Over Staying Your Welcome

When I last taught the Tuesday night dance class at the Club, I had only one student, and she was 15 minutes late. I left the club depressed and discouraged. There were other indications that my popularity there had waned. My picture and profile had disappeared from the Pilates staff wall display. My last attempt to produce a Performance Project there failed to generate minimal enrollment, and had to be cancelled. All my suggestions for innovative class formats were ignored.


I have a pattern of continuing to offer my expertise where it is no longer wanted, of overstaying my welcome.


How do you know when it’s time to move on?


I’ve worked for all the major, upscale health clubs in San Francisco. Dissatisfaction forces me to take a second look at the professional teaching terrain and my own, underlying desires. I want to belong to a team, to feel myself part of a faculty. Can I still make that happen in an environment where I’ve become obsolete? The challenge is to find a purposeful alternative in which I believe that I have a clear, creative and collaborative opportunity.

What do you recommend?


Fitness First Fatigue

I can’t be the only dance teacher working in a health club because his first love won’t pay the rent. In a gym of course, fitness comes first; art second. There, fitness is defined by market forces; and what I want to offer most is not on-trend. The same goes for martial artists, gymnasts, former team sport athletes, yogis — we each hold our own isolated dream, absent our peers in a health club setting as we operate in an environment that does not share our personal priorities.

images-1.jpegI revelled in the week that I spent as Ballet Master at a professional dance school last summer; but in the end I lost money doing it. The dance school enrolled only a handful of well-trained teenagers and a dozen amateur adults. The health club, on the other hand, has over 4,000 members.

How do you overcome the resulting mediocrity?

The challenge for a specialist teacher is boredom, as repetition demands that we always teach and stick to the basics, the rudiments of our craft, ever the same. One must calm a rising anxiety about one’s unfulfilled potential.┬áIt’s exhausting.

What do you recommend?