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Tech-savvy Group Exercise

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Years ago, Group X instructors had few tools other than pen and paper to help them manage their classes. But times have changed. Now instructors have hundreds of apps and social media platforms to choose from to help grow their personal brands, manage their schedules and more.

Facebook: The social media platform isn’t just for businesses. Group X instructors can use it as well to connect with clients in a convenient way.

Madel Sotomayor, an instructor at Gainesville Health and Fitness (GHF) in Gainesville, Florida, created a Facebook page for her Zumba class called “Madel’s Zumba Peeps.” It has 760 fans.

“I use this Facebook page to send daily messages reminding members of my next class, to provide inspiration and to inform about upcoming events, such as fundraisers and master classes,” said Sotomayor.

Now, Sotomayor can connect with her members on a platform that most people use almost every day, which is much easier than striving to interact with 760 fans remotely.

Tempo Magic: Sometimes, finding music that matches your class’ tempo isn’t easy. At least that was a problem before the app Tempo Magic was invented. “It adjusts my playlists so that all of my songs are the same BPM, that way I can just use stuff from my iTunes rather than having to buy special CDs ,” said GHF instructor Jessica Prentiss.

According to Laura Berto, another GHF instructor, this ability is essential. “For our class, being able to control the speed of the music is critical — both for fun, safety and proper execution of the movements in class,” she said. “I simply plan a playlist ahead of class. I use the up and down arrow buttons to easily adjust speed and I can skip over or back songs if needed. It’s been a lifesaver and I’ve used it for a few years.”

This helps with choreography as well. “It allows me to use music of my choice, to which I have created choreographies, and set it at the optimum speed for the flow of the choreography and the intended and appropriate cardio interval intensity,” said Sotomayor. Now, pacing is simple.

Blogspot: There are tons of free blogging platforms, such as WordPress, Wix and Blogspot, that are great for helping instructors keep members up to date on events and class changes.

For example, Berto uses Blogspot to educate members on which dances will be executed during her “Dance Attack” class.

“Since we start each Saturday with a breakdown session, knowing what song we’re working on helps them decide whether they want to come early for that — or if they know that one, they’ll just come later to the regular class,” she said.

In addition, Berto explained the blog provides additional info for newer members. “After a few requests for a list of songs we have routines to, I added a long list on the right side of the page so they have that info,” she said. “ It’s a nice history of all we have.”

Interested members can now check out the “Dance Attack” virtually and decide for themselves if they’re interested.

Spotify: Music is central to entertaining and invigorating members. However, finding good music can be time consuming and costly. Spotify is a convenient and affordable way to solve these issues.

“I pay $9.99 per month, and for that amount you can play any and all music offline, in airplane mode, to avoid other interruptions while teaching,” said Valerie Werner, a GHF instructor. “It is a spectacular app and saves money compared to actually buying new songs on iTunes. You can create an unlimited number of playlists and folders.”

Instructors can also choose from Spotify’s playlists, which cover a wide range of music genres, making music cultivating even more convenient.

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Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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