Mirroring With Mirrors

How can it be that I have been teaching group fitness for 8 years and have never mastered the technique of mirroring?

This is what I say to myself as I am about to take the stage at a conference, in a mirror-less ballroom, and teach a Barre Intensity class.

I know why. For 8 years I have been teaching barre in rooms with mirrored walls. Barre rooms have mirrors because clients need to make sure their spine is neutral, hips are square, leg is straight, and for some, that they look good while doing it all. As an instructor, when you have mirrors all around you, who needs to mirror? Facing your back to your clients becomes acceptable because they can see you and you can see them. You have eyes on the back of your head without literally having eyes on the back of your head. You can actually reach your right arm out and cue “right arm”. 

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall

Let me take a step back. Mirroring is one teaching technique to assist with visual and verbal cuing combined; to make following the choreography easier for your students.  It is directly related to knowing the difference between your right and your left while verbally saying one direction but showing the other. Almost impossible if you ask me. 

The unfortunate truth is that even though you are a seasoned instructor and might have the most beautiful form, the clearest verbal cues and creative choreography, it can all be overlooked when you cue verbally “right arm” but clients see what appears to be your left.  

If you find yourself with the opportunity to teach outside of your boutique mirrored studio, spend time on more than just your playlist, your choreography, and picking out your leggings.

Looking for a tip? Wear a bright colored bracelet or watch on your left wrist and know every time you use that arm you cue right.