Friday, May 13, 2016

6 Tips For New Zumba Instructors

I have 6 tips that rarely get talked about in the online world. These are things I learned to raise the satisfaction level for myself and my participants.

1) Talk as little as possible about yourself.
It's easy to fall into "performer mode" when faced with your first class. You might feel a need to talk about yourself to become acquainted. But from the participant's perspective, they're already assuming you're a great Zumba instructor. There's no need for an opening speech about your background and credentials. Just say hello, tell them your name and ask if there are any injuries or pregnancies. Then give them the workout they came for.

2) Give them a hard workout, not a hard routine.
No matter how qualified you are as a dancer, remember it's about what your participants can do. Know your participants want. Just because you do the moves intensely, doesn't mean they can or will. If the moves are too lyrical, most people won't get it. They won't burn as many calories either. Participants are happiest when they've worked up a sweat and feel accomplished in class. Make the moves energetic and easy to follow. Keep momentum up by using a playlist so there's no idle time flicking through music in class.

3) Forget the bad days.
Bad days happens to all fitness instructors. People walk out, bring in the wrong mood or hardly anyone turns up. If you are taking on board feedback and trying your best, don't worry about the occasional bad day. You have no control over them so don't take them personally. I never thought I'd get asked to teach again after my first bad day but I did, and the following week's class was amazing. It must have been a "glitch" in the stars.

4) Swiftly deal with difficult participants.
Act quickly to difficult people and stay calm. Remember you have an audience and bad behaviour is not something participants have come to see. A participant interrupted me mid-track once, grabbing my arm and asking me to teach in front of the mirror. The class came to a halt. I had to acknowledge her and say: "Sure!" and did what I was told happily. Result? Minimal awkwardness and disruption.

5) Make eye contact with everyone in class.
You need to make eye contact with every participant at least once. It's means that you're checking up on them to see if they're having a good time. Eye contact shows that you are with your participants. If you make a habit of constantly meeting eyes with every participant, it builds a connection and they will reciprocate.

6) Have contingency plans.
If you rely on public transport or drive, aim to arrive at least 15 minutes early. Do a first aid course for the obvious reasons. And finally bring spare equipment. I carry audio cables and a UE Megaboom bluetooth speaker. If you play music through a phone, bring a spare device with the music backed up and a power bank. For your peace of mind, don't risk any show stoppers.

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