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…
If she is new, then it is possible she can be spending that kind of time, I would pick my songs, order them into a playlist, memorize the music by listening 20 times+ then I sit for a full 6-8 hours putting the moves to the songs. I think maybe 4 hours a week is more reasonable, but if she is new cut her some slack. As she gets more experience the time get cut down substantially. If I can’t get a song done quickly after memorizing the music, then I toss it and move onto another. I teach 9-12 classes a week myself and have 2-3 playlists so I don’t get bored and the student never get bored.
I have never worked for (or heard of) a club paying for planning time (for group exercise OR personal training). And although that’d be GREAT, I think it’s unrealistic to expect to get paid for that. The time spent planning is not verifiable, either!
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!
I am guessing she is really inexperienced. i have been teaching 22 yrs. i also teach zumba. i might have spent 8 hrs planning my original class but i tend to shuffle my playlist and choreograph fairly guickly. I have never charged anyone for preptime. by the way zumba is a licence not a certification. Lynn Wihksne
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?