Where have all the instructors gone? Guess what, those “aerobic” instructors are 60 years old. Yikes — so where do we find fresh blood? It’s not like instructors are waiting in line to teach group fitness, so where do we find them?
The issue may boil down to your director — if you do not have a great director with a lot of knowledge to train up a new instructor, you could be in trouble. An Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) certification could help because it teaches practical teaching skills. Another great place to go is one of the SCW Mania Conventions (scwfitness.com). SCW provides a comprehensive instructor training course, which teaches instructors all the basic fundamentals of teaching a group fitness class. These are two great resources once you find people to send. Finding those people can be the challenge, however, so here are my thoughts on how you can remedy this issue:
Your front row members — you know, the ones that take class religiously — have great rhythm and coordination and love group fitness. It is quite flattering when you approach these members and many of them get very excited about the possibility of being “the instructor.” These people will turn out to be your best because they will take the opportunity very seriously. If BodyPump, Zumba or Bootcamp is their favorite class, start by sending them to be trained to teach that particular class. They will usually incur the expense. From my experience, most instructors come from the front row.
Places to recruit instructors other than your front row are:
- Personal trainers
- Front desk staff or other club staff who love classes
- Dance studios
- Karate studios
- Theater companies
- College dance, theater and exercise science departments
- High school coaches and teachers
Sending letters inviting these populations to come to an open house to learn about becoming an instructor can be very powerful and well received. All of these populations love to be on stage.
Want more ideas? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lori Lowell is the President of Group Fitness Solutions, LLC, and owns 8 Fitness Facilities in Virginia and Wisconsin. Contact her at email@example.com.