I was once told if you've been doing the same thing for more than six months without feeling uncomfortable at least once, it's time to bring on a new challenge. I speak with new barre instructors all the time about their teaching jitters. They often ask "when does this feeling go away"? That nervous sensation lessons overtime, you won't always feel a knot in the pit of your stomach, but it should never go away forever. Once in a while, stepping outside of your comfort zone is a good thing, and even after 10 years of teaching, I still get the barre instructor jitters.
Commonly, barre instructors feel most nervous when:
- They are teaching for the first time (let's be honest, the first 10 times)
- They are teaching in a new facility
- They are subbing for someone else's class
Most recently I challenged myself...
I'm no longer teaching for the first time and I'm comfortable in my studio space. So, I decided to teach a "Hip Hop" themed barre class. I do have a background in dance but its been a LONG time since I've moved and grooved. This wasn't just a standard barre class to hip hop music. It was hip hop music, barre moves, hip shakes, body rolls and torso pops all baked in. In addition, I choreographed 95% of my class to the music which is something I never do. It took me hours to put this class together whereas most weeks it takes me 15 minutes. Whenever I thought about putting together and teaching this class I got a little nervous. What if I can't find enough music, what if my choreography is boring, I might forget what I had planned, will my class even like it?
The class came and went and the responses were better than I've received in a long time. Everyone worked hard and more importantly had the most FUN they've ever had in a barre class. I'll definitely be throwing hip hop in the rotation more often.
How will YOU step out of your comfort zone?