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…
Zumba does require a lot of work. The instructor must know the music well, the instructor has to learn the choreography (that is if he/she decides to use the pre-choreographed routines) and if he/she doesn’t he/she is choreographing his/her own routines.
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.
I certainly agree that it takes quite a bit of time initially to prepare for classes, Zumba or otherwise. But as the instructor creates a greater arsenal of ‘modules’, i. e. music and choreography combinations, I would expect that the preparation time decreases. Eventually it can get to the point that an instructor only needs to determine the sequence of tracks to be played, and that determines the choreography. This is certainly what I observe with the Zumba instructors at the club where I teach.
8 hours of preparation to teach two classes seems way too much.
I agree with Joanne’s answer about a group fitness cert. I only hire Zumba instructors who also have a primary group fitness certification. A one-day training to get the “license” is not enough.
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.
Wow, I would love to work someplace that pays me for my prep time! I always thought it was my own responsibility to come up with class plans/choreography, just as it is my own responsibility to attend continuing education, etc. to maintain my certification.
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?