As we all know fitness professionals don’t make a lot of money. We do it because we love it! However, I don’t think that should mean that we end up paying over $100/month for cert fees..With that said what do you think about taking a well known fitness class (For ex. Zumba and calling it a “Latin cardio dance class”?) Most licensed fitness programs charge at least $10/month so if you have multiple certs it can really add up quickly. I know taking these trainings can be very valuable for learning more, but to have multiple certs and maintaing the fees each month seems a little crazy. Do any of you take branded fitness classes and changed the name, but use the same concepts to avoid paying hefty fees each month?
Whether one would consider this an act of civil disobedience in the face of an unjust system or intellectual theft probably varies. Certainly knock offs exist in many areas of commerce…. store brands for example, pirated movies are another. Sometimes things are clearly legal, sometimes clearly not, and often they exist in a grey area between.
Figuring out the specifics of the law on this would probably mean a trip to a lawyer with experience in this field. However, it seems likely that if you have a group exercise certification and you want to teach aerobics with a latin feel, well, people were doing that before ‘zumba’ and there are lots of variations on that theme, and that seems reasonable. However if you use moves and music straight from a zumba class…. well that seems like infringement to me.
But your question is less about whether it is legal, or actionable, but whether it is justified.
I agree that instructors are being squeezed. It kind of mimics a lot of things that are going on in multiple sectors of the economy. A few are getting wealthy and many are getting squeezed. Of course the many being squeezed are often looking for their own product they can turn into the next big thing. Someone, (I don’t remember who) once said that the average worker does not always fight the system because instead of seeing themselves as a victim of inequality solidified by a system in which those with lots of money help write the rules that let them keep it, they see themselves as a potential person with money who will be able to do the same, just as soon as they hit it big. But that is a big philosophical discussion.
I do not agree with going to a training and then not paying the liscensure fees and presenting the program anyway. I think that is wrong, and I do not generally find it morally justified. However, I think it is perfectly ok to take trainings and use whatever parts work for you within your own forms. I also have made a decision to generally avoid branded trainings because I do not want to support this system. I may decide to take one at some point, depending on the circumstances, but as a general rule I prefer to stand by my own creativity, even if it means teaching less or in different ways. As long as instructors are willing to pay these fees the system will not change.
When I am asked to sub for someone teaching, say, a Les Mills class I will accept but ask the studio to post that it will be a body sculpt, or high/low, or whatever I will be teaching. I do not try to mimic their style, but provide my own. I do take workshops and integrate various things into my style.
Thank you for bringing up what I think is an interesting and important topic.