either way works, follow your energy that day and most importantly your clients…..you can choreograph a routine, but then your client arrives and either their knee maybe bothering them or their back, or they had a stressful day or a have a headache and you instantly need to revamp it……I freestyle 7 out of 10 times……I modify my own workouts allot to fit the client…..and mix it up to keep it interesting and fun…..but follow their lead allot and give that push they need to get the most out of it all the time…..
It’s tough to label anything as “best” as it all comes down to what’s best for an individual based on preferences and ability level. That said, in terms of group exercise classes, choreographed classes create an immediate standard of quality throughout your club and your group fitness class schedule. There’s no variability lending to years of experience or background of the instructor. It strengthens the entire team and reduces members calling in with concerns about who is teaching class.
Teachers with personality plus will always shine but you as the owner, director have much more quality control from choreographed classes. You can continue to keep some other classes on if you have unique and talented instructors you trust.
As a club owner where both freestyle and choreographed classes are offered, I prefer the choreographed classes–I know what the instructor is teaching is safe and effective and they have had to go through rigorous training before they are certified to teach. This means I don’t have to spend as much time monitoring the classes. The members prefer knowing exactly what type of a workout they will get and it will be exactly the same no matter who teaches it, and although they still have their favorites, there is less anxiety for “subs”. I sometimes worry about the freestyle classes (i.e. Zumba) because I don’t know exactly what they are teaching and if it is safe. Also, I find freestyle instructors more about themselves and their own popularity and don’t encourage participants to crosstrain.
There are a few ways to interpret your question, the answers so far are indicating — many people may confuse dance choreography, which has complicated sequences with a planned class. Also freestyle can work if you are an expert communicator and know how to queue effectively. However, I find the participants in the class determine which approach is most effective. My clients say they prefer to take a class that has some set standard that they can follow in order to get a good workout (is that choreography?). Otherwise, they spend the entire class trying to figure out what to do. At the same time, the attendees have also told me that if they wanted to take dance lessons, they’d go to Zumba or Fred Astaire instead of to the fitness center. I think it’s best to do what’s right for the members over your personal preference as an instructor. A professional group fitness instructor adapts to every situation and brings the best of his or her training and experience to every class.