Today I was practicing Zumba at the gym, I spent about three hours training with my wife. I am a very friendly and social guy, and people always approach me for a quick chat at the gym. I’m always willing to engage and entertain conversations, however; when I am training I am very focused on what I am doing. I will greet you, offer a smile, and then return to my workout. So how do you think I handled this aggressive, unsolicited advice?
Sometimes people don’t understand that I am very focused, and I don’t want to be rude or mean, but there will be times when I will have to cut the conversation off. Today happened to be one of those days.
As I was practicing my choreography, a gentleman who is a dancer by trade decided to approach me. We engaged in a brief conversation and he decided that I needed his advice. I welcome feedback and advice from people, however when I am training, I am training.
This gentleman had two problems going on, first he didn’t seem to get the point that I wanted to get back to my training, and second he insisted on telling me how I should teach my class. Like I said earlier, I appreciate advice. But it bugs me when people are not hearing what I’m saying, I am not a fancy dancer. My choreography is basic and simple, I make it so that anyone who takes my classes can follow along easily. If I find a move too complicated, I’ll try to make it more simpler for everyone.
Besides interrupting my training, this gentleman didn’t seem to understand that I am not a dancer. He insisted on expressing his views about dance, counts, and the type of moves that I should be using. He said that he was an amazing instructor who would always fill up his classes, and I don’t doubt it. My problem is that this dude was not understanding that I do not want complicated or complex choreography. I am a Zumba instructor, and I am not looking to win any ballroom dancing awards.
So first he was interrupting my workout, and second he wasn’t hearing me or contributing anything of value during the interruption. So I did what I had to do, I stated very clearly that it was nice talking to him but I needed to return to my practice. He smiled apparently understanding what I was saying this time, and then walked away to talk to someone else.
He must have been offended that I had to cut him off, when I went into the locker room someone approached me and told me that the guy was an amazing instructor and that I should listen to him. I guess he must have vented to the guy.
I don’t think I was very rude, I also told him he had my card and my number so he could reach out and we can talk in depth. However, I needed to get back to work. Listen my friends, not all of us are looking to be phenomenal dancers. Some of us simply want to incorporate fitness and dancing together, and give our participants an amazing class. I have been able to do this with my existing skill set, and I continue to expand on it. There is always room for growth and learning, but the time and place is not when I’m rehearsing my choreography. Especially if your only interest is cramming your views down my throat! This guy wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise, and he was starting to take over the stage. I had no choice but to cut that conversation!
You may be a great dancer, and even a great instructor. That’s great! If you want to teach, get your license or certification, and then show them what you got! But please, leave me be, I’m doing what works for me and my participants! So thanks for the advice, but no thanks, I’m all good.
Just a life long New Yorker sharing the journey through my lens. Please take note of a post’s date. The views I express here are subject to change and evolving as I grow and learn.