Congrats! It's an exciting time! As you start to practice your routine and prep your notes, I want to make sure you are as prepared as possible. Why? Well, anything can happen at an audition... and it sure did for me.
I was working at a print shop in Orange County and told my boss that I was going to audition at 24 Hour Fitness during my lunch break. I told her that it shouldn’t take more than an hour for me to change, drive to the gym, do my audition, change back, and get back to the office - after all, I had been to dozens of auditions and had even held many group fitness auditions during my time as a regional manager for LA Fitness.
When I got to the gym, I made sure that I had my music ready, my hair looked good, my outfit was on point, and then stepped out into the parking lot. Knowing that anyone could be watching me from that point on, I smiled as I walked into the gym, checked in with the front desk, and that’s when my jaw dropped…
There were well over 60 Zumba instructors in the lobby.
All I saw was a sea of neon, zebra print, and those jingly hip wraps (side note - do not wear anything that makes noise to a group fitness audition).
I walked over to the counter where four people appeared to be furiously checking people in. They asked for my name and handed me a number to pin to my shirt. That was a pretty big sign that this audition was going to be unlike any other I had experienced before.
Once everyone had their numbers, all 60-something of us were led into the group exercise room where we were instructed to do a warmup with one of the current 24 Hour Fitness instructors. We were told that if someone tapped us during the warmup, we were to stop dancing and leave the room - basically if they tapped us, we did not get the job.
The music started… and all around me, people were getting tapped left and right for improper form, messing up a move, or not appearing to have perfect rhythm in their dancing.
After the warmup, about half of the instructors had left the room and about 30 of us remained. The head Zumba instructor told us that one by one we were each going to lead the entire class for about one minute. They would put on a random song, call a number, and that instructor would lead the class with visual AND verbal cues to the best of their ability.
After we all taught, the group was then cut in half again. We all did one more round of teaching to the remaining group, and the audition was paused once more when there were only eight of us left. All eight of us were given a form to fill out with our availability to teach classes with 24 Hour Fitness, we were all thanked for coming in, and they finally sent us on our way.
I think I was about the sweatiest I have even been in my entire life after this audition! My head was spinning the whole time with crazy thoughts like “we can’t use the music we brought?” “we have to make up a routine on the spot?” “you don’t verbal cue in Zumba!”
Although it all ended well, the moral of the story is: always be prepared for ANYTHING.
Now, this story is not meant to scare you, but to let you know that even having experience in almost every type of group fitness audition imaginable, nothing is ever certain. Being prepared to do your best is usually the biggest thing that sets you apart from the crowd.
How can you best prepare?
Do you have any questions about group fitness instructor auditions? Shout out (or share your experience) below!
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This piece was written by Master Trainer Maria Harrington. Maria has been teaching group fitness classes since 2009. As a former group fitness director, she’s implemented new fitness programs and developed instructors in many different formats. Her diverse fitness background and frequent engagement in continuing education allows her to tailor each class to her students. Maria’s passion is working with instructors to help them lead classes with students leaving strong, uplifted, and inspired!