“Those who can, do…”

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Working out while instructing

It can be fun, supportive and motivating for the trainee, when their fitness coach to drops down next to them and matches them in a series of push ups or crunches…Team work! In fact, in the health club setting, cardio-dance students expect the teacher to cue the entire class by providing a continuous, visual demonstration. However, in performance training classes, where technical improvement is the aim of the class, the teacher must step aside and let the students take center stage.

 

When is it in the student’s best interest for the teacher to watch rather than do?

Emphasizing his role as observer means that the teacher never gets the thorough warmup that he’s provided his students; and that’s tough on the teacher’s body; for by the middle of class, the students are ready to turn and jump; but the teacher is still stiff and unprepared to demonstrate athletic movement sequences full-out. He’s spent the preceding 30-45 minutes observing and correcting others.

Next month I’m starting a new class, and changing the format of an existing one to combine the two cuing styles. I’m looking forward to the workout; but wondering when and how much to dance/demonstrate, and how much to stand aside and cheerlead from the back of the studio.

How would you implement your best teaching practice?

 

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Taking Time-Off

I have two early morning clients and three more this evening; but today my 9:00 – 5:00 is free — a life of leisure?images-1.jpegSometimes, but the variability can be confusing. My empty hours are often unpredictable, anxious and unwelcome. In dance, community theater, and fitness training, Saturday is a work day. Most of us movement teachers dedicate Saturdays to class and rehearsal. Except for very rare, two-day workshops, I decline to work Sundays. A full weekend however, is the exception, expensive (because it is unpaid), and demanding a surprising degree of advance planning.

Is a balanced life best achieved by small doses of time-off through the year, or by one, annual grand vacation?

Although I’d prefer to live in a more rural setting, I am locked into operating my business and living in San Francisco. This is “everyone’s favorite city” for ¬†good reason; and I am well aware of my good fortune. Still, I dream about scheduling one weekend a month to enjoy this place or to get out of town. That means saying No to money and opportunity, and risking the ire of health club directors who frown upon classes frequently substituted.

What do you do to balance your work and play?