses, college classes or professional trainings. Don’t just agree with what is the hot trend – question it, research it, form your own opinion.

Don’t sweat the crazies – you may have a mean-mugger who rolls her eyes, the weird question asker, or even the girl who is reliving her years as a dancer going 200% right up front. Don’t let them get to you. You need to focus on the 80% of the class that loves your class, the other 20% doesn’t deserve your time or attention.

Take Class yourself – Learn from others in your industry. It’s fun to be a student and it can be extremely rewarding. When you switch roles it’s easier to relate to your students and find out what their needs and wants may be. Stop guessing what your students want – become a student and learn for yourself first hand!

Teach for those who show – Many instructors focus on who is not in class or how their class is “small today.” Steer away from focusing the energy on those who “did not show” and refocus your energy on those who took the time to come to your class. Wither your class has two, four, eight, or thirty students – whoever is there deserves the same energy, and excitement you give to all your classes.

Do you have any tips you can share with your fellow instructors?

Post in the comments below and share with your Instructor friends!

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