That's a bummer kraftykraft! That is not how I like to be at all. We've had plenty of times where at the end of the last song which is usually a big stretch.. we all just kind of sit on the floor and joke around. Even with the new people. It does help to have a buddy go to class with you though. The first time i went without any of my usual workout buddies I felt weird. Thankfully i'm a ridiculous extrovert so i joined another group. haha!
We're all there for the same basic cause. We're all friends on some level ya know? I encourage everyone i know to go to the class. I just sense people are afraid of looking silly :(
Fitness Minutes: (48,252)
8/15/13 2:11 P
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I remember when I started taking a kickboxing class at my old gym where I used to live, there were maybe 10 people there and they all seemed to know each other and be on friendly terms wtih the instructor. I stuck it out for a few weeks because it was a REALLY good workout, but I never felt like I belonged in the class. People would say "hi" to me, but then drifted into their little groups.
8/15/13 1:12 P
A lot of it is time of year. People are going on vacation or enjoy spending time outside more. A lot of my regulars have fallen off this month. Things I do to increase retention, although it wouldn't work for zumba, is benchmark testing so people can see improvement gained from coming to class regularly. Do activities that help people get to know each other and foster social participation and break apart the cliquishness. Change up routines frequently so they are always trying new things and learning and being challenged. Making sure I talk to new class members after each class at that beginning to make them feel supported and encouraged. And if someone comes back after an absence, I make them feel welcome and not guilty.
I'm a Zumba instructor, and I am no skinny mini. My enrollment was down earlier this year and I asked a few of my students for feedback, and it was my energy level that was turning them off. I had gained about 60 pounds and it was hard to move like I used too. Since then I've been losing weight slowly and my self confidence has come back.
I also find that if the same routines and songs are done over and over, students get bored. If she's as good as you say she is, then this proably isn't her issue.
And is it is summer, the end of summer and people take vacations and are getting ready for school.
Sometimes, people just prefer different instructors. We have 5 at the Y and some go to all of our classes, some go to just whose style they like better. Each instructor is different.
Thank you all for all your feedback!! The instructor is by no means overweight. She is an average woman. She lost a large amount of weight by doing zumba and became an instructor because of her successes. I do believe this time of the year is slow and that could be a huge part of the problem.
I honestly don't see the instructor being at fault for low enrollment. I didn't even hardly know her before class and we became friends through her class basically. She is a really warm, inviting, fun and funny person. She's got incredible rhythm and is really great at signaling us for a change of direction, change of move or whatever. There isn't any competition there, ya know? The people that have been going to class steadily have a blast. It's just trying to encourage new people to join that we're having problems with :)
I agree with the person who mentioned the time of year. Everyone is enjoying the warmer weather, vacations etc. Maybe a 2 for 1 promo etc. The zumba class my friend attends you pay in advance so more people show consistently.
Fitness Minutes: (1,441)
8/15/13 11:30 A
I did aqua zumba ONCE and I never will again unless there is a different instructor.
#1 No one explained at the beginning of the class that the actions are shown by the instructor's body language, not called out like I'm used to.
#2 Being in water, I moved slower than the instructor did and by the time I figured out what the heck she was doing now, I couldn't do the turns as fast, so I'd get one or two times done then I'd have to trying and figure out what she's doing next.
I've never done on land zumba but based on my one experience, I probably won't.
Fitness classes seem to go in trends, and Zumba seems to be on the way down in my area (with BodyPump making its way up). Also, this time of year fitness in general seems to take a back seat - it's end of Summer, people are fitting in vacations and doing stuff with their kids while they're still home from school, it's hot/humid in many parts of the country, and we're about as far away from the New Years Resolution as we can get. The gym I go to (and associated classes) are always busiest in Jan/Feb and slowest between now and the end of the year. You and I know that fitness is part of life, but for many people it's something that they try once and then never follow up on again.
As far as the stuff you mentioned, how full is the class currently? If it should be 25 people, but only 10 are showing up, it can feel hard for a new person to "blend in" - which makes it difficult to get the numbers up again and it can feel more intimate and personal, which is NOT something I want in a group class. And a delicate question you don't have to answer - you mention the instructor isn't a size 0 (which is just fine! an overly fit instructor can be intimidating!), but is she overweight? Many people will not take a class or training from someone who is overweight, because they think "what could she possibly know about fitness?" And likewise, is the class overly slanted toward super fit people or mostly overweight people? People look for like-people, and if they walk in to a class where they feel they are above or below the average fitness level, they may look elsewhere for the next class.
I don't know if any of this helps, but it may explain why retention is a little lower, and give your friend ideas from there on how to combat it.
Fitness Minutes: (197,862)
8/15/13 11:03 A
To be honest, what makes me not want to return to a class is usually the instructor. If I was losing participants, I would solicit feedback (from class newbies and veterans alike) and take them to heart.
Since the problem isn't getting people to show up, but rather participant retention, I would really be inclined to believe it is not intimidation..but something the instructor is or isn't doing that's turning people off.
I ALMOST went to a Zumba class last night but then chickened out. I only started my fitness journey 5-6 weeks ago so I was sure I would be greated by a bunch of toned, young dance freaks. LOL. That was my main reason for skipping it.
At the Y in my town this class is clearly marked as a level II which is highest level. They have beginner, level I, level II and multilevel classes. If this was marked as multilevel I might feel a bit more inclined to take the chance I won't embarrass myself knowing the instructor showed modified movements for those of us still in "big sexy" sizes. :-)
My friend is a really wonderful zumba instructor here in this small town that I reside. It's seriously the best class.. we have a blast. The problem is: Enrollment is down. Fewer women are showing up and it seems that after someone comes once or twice they don't tend to come back.
I know that for me going to a workout class was the most frightening thing.. let alone a zumba class. I assumed I'd walk in the door greeted by 50 smiling, perfectly toned, perfect dancers. But that's obviously hardly ever the case.
Do you all have any suggestions on what i can do as a participant and what my friend can do as an instructor to ease the minds? Neither myself Nor the instructor are size 0s. I am a plus size girl! But i love to move and sweat and Zumba! I just don't want to lose my class :(