Many group exercise instructors do not realize the full influence they can have on their students. In some cases, your class could be the best part of their day. But why? What about a group exercise class can turn that 30 or 60 minutes into the highlight of an entire day? The experience, especially if it is a fun one.
The experience involves how you as the instructor can make the participants think and feel. This isn’t the super complex drill or choreography you worked diligently to teach perfectly. It’s the fact that you remembered their name, or your playlist spoke to them, or maybe it was the endorphin-release you helped facilitate.
When teaching dance fitness classes, part of the experience is creating an environment where the participants do not feel self-conscious about their dance moves, but release, relax, and bust a move. We should be creating fun experiences so our class wants to come back regularly. So how can we do that and avoid becoming a strict dance –class instructor?
5 Fun D.A.N.C.E. Tips
Here are 5 tips to make your next fitness dance class an experience that your participants will appreciate, cherish, and return to time and time again:
- D << Direct Introductions
Don’t be the hidden DJ in the back of the club. As people enter, make sure you introduce yourself and try to take a few seconds to learn something about that person. Maybe they are new to the city, came with a regular participant, was a professional dancer, or have two left feet. Learn something so they feel like they have a friend automatically. This will alleviate some nerves and allow for the participant to relax a bit more.
- A << Activities for partners or small groups
Even if it is as simple as a cue to high five the person next to you at the end of a dance song, make your participants interact with each other. Partner games and activities are fun and can easily create a bond between people. Do you know of a song track your class loves? Have the entire class dance it together first, and then put them into small groups and have them dance together in their own little circle facing towards each other. Sure, the laughter and giggles will be abundant, but isn’t that the point?
- N << Navigate the Room
Who says you have to stay up front the entire dance class? Those ladies on the back row may never want to stand front and center but I am sure they would booty bump with you once or twice. Obviously, you cannot stray from the front often, but move around your crowd when there is a chance in the choreography.
- C << Coach, not Star
Even in a dance class, you are a coach and not the superstar of the show. There are no spotlights, talent agents, or reasons that you should focus the class on your own skills. While sometimes we do get lost in the music and movement, make sure you are focusing on your participants. Are they having fun? Do they struggle with a certain movement, and if so, how can you break it down for them?
- E << Exceptional Playlist
There are so many music services and apps available for you as an instructor that it will make your head spin (check out our Music Resources for a full list). From Spotify to Tempo Magic Pro, there are ways to create the perfect playlist for your class, your participants, and your style. BUT don’t be stuck in a selfish rut; just because you don’t like a genre, doesn’t mean your class doesn’t like it. Mix it up, find remixes or mash-ups, and be creative.
What other ways can you have fun and DANCE with your classes??