When I decided to become a Shazzy Fitness instructor, I was envisioning helping people workout and lose weight while having fun and worshipping God. I was excited to get started and then reality set in along with all the questions. What have I gotten myself into? Where am I going to teach? How much should I charge for classes? What if I forget the choreography?… If this sounds like you, let me put your mind at ease.
Teaching your first class should be a fun experience that empowers you and your students. These are the steps I took to stop thinking about it and go for it!
Pray: Prayer is the beginning of everything. I prayed for direction, guidance and favor. I submitted my plans to God so that he could establish them. Give your plans to Him so that He can open the doors that will establish you.
Find a Venue: Before I could get started I had to find some place that could accommodate a class. I thought about churches, local recreation centers and schools. Fortunately, the director at my children’s Christian school was on board to let me use the gym at the school for my class. I had an established relationship with her but I still followed these steps. You will want to send a letter to introduce yourself and describing what Shazzy Fitness is all about, when you want to have classes, and how much space you will need. Once you have made contact you will need to call the venue to arrange a tour of the space to see if it will fit your needs.
Pick a Date: I taught my first class for Shazzy Fitness’ October Pink Out. During the month of October, instructors taught classes to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So I had a deadline to get started. Having a date set meant I had to move forward and it kept me from pushing the date backward. When considering a start date, think about what works for your life and the availability of the venue. My first class was on a Saturday but my regular classes are on Tuesday evenings because it worked for my family life, my work schedule and the school where I was holding classes.
Get the Word Out: Having a place and a time mean little if no one knows about what you are doing. There are several low cost ways to let people know that you will be teaching a faith based fitness class. Start with creating a flyer to share with your church and post in your community. Many supermarkets and libraries have community bulletin boards that you can share your events on. We have several templates available for instructors to use to create your own marketing materials. Another important way to get the word out is to use social media. So share, share, share and then get your friends and family to share! The more you get the information in front of people the more likely they will be to come. Also, don't forget to call people. Some people, often those closest to us, will only respond if you give them a personal invitation. So reach out to your friends so they can support you.
Practice. Once you have gotten a date and venue and shared with your friends and family, it's time to practice your moves and go do it! I am a teacher by profession but when I taught my first class it was my first time teaching a fitness class. Honestly, I was nervous so I decided to go with a breakdown model for my class for two reasons. First, learning choreography for an hour class can be overwhelming when you are new. I learned two routines and practiced my warm up and cool down. That way I could teach the routines and then have the class go through them two or three times continuously. Second, Shazzy Fitness is new to my area. I wanted to give an introduction to the format and make people feel comfortable.
Here is where you need to know yourself and your audience. If you know you can learn and remember large amounts of choreography and that your audience is used to continuous flow type classes then go for it! Now that I have been teaching awhile, I can do more of a continuous flow class with a challenge choreography added in. If you need ideas about which choreography to use ask other instructors in the Facebook group and join the Choreo Club.
In the end, the most important thing is to have fun with it and with the class. You will feel most confident if you remember to put God first and know that the people in your class will follow you because you are passionate about your faith and fitness. You are ready to help people Move the Body, Lose the Weight and Tone the Spirit. Let’s go!