As a group fitness instructor certified/licensed in multiple formats, I wanted to share why I feel instructors will benefit from tak
ing the BollyX® Instructor Certification Training. Even if you have no interest in Bollywood dancing, there are other concepts taught in the
course that will benefit instructors no matter what format they are currently teaching. Even if you’ve been teaching for years, learning a new format is always a challenge in itself – but that’s exactly why you’ll benefit from taking the BollyX® Instructor Certification Training!
The top 5 things you learn in a BollyX® Instructor Certification Training that will enhance you as a fitness professional are:
If you are currently teaching a format that doesn’t require you to move to the beat of the music, you may think you don’t need to learn how to move to the rhythm of the music. However, having the ability to find the beat to any song has several benefits. Not to sound cheesy, but there is something magical that happens when everyone in a packed room is moving at the same time to the same driving drumbeat of the music. It creates this amazing feeling of team work, community and bonding. Whether it’s dancing, cycling, kickboxing, or lifting weights, moving in sync with other members in the class can be very empowering and uplifting!
2. MUSICAL COUNTS
Having rhythm is one thing. Being able to distinguish and find the 1-count in an 8-count musical phrase, and being able to hear when the next32-count phrase begins, is another talent itself. I once took a class from a step instructor who moved to the beat of the music, but started new combos on the 2-count or 3-count of an 8-count phrase. I was extremely confused by this and kept tripping on the step. If you take group exercise classes regularly, you probably have noticed many dance choreography or moves are done 4x (each side) or 8x. Most movements are done so it fits an 8-count phrase, which when repeated 4x, completes a 32-count phrase. There are exceptions of course since not all songs are always composed with strict 32-count verses, choruses and bridges. Generally speaking, most songs are composed that way so training your ear to hear the start of the 8-count and the 32-count is extremely helpful. You can predict move changes or know that a move will happen 4x or 8x depending on how many counts the move is. For instance, a grapevine is a 4-count move so usually you will see 8 grapevines total (right and left 4x each) to complete a 32-count phrase. Having this skill is also helpful if you want to choreograph routines.
The difference between a participant and an instructor is pre-cueing. A stellar instructor will pre-cue upcoming moves in a timely manner so that participants in his/her class can follow the choreography easily and feel successful in class. One of the top reasons a participant won’t return to a class is that they were confused in class; participants felt they were constantly lost about what to do and, therefore, didn’t really get a good workout. BollyX® teaches instructors how to pre-cue not only for a more enjoyable experience for their students, but also for safety. If participants run into each other during dance moves that require travel and get injured, we know they won’t be coming back to our class. We definitely want people to return time and time again! And we want them to feel like they nailed the routine even in their first class.
4. COORDINATION (a different kind)
Group fitness instructors are talented and coordinated people. However, many instructors teach a specific format: cycling, or yoga, for example, and are only coordinated specifically in that type of workout. Invite them to a BollyX® dance class and they say, “Dancing isn’t for me.” How many times do we encourage our clients or gym members to try something new? Don’t we always say “Give it a try,” to members who are hesitant to try our class? How come we don’t follow our own advice? I know I’m guilty of that as a group fitness instructor. I teach Pilates, cardio kickboxing, BollyX®, Zumba®, BodyPumpTM, a freestyle strength training class and HIIT Boot Camps (the latter two not taught to the beat of the music). They all require different coordination patterns to do well. Teaching dance was the last thing on my mind! Believe it or not, I told myself I could never dance, much less teach it. Yes, I realize not everyone was born with the ability to dance – that weight training or yoga is more your thing – but most people will say they love to dance regardless (just look at the full dance floor at wedding receptions!) An online dictionary defines coordination as “the ability to use different parts of the body together smoothly and efficiently.” While it may take some time to gain the ability to move your right hand with your left foot while shaking your shoulder, you will eventually get it if you keep at it. By challenging yourself as a group fitness professional to take the BollyX® Instructor Certification Training, you will introduce new movement patterns that will enhance your muscles and brain. I couldn’t believe how sore I was after taking my first BollyX® class. And I thought I was in shape. The movement patterns were just so unlike what I was currently used to. Any time you work parts of your body and brain that you haven’t worked before, you’ll grow (physically and mentally). If you’ve been teaching kickboxing for years, your body will become very good at throwing amazing punch and kick combinations; for yoga, you can do a perfect Warrior II. Now challenge yourself as a non-dance instructor to take BollyX® which teaches you different movement patterns that you haven’t done before. This learning experience will not only improve your coordination, but will also enhance your memory as you take on this new mental challenge. Dance instructors will also benefit! If you’re not familiar with Bollywood/Bhangra dance movements, or the HIIT-aspect of BollyX® classes, taking BollyX® will not only enhance your teaching skills as you learn new movement patterns and choreography, but will improve your cardiovascular endurance.
5. CULTURE OF FEEDBACK
Last but not least, you will improve yourself as a Group Fitness Instructor and as a person by adopting BollyX®’s culture of feedback. We have a practical exam that all trainees must pass before obtaining their certification to teach. While that may turn some away from even attempting the Training, let me explain why we have this culture. We firmly believe in supporting each other. We want each person in our community to the best they can be. You can’t be the best if you don’t seek feedback and listen to it. There is no one out there that knows it all and has nothing left to learn. The moment you feel you have learned it all, or no longer have the desire to seek feedback to improve, you should quit teaching group fitness. At BollyX®, we have the exam in place not to provide an obstacle to becoming a certified instructor, but to instill in our trainees from day 1 that we value feedback because we care about constantly improving as instructors. We’re all in different phases of our fitness journey. Not passing the first time around, or the second time around, doesn’t mean you aren’t learning each step of the way, getting closer and closer to your dream of teaching group fitness. For me personally, I would rather seek feedback and know why someone has chosen not to return to my class, than show up to an empty studio wondering why people don’t come to my classes. Even if you are teaching to packed classes, ask for feedback! All the Master Trainers, ZES’s and Fitness Industry leaders I know are constantly requesting evaluations from the participants. If they are striving to improve even as some of the most well-respected leaders in fitness, who are we to say we no longer need feedback? I love that that the BollyX® family is built upon this strong culture of feedback and support. They want us all to succeed so they give us the tools we need to get there.
While this blog is specifically focused on BollyX®, many of the points I listed above can apply to other formats. BollyX® is a newer format that many people have yet to discover. Many people decide that it’s not for them because it’s Bollywood dance. However, I wanted to write that you shouldn’t simply write it off if you’re a Group Exercise instructor teaching other formats because there are still things to learn from taking the BollyX® Instructor Certification Training. We also ask for feedback from each trainee who takes our Training – we want to know what we’re doing right, and what we need to improve. While we’re not perfect, we’re happy to have received regular feedback from our community that they appreciate we are continually striving to improve and incorporate all the suggestions we get.
About The Author
BollyX® – The Bollywood Workout – is a dance-fitness program that combines dynamic choreography with the hottest music from India’s entertainment industry. Its 50-minute cardio workout, based on high intensity interval training (HIIT) principles, gets you moving, sweating, and smiling all at the same time. Each class burns 500-800 calories and leaves you feeling like a rockstar! To learn more, go to bollyx.com