How much time is reasonable to plan a Zumba class? PLEASE GIVE INSIGHTS
I have one Zumba instructor who teaches two 1 hour classes per week. In addition to those hours we pay her for teaching, she puts down 6 - 8 hours per week for planning/prepping for those classes and for learning new songs and material. I am happy to pay my instrcutors for planning within reason - I do not teach Zumba or any choreographed classes myself, so I am not sure what is a reasonable time to expect for learning new songs/choreography etc. Any insights into what might be fair would be great! 8 hours seems like a lot to me...
That being said, I agree with Joanne and Karin that it does take a significant amount of prep, especially for a new instructor, to develop their classes. I had group fitness experience prior to obtaining my Zumba license, so my prep time initially was about 4 hours for the very first class I taught (learning the music and choreographing steps or learning choreography), and has since decreased to about 30 minutes a week for each class format I currently teach.
Sarah's last paragraph sums it up well; as instructors, we don't need to reinvent the wheel for every class - our students want some consistency in order to not have to be mentally thrown for a loop and can just focus on the workout itself. For my Zumba classes, I keep most of the same routines for weeks, just mix in a new song or two every few classes and/or play with the lineup of songs to keep it fresh. 6-8 hours every week is absolutely excessive. If you provided 1 hour a week for prep time, that is wonderful! Do your other group fitness instructors receive the same benefit? Especially those who may teach more than one format or who have multiple certifications and experience?
I agree with the above threads that newly certified Zumba instructors lacking additional group exercise certification are generally not as able to quickly prepare and plan for a safe, effective workout. I also agree that Zumba certification should be an *additional* certification to a nationally accredited group exercise certification - there's much more to teaching group ex than knowing how to dance, or box, or lift weights...(basic anatomy/physiology, safety & modifications for participants for starters!). I hold both types of certifications (ACE Group Ex, ACE Personal Trainer, & Zumba), and often wonder about the quality/safety of classes led by instructors with only Zumba training. In fact, during my Zumba certification, the components of teaching group exercise (beyond the Zumba moves & breaking down music/rhythms, etc) was barely covered.
I would love to see Zumba require Group Exercise certification as part of their process for Zumba certification. In absence of that, it's up to fitness facilities to ensure the safety and effectiveness of their classes by hiring nationally certified group exercise instructors.
Lastly, if your new instructor is/becomes a 'ZIN' member, he/she will receive professional choreography (& music) to use - this cuts down on planning time tremendously! The choreography is excellent and there are no worries about copyright infringement.
Good luck with your new instructor!
Here is what I believe:
Many Zumba instructors do not have a group fitness certification. Many of the have only the Zumba license. As a consequence of this, I am moved to asked, what are the credentials of the instructor your hired? Is his/her only credential the Zumba license? Is he/she a new instructor with little experience? If that is the case, then it will take time for the individual to prepare their class. Are we talking about an experienced instructor? The skill set of an experienced instructor is different?
As a business owner, you should be the one determining what you will pay for and what you won't pay for in terms of the amount of time it takes to prepare for any class. Eight hours is excessive.
8 hours of preparation to teach two classes seems way too much.
I pay my instructors for up to three hours each semester (I oversee a university recreation program) of practice time. This is a chance for them to watch fitness DVDs (provided by us) to get new ideas, practice choreography, etc. All instructors are also expected to do the required amount of continuing education to keep their certifications current, and that is another venue for new ideas/choreography.
6-8 hours per week is way too much time for preparation, especially since she can teach the same songs/dances in multiple classes. Perhaps offer to pay her for one hour per week of prep time.
How is it that one can get the Zumba license in 8 hours or so and that the same instructor can't put together a class in less than eight hours. Seems a little odd to me.
I am employed as zumba instructor by a fitness club and it is up to me to make sure I am prepared for my students and deliver fun and active class.
In all the years I taught group I charged for the class only, never occurred to me to charge for any extra time.
Talk with her and work something out, besides Zumba has a huge network, I'm sure they can assist her or possibly she can become certified in a group exercise accredited organization.
Now I just replace one or two songs at a time, and it takes me about 30 minutes to pick and prepare song.