I’m thrilled to see clubs offering so many different group fitness formats these days. We’ve come a long way in the world of aerobics and I think it’s great that people have so many options these days to find a class that is fun and challenging. My pet peeve though is that many of these instructors are not qualified to be teaching in a classroom setting. For example, just because you love to Zumba and you got certified, doesn’t mean you’re qualified to teach it.
My experience in getting certified in this format a few years ago left me feeling very disappointed. I walked into a room at 8am with about 50+ other people and 1 Master instructor. Out of these 50+ people I’d say 12-15 of us were certified Group Fitness instructors through very reputable programs. The others just loved to Zumba, nothing wrong with that by the way.
My frustration here is when I see studio and gym owners hiring instructors who literally the day before walked out of this certification with a piece of paper that says “You are now a Zumba instructor, you can start teaching Monday morning”… that is hardly qualified.
I grew up dancing these rhythms and I have to say, it takes much longer than a day to understand the differences in beats and counts between salsa, merengue, cumbia, chachacha, bachata, hip hop, etc….Not all of these are danced on an 8-count BUT when teaching in a group fitness format at your local gym, you must translate it to an 8-count in order to modify moves, prevent injuring your students and enhance their ability to expect a change in choreography and still get a great workout. Not an easy thing to teach in 1 day.
What happens to us instructors who spent hours, money and energy making sure we do get proper certifications in exercise physiology and go to fitness conferences to enhance our knowledge so we can educate our students better?? Now we’re being watered down with a new generation of instructors who don’t know the difference between a hamstring and a quadricep!
The only difference is that class sizes are a reflection of how qualified an instructor is…and even though our paychecks don’t show it…THAT is priceless!