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Student Blog: Performer to Instructor Pipeline

The benefits of group fitness instructor certification and how it relates to performance

Student Blog: Performer to Instructor Pipeline

I walked into my first forty five minute spin class fall semester of my freshman year and never looked back. At this point in my life I was missing competitive dance and needed something familiar yet new. My first ever instructor told us the story of her start: how she had never been to a spin class before college and then decided to train and become an instructor by her second semester. She made it seem so effortless, exciting, and accessible. I toyed with the idea of leading a spin class for some time, as I watched different instructors and learned what I loved and hated in a session. It was not until I walked into a spin class late, drenched from a blizzard halfway into first semester, and saw a fellow theater major teaching to Taylor Swift, that I took my first steps to become an instructor.

Her familiar junior year face, encouraging us to pedal to the beat of Shake it Off, convinced me to approach her after class about her journey. With many helpful discussions over dining hall coffee I eventually found myself applying to the group fitness instructor training program at the school. I specifically remember receiving acceptance while in quarantine during my fall semester finals and looking forward to what the next semester would bring. The program paired me with a mentor instructor, gave me group fitness foundational knowledge and CPR/AED certification, and helped me grow as a spin instructor. If you ever watch your trainer and think you could be up there, you definitely can, and you will lead an amazing class that has participants coming back every week.

As the course progressed I noticed how similar the training was to that of a performer. Fitness instruction is definitely a sort of show where you confidently lead and encourage as you connect with your audience of participants. I love how theater can inspire people, and I found that fitness classes could do the same. I enjoyed working at the podium and creating a fun and exciting atmosphere for personal growth. Spin is not about getting a body that stereotypical media promotes as perfect but rather committing to goals and focusing on yourself for forty five minutes. Exercise has numerous benefits for physical as well as mental health, and I have found my mood severely improved from a spin class. This is the perfect time for me to destress and think through my day in a calm manner while focusing on all that I can accomplish.

Becoming a certified fitness instructor, no matter the discipline, is one of the best moves you can make for your future career as a performer. I can picture a life where I teach classes by day and act by night, and think that this is one of the smartest ways I have prepared myself for life after college. This can be an extra source of income that allows you to remain connected with your body as you get paid to work out. Training to become a spin instructor has taught me so much about myself and really helped my mental health throughout freshman year in a global pandemic. I am thankful that I can call myself a certified spin instructor, and am so excited for what the future will hold as a fitness leader and a performer.

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