As summer comes to a close & kids get ready to head back to school, many parents prepare to try another hand at a healthier lifestyle by scheduling in exercise. Unfortunately, many will cave in before they even get started, because of the fear of other participants “watching” during a dance or fitness class. It may sound silly, but the fear is very real. So, I wanted to share a powerful piece of my book, Surviving Your First Dance-Fitness Class, with you this afternoon. I hope that it gives you some encouragement & inspiration.
The day has arrived and you’re ready to begin your first [dance-fitness] class. It’s a good idea to arrive a few minutes early. This way you’ll have time to use the restroom, find where the class is taking place, and find a good area to be able to see the instructor during class. Even though it may seem more intimidating, I recommend standing in, or close to, the front row. This way you can see the instructor well and be able to follow along easier. Don’t worry that people are watching you. Everyone else is (and should be) focused on trying to follow along, just like you. Believe me, no one has time to pay attention to what you’re doing. A good instructor will do their best to keep everyone’s attention the entire class, and be concerned about how their participants feel before, during, and after the class.
Remember that we’re all human, and even instructors make mistakes. To be completely honest, even with well over 1,000 classes under my belt, I very, VERY rarely teach a class where I don’t mess up somewhere at least once. Just ask my students. They’ll be the first ones to verify this. Ha! For me, when I attend a training course, or someone else’s class & the instructor makes a mistake, it is a reminder to me that, “Oh yeah, it IS okay to mess up. We ALL do.” It makes me feel normal, and more confident that I’m doing just fine. You will too. Through the years, I’ve learned that 1, no one cares if you make a mistake. It doesn’t matter if you have no rhythm, move to the right when everyone else goes left, or just plain can’t catch on to the step. The point is to move and enjoy yourself. That’s it. 2, if you do “mess up”, they probably won’t even remember it happened by next week; and 3, practice enough and you’ll learn how to disguise many of your mistakes where people won’t even notice.
If for some reason you take a few classes and still feel awkward or uncomfortable, that particular class may just not be the “right fit” for you. DO NOT give up and quit your health & fitness journey. Try another class or location. I personally know way too many people who’ve tried one class somewhere, it wasn’t a good fit, and they gave up on ever trying another one. Find a class where you feel most comfortable, and the most successful. I typically ask my new students to attend at least ten classes to know whether or not my class is a good fit for them. However, most know within about the fifth or sixth class. Remember, no one became a professional the first time they ever tried something new. It takes practice, and we always have room for improvement, no matter how much of an expert we are.
To continue reading, download your copy of Surviving Your First Dance-Fitness class here. You can also find it on iBooks, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.