|A Step in Between|
Is this you sometimes?
You are looking at your class 20 minutes into the choreography and realise that it is not going so well.
Your front row participants are movin’ and groovin’, there is one participant in the front right corner embellishing the choreography and adding their own turns, and then the rest of the class is trying to pick up the choreography. And then… there is definitely three people who look completely lost and are standing still more often than they are moving.
If you are like me, you are not too happy. After all, you are a great group exercise instructor who enjoys having the whole class move successfully and not just the handful that are sure to return back next week.
The challenge for any freestyle instructor is how to cater for different levels within the one class. The beautiful thing about being a freestyle instructor is that we have the opportunity to try, so we do. The question is HOW?
There is no one foolproof method, but consider the following options.
Everyone wants the workout – well at least in Australia. In fact, as a culture, we highly prize the workout and if a class does not achieve the target sweat mark, then participants will eventually make choices about how they want to spend their workout time. So if it is a regular participant or a new comer, the workout is definitely a high priority. To an instructor this means repetition, which is good news for the beginner. Regulars should be encouraged to work on their technique and range of motion. When the class is focused on the workout, then there is not as much attention placed on the choreography – which gives beginners an opportunity to pick up unfamiliar foot patterns.
No one likes to feel uncoordinated. Regardless of who is participating in the class, everyone wants to feel comfortable - whether it is because they are able to complete the routine or are confident in the instructor’s ability to teach them choreography. What is important to appreciate here, is that beginners do not have to get every single move in a class to feel successful. They also realise that they are beginners, and they will not get everything, just as long as the instructor provides the encouragement that they will in the near future.
This needs to be addressed as often our primary goal is to get the choreography out there and completed. If we are talented with creativity, we are often challenged to cater for those who ‘just don’t get it’.
Another concern is participant boredom. As instructors we know what we are going to deliver. In fact we usually perform the choreography several times in preparation for the class. Rehearsed, we teach our classes, but our participants are seeing it for the first time. We are usually over it before they get a chance to really get into it. Bored – it is usually ourselves that we are trying to please, so consider how many times the class has had an opportunity to perform what you have prepared.
Consider what makes us really happy. Happy participants, sweaty participants, regular participants.
Ok, so how do we deal with regular members and keep new ones coming back???
Firstly start with looking at your choreography and ask…
Do you have to teach complex choreography to be considered a successful instructor? The answer is a big NO. If you ask regular members what they want and what makes them happy, the answer will usually be “a great workout”.
10) Layer – 5x leg curl repeater, to 2x leg curl with ½ time mambo and 1x leg curl
11) Layer – 2x leg curl with ½ time mambo to 2x leg curl with gallop backwards
12) Layer – 2x leg curl with gallop backwards to 2x leg curl switch and gallop backwards
13) Add Rocking horse with 1x push back and stomp to 2x leg curl switch with gallop backwards, and 3x alternating kicks
14) Teach 3x knee repeater, 2x basic step
15) Layer – 3x knee repeater to 1x mambo and 1x knee
16) Layer – 1x mambo and 1x knee to 1x mambo to side of step and 1x knee back
17) Add Rocking horse with 1x push back and stomp, 2x leg curl switch with gallop to Low L and 1x basic step (or run)
10) Layer – 2x leg curl repeater to 2x knee repeater
11) Layer – 2x knee repeater to knee balance
10) Layer – 3x leg curl repeater but stay on one side of the step (facing the left side)
11) Layer – 3x leg curl switch
12) Insert - 1x knee to side, ball change behind, straight leg hop, straddle, 3x leg curl switch, 2x basic step and 3x kick repeater
13) Layer - 2x basic step to 2x mambo
14) Layer – 2x mambo to 2x cut the corner
15) Layer – 3x kick repeater to kick, lunge, kick
10) Add together – 4x pendulum swing, straddle down, toe taps, 2x knee repeater and 2x Pogo around step