Sunday, August 28, 2011

To Perform or Create, that is the Question???

I have noticed that a number of the gyms here teach using standardized choreography from Les Mills. I have tried a few of the classes and overall I think they are very well timed and organized but there seems to be something missing. With further thought and analysis I have realized I miss the authenticity of the interaction with the instructor. Part of why I love taking a fitness class is for 1-hour you get to experience what fitness and health means to the instructor at the front of the room. You feel their passion, their creativity, their intensity, their joie de vivre.
In these standardized classes instructors are performers and no longer creators. I have been given some of the cd's so that I can learn to teach some of these classes and it is so strange how everything is timed so exactly, the precise phrasing, the lack of options for different levels of participants and that you teach the same class for 3-months before you receive the new choreography. I understand the value of consistency and continuity in classes offered in a fitness centre but at what price??? When speaking with the club owners they have chosen to offer these classes because they see such a difference in the quality of freestyle classes but there has to be a better way. Friends, readers, fitness participants....what do you think of these classes? For those who aren't sure if they have taken them they are the classes offered at Goodlife; RPM, Body Pump, Body Attack, Body Balance etc.
On Friday I taught my first Bodyshape class for my group of 45-years + students. I had butterflies in my stomach which is strange as I have been teaching fitness for almost 10-years. Nick told me once that nerves mean that you care and it's when we stop getting butterflies that we need to worry. He's so smart :) I was nervous partly because in my experience I have found that as we get older we can become stuck in our ways and resistant to deviations from our norms and habits. I find myself sticking to what is comfortable but I've really been trying to push that envelope because we only really grow when we go outside our comfort zones. This group definitely proved me wrong. They were open, excited, enthusiastic and welcoming. I really enjoyed myself and a number of the participants gave me wonderful feedback. One gentlemen, I use the term loosely, who was wearing a speedo and sheer white singlet not so much. He said that he would not be coming back because I don't speak Dutch and he doesn't believe I will be able to learn the language. I was happy when another women in the class told him off :) At first I was disheartened and then I restructured my thinking and it lit a fire under my butt. That night Nick and I watched the count from sesame street to learn to count in Dutch. We laughed while we practiced and I'll show that old guy, you wait and see!

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