Hey Fitties! I’m feelin’ almost human this morning. I love that All Star Presenter Camp leaves you with so many wonderful souvenirs and memories. 😉

My muscles will not soon forget my experience.

I wanted to post a quick review/ explanation of Camp and I’ll try not to get too wordy here. Because, you know, I never get too wordy.

First, what’s a “presenter“?  In the fitness world, a presenter is the person who instructs instructors. They may certify you in a format or they may represent a fitness company at trade shows or conferences. For my Zumbies, it would be your Zumba Education Specialist. They’re not just a good instructor, they’re the cream of the crop.  This camp is to help you become the cream of the crop.

Who is Camp for?

It’s for anyone who wants to improve their teaching, public speaking or presentation of themselves. You don’t have to have a dream of being the next Ann Saldi or Christine Dwyer. You do have to have a passion to be the best version of yourself you possibly can be.  Everyone has room for improvement, no matter how good they are.

What do you do at Camp?

All sorts of things. There are Master Classes but you’re not developing your strength in a particular format — you’re really watching the principles of presenting in action.  We worked on voice exercises, pitch, using a microphone, facial expressions, posture, mirroring, cueing on the 5 count, using the phrase and adding power to our moves.

There’s a LOT to cover during the 2 day Camp and you really can’t work on everything.  You choose two biggies (for me, it was power and my cueing) and focus on that. But you get a manual to take home with you and you can start to work on different skills as you progress.

Where is this Presenter Camp?

Mine was presented by Christine Dwyer in Rochester, NY.  Joie Walsh has one coming up in January in the Boston area, Amanda Henderson has one in North Carolina in October-ish.  If you’re interested in a training, click on your area and see what’s scheduled.

Why does this Camp sound so hard?

If you’ve read my last post and any of my Facebook updates (hey, are we friendies yet on FB?), I made it sound like Camp was about as fun as being jumped in an alley by a gang of muggers.

Camp is HARD. It is work. You’re working to improve yourself and most of you are already pretty good. It doesn’t take much effort to go from a newbie instructor to a good instructor. It takes Herculean effort to go from good to great. And your presenter will tell you a few of the major things that are holding you back as an instructor. For me, it was my costuming (for lack of a better word) and cueing and some other things.

That’s hard to hear — and you don’t usually hear it at a regular instructor training. When you get certified to teach something, I’ve mentioned before, they don’t demoralize you as a beginner by telling you everything you’re doing wrong. They know you’ll get better with practice.

Camp is about breaking bad habits that you may be forming… or pushing you past your fear.  We all have them. Some people may be afraid of that mic or standing in front of any group of people. I’ve pretty much lost my fear of making a spectacle of myself in public. But once I’m on any sort of elevated surface, even if it’s only a few inches, I immediately feel a little panicky. And wouldn’t you know, the studio where we took our training had an elevated teaching surface?

I don’t teach Turbo or any of the other formats offered by Powder Blue. Do I have to get certified before I go to Camp?

NO.  Camp is for everyone — even people who don’t teach yet. There were several Zumba instructors at Camp. The master classes ARE Powder Blue formats but you certainly don’t need those formats to get a lot out of camp.

I will say that one thing I struggled with was going back to using the 32 count phrase. Most of my teaching lately has been Zumba or PiYo which doesn’t use the 32 count phrase and it was really hard for me to get back into the swing of things. Next time, I’ll come prepared to teach that.

Yes, there will be a next time. Camp costs a little over $200 for 2 full days of training. Yep, your first day runs from 8-6 and they really do go until 6 pm. Once you attend, however, you can go back to Camp for $99.  Oh, did I mention you get nearly 10 AFAA CEUs? You get ACE CECs as well, but I’m not ACE certified so I didn’t pay attention to how many. 1? 2?

I will say this about Camp: It was the hardest thing I have ever done. I have done hard things before. I hiked Half Dome. I passed the bar exam. I lived in a fixer upper with no kitchen for over a month.

This was harder. You’re scared going into the Camp. Why? Because you KNOW you have room for improvement and someone is going to bring that out into the harsh light of day.  Your students love you and they don’t care if you get a little sloppy with teaching from time to time — they probably don’t even notice it because of the relationship you’ve formed with them.  You’re asking someone to give it to you straight how you’re not cutting the mustard.  It’s easier to pretend that those areas where we’re lacking don’t matter.

So if you’re thinking, gosh, I could never do that… that’s a sign you need to do it. Your fear is a sign you know you can be better.  If you have no fear, great! You should do it anyway, to prove to yourself you really ARE that good. What a confidence booster!

If you’re going to Camp and you have any questions, holler at me.  I would encourage you to bring Epsom Salts, a foam roller and some tennis balls for trigger point therapy.  Just trust me on that. 😉

And just be willing to step out of your comfort zone. Be zealous to be YOUR best — don’t try to be better than anyone else in the room (because the presenter will have you beat), just strive to be the best you possibly can be. Then strive to be better than that.

Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward

and uncomfortable when you try something new. ~Brian Tracy~