Do You Dream About Being a Barre Instructor?

69e7f8e50c1f4ad09c8d11d537805a70.jpg

I used to have a corporate job in the Financial District of Boston. For three years I sat at my desk all day and watched the clock until it was 5pm. I'd dash out of the office and head straight to the gym. Not for my own workouts but to teach group fitness classes. It didn't matter that I had just worked an 8 hour day and it was 7pm. Whenever I was teaching, I was me. I felt fulfilled, happy and my best. Now many years later,  teaching fitness is my career and I still feel the same way. Instead of watching the minutes slowly tick by on the clock I now wish I had more time to work. The minutes in classes fly by. I wish everyone could love their job as much as I love mine. I'm not saying this to be cheesy, I'm telling you this because it's true. 

Let me guess... You're reading this post because you take barre (or workout) classes all the time. You daydream about a job were you can wear workout gear and move your body freely instead of being stuck behind a desk. You want to inspire others. You'd love to lead a classroom of eager students. BUT (because there's always a but) you're nervous. You're not sure if you're good enough. You're worried you'll pay to get certified and then not get a job and not make any money. You are shy. You don't know if you can actually do it. 

Well, I'm here to tell you that YOU CAN. If you put in the time, effort and commitment you can be an instructor. No one starts at the top. We all hustle, take it one day at a time and learn along the way. You just have to find your why and your voice. Perhaps the time is NOW? And it starts with a certification. 

I'm so excited to be partnering with North End Yoga and my friend and colleague Meagan Fitzgerald to bring Boston the NEY Barre Teacher Training Program. One weekend paired with an incredible studio and two dedicated instructors and you'll be on your way to transforming those day dreams into reality. 

_MG_1240-2.jpg

Friday, Nov. 3rd: 5:30PM - 8:30pm
Saturday, Nov. 4th: 9:00am - 5:30pm
Sunday, Nov. 5th: 9:00AM - 5:30pm


The NEY Barre Teacher Training Program is a comprehensive training that will teach aspiring instructors how to design an effective barre class and safely deliver it with confidence to the public. During this training you will learn and study the fundamental components of a barre class. We'll break down key areas of each class segment and ample time will be spent practice teaching. It's very important to us that you start to find your own voice as an instructor while immersed in a supportive community of like-minded people. 

After your successful certification, you will be invited to attend a group audition for North End Yoga LLC. This is a huge opportunity to put what you learned to use and possibly land a place among the amazing teachers at NEY. Audition date, time and more information will be announced after the training weekend.

SO, you think this all sounds great but you still have questions? Here is a list of questions/statements I've heard and my responses below. 

I don’t think I’m good enough to be an instructor

I don't know of anyone who thinks they are the perfect teacher. Good instructors are never done learning. We all have our areas of strength and weakness. Just like our students, there are things that come easily and others that are more challenging. We are human. There is no 'good enough.' You will always get stronger and better with every day, month and year that you teach.

Instructors need to know how to effectively communicate the details of an exercise. They need to be able to verbally explain modifications and progressions. They should be able to demonstrate correct positions. But do you need to perfectly execute an entire class with your students? NO! A good teacher should not be taking class alongside the student. It's a teacher's job to watch the room, cue based on what you see and be fully present for your class. It's never your own workout.

Can I use this certification at other places besides NEY?

Yes and no. The current industry standard is that it is up to the discretion of the individual studio or gym which certifications they allow. That being said, many of the large, corporate barre studios require you to train with them in their method and ask you to obtain their own certification to instruct at their company. This also can come along with signing a contract binding you exclusive to a specific method and studio. (This means you would not have the freedom to teach for more than one company. This works out great for some people who like the idea of being married to only one place. However it can be limiting if you are looking to build your own brand and expose yourself to a wider range of places and clientele.)

 At NEY we are not requiring our instructors to sign these types of agreements. We believe instructors should have the opportunity to grow and teach throughout the city. It's so beneficial for teachers to always keep learning and instructing in many different settings. It's what helps makes a teacher stronger and more skilled. 

At the end of the day, no matter what type of certification you receive, if you audition and present yourself as a professional, well educated instructor who can safely and confidently lead a class, you will get the job. Just like anything else, it comes down to the amount of work you are willing to put in. 

What if I already have a full time job? Will I have enough time to do this as well?

Instructors don't need to be full-time to teach. That's actually the beauty of the business. Think about when you see group fitness classes on a schedule. Typically they are early morning, midday, early evening and weekends. The most popular classes are when people are not working. If you already have a full time job, subbing could be a great opportunity to dip your toes into the teaching world, on your off hours. Most places don't have a minimum number of hours that you need to sub to be a part of their staff. So, you can choose to help out with classes when it works for you. It's a great way to do what you love, without the commitment of a weekly class on a schedule that you are responsible for. 

If you do land a weekly class on a studio/gym schedule it's still totally feasible to do with a full time job. This is how so many full time fitness instructors get started. You'll learn how much you can take on and how much you enjoy doing. 

And the best part? Many times once you are hired as staff (either a sub or weekly teacher) you get to take classes at that specific studio/gym free of charge. Talk about a great added bonus!!

Can I still teach if I have an injury?

Yes, of course you can. As long as you are able to effectively communicate the class to your students you are more than capable of instructing. You may also become a more relatable teacher if you yourself are working through something with your body. It's rare to have a class completely free of injuries.

I’m pregnant or planning to have children soon. Is it safe for me to teach through pregnancy?

As long as your doctor gives you the go ahead then yes! I've taught through two pregnancies without any issues. Always remember, everyone is different and it's up to you to listen to your body and do what you need to do. Towards the end of my pregnancies I wasn't demonstrating as much and I'd ask my students to show something if need be. It actually taught me to speak more clearly because I couldn't just hop down into a position as easily as I normally could. 

After I complete my certification how do I audition for North End Yoga?

After you successfully complete our weekend of training we will announce the date and time for the NEY open audition. During this audition you will be asked to teach a 20 minute demo class. You will be observed by NEY staff while instructing. After your audition you will receive valuable feedback. 

There is no pre-determined number of new instructors that the studio is planing to take. We are always actively recruiting new talent as our schedule and classes continue to grow. 

Upon completion of your certification there is no guarantee of employment at NEY. However I would absolutly encourage everyone to audition for the experience, even if you don't feel 100% ready. Because let's be honest... who ever feels completly ready to do something new?

Will this weekend be all work and no fun?

I had to add this in because someone actually did ask me this. The girl who sent in this question does not know Meagan or I, so I suppose it's warranted. For those of you who do know us, I'm assuming you can stop reading and already know the answer. For those of you we don't know... check out these pictures below....

YES YES YES. This weekend is going to be so much fun, so much bonding, so much learning and so much love. We are so excited and we hope you are too. 

As of today the training is already half full. Please don't wait until the last minute. We have limited the number of spots in order to give everyone our best attention. If you have any questions, email me (jennifermphelan@gmail.com). 

 

See you at the barre!!! xo