I’ve been a regular BODYJAM participant for the better part of two years, and up until recently I thought my cardio fitness was at par with an instructor’s. Well, now that I am a BODYJAM instructor myself, I find that it is a very different experience from teaching a mind-and-body program like BODYBALANCE, particularly with regard to the kind of cardiovascular and aerobic strain one can put her body through.
I underwent training in Jam last month, but I taught my first solo class only last Thursday at Metro East. Lorna of TheBachelorGirl was in attendance there and she blogged a very positive reaction (as well as snapped several photos of my outfit for me). I’m glad she had a great time, because I did too. I also nearly died onstage.
Well, okay, I’m being melodramatic, but the pressure of remembering choreography (when to introduce which move) and having to push out words through my mouth while my mind is just screaming “I NEED MORE AIR!” at me is extreme. My main concern there was giving my participants the workout they came for. Never mind about showing off (as if I even could, in my state); my job was to deliver the experience safely and effectively — and get out alive. Hopefully, as I get used to the cardio load and find the levels I need to work at, I’ll be able to improve my skills in coaching and connecting with my participants so that they do feel successful in dancing.
First things first, though. I do need to take care of myself before, during, and after teaching class. Beforehand, I need to hydrate and feed myself so I don’t run out of water and energy during the class. During the class, replace fluids lost (this is the one thing I did right the first time). After the class, have a light snack or a meal very soon so I don’t undergo hypoglycemia. Seriously, that first class took so much out of me that I had to take to bed. I only got up three hours later, still weak-kneed.
I’ve never felt anything like it and all I could do was push on because I needed to. Whoever said that instructing classes is easy has never had to teach one. Ü