What happens if your class goes belly up?

We have all been there, regardless of group exercise experience. You know, you are into a routine and you are teaching your combination, and you have a complete mental blank, or the music skips, or you can’t pick up the beat. We are human and it happens. The problem is if you have a class room of people, it can get stressful and you sometimes want the ground to swallow you up.

I remember teaching in Portugal and I had 1000 (yes one thousand) people in the class. I had my routine planned, my music sorted and I was good to go, and then something happened……..people started leaving the class….and a lot of them! Basically I finished with 750 people, which was great considering I managed to pull it back, but that still meant that 250 left.

Another situation was at a Fit Pro Convention. I was teaching streetdance and I had 50 dancers moving and grooving, following my every move and generally having a good time…..then there was a major power cut!, and I had all those people looking at me, wanting me to solve the problem!

So the question is how can you pull a situation like that back. Here are some tips for you if you are faced with a similar situation, even if you it is on a smaller scale!

1. Breathe!!

Remember that most of the time it is easier to resolve an issue when you are relaxed, so you need to bypass the panic button so that you can think rationally!

2. If there is music, and you have lost the beat get back on phrase!

Whether you are teaching on a big stage in front of loads of people, or teaching in a small studio with a handful of people, you can lose the beat of the music. When that happens, just relax, stop if you need to, find the beat and start again. You can even make a joke of it, and actually regain the phrase from someone in the front row, who has nailed your routine. It makes them feel good as well!

3. If you still can’t get on phrase, there is still hope!

Just get yourself into a neutral move, such as a squat, or heel raise, get everyone into a holding position, such as a step touch, and then WHEN YOU ARE READY, you start where you left of. Remember you are the instructor and YOU are the one in control (even if it does not seem like it at the time 

4. Remember it is only a class, “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade”

It is not the end of the world if your routine does not work, the music cuts out, or people cannot get your routine. Make a joke of it, and make the best of the situation, such as;

(a) When the music cut out, in the example I gave above, I actually carried on teaching the routine with no music, FOR 45 MINUTES!! When the music actually started again, the energy in the group immediately lifted and I had a great session.

(b) If people cannot get your routine, rather than trying to convince them to get it, just teach a simpler version so that they get it. You can always teach the more advanced routine in a few weeks time.

By remembering these tips, you hopefully won’t get as stressed, if things don’t go as they seem, and that you will be able to recover, get yourself back on phrase and continue as if nothing happens!

Be Sociable, Share!
  • test