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Log In / Register | Sep 24, 2017

Jazzercise Pros and Cons

I was over 40 years old and about 20% overweight when I became a certified instructor and Associate Franchisee. I highly recommend Jazzercise if you have never taught dance-based group fitness classes. They provide excellent training and support for a new instructor. From there, if you don't like the business model which I didn't, you can teach Zumba or another group fitness after a period of time has passed (I believe it was 6 months). The business format is a lot like Tupperware, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Arbonne, etc. Corporate makes money primarily off their franchisees who must do grass-roots marketing through their social networks to build their own businesses. There are a lot of rules that impact profitability that Zumba doesn't have regarding sound systems, microphones, attire and appearance, etc. The regional managers also can tell you how many classes you can have and at what times. Also, you have to follow Jazzercise pricing and payment models which are antiquated and the pricing in our area is double what the gyms charge that offer more classes and diverse classes which offer more diverse classes.

There seem to be a lot of negative comments about the audition process. I recommend that if you are interested in becoming an instructor, you should behave as if you were in a job interview during all classes and during all interaction with Jazzercise instructors and staff. Your daily attitude and appearance will influence how others perceive you. Jazzercise only wants to certify people who will follow rules, teach a great class, be professional and courteous with diverse and difficult customers, and have the core skills needed to run a successful business and represent the brand well. I had no problem making it through the audition process (was professional dancer as a child and a cheerleader in college). However, half of the people in the audition were rejected, and I personally would have rejected many more. Most were simply not ready to teach classes independently. Many couldn't keep time or dance well. It was a professional experience and similar to an audition for a performance dance troupe. I was not young or fit, and I felt I was fairly judged based on my ability to teach an hour long class at a medium-high intensity (which includes big movements, high impact, and jumping). I arrived in a stylish outfit, with my hair styled and my makeup done which helped me look like the best possible version of myself. Others at the audition arrived looking as it they just rolled out of bed a threw on some stained and shabby workout gear. Some weren't professional, friendly or outgoing. Others who were certified included an attractive and athletic 20-something to a 50-something obese woman who did an excellent job and both led the class at their individual maximum intensity levels. Jazzercise didn't seem to discriminate whatsoever based on age or body size.

The pay for an instructor is very poor. We were paid 20% of the revenue or a minimum of $10 per class. We were a "successful" branch, and I only made more than $10 per class one month. It was a break-even endeavor for me, but it took many hours that I wasn't paid to learn the routines, prepare my playlists, monthly reports, etc. Then, we were expected to do business side such as selling, collecting, data entry, cleaning, etc. that we weren't compensated for. There were also weekly unpaid meetings and it seemed like monthly special events we were expected to attend and often cost us money out of pocket. These were fun-runs, parades, charity events, regional meetings out of town, and specialty holiday classes. If you worked out of a gym teaching Zumba, HIIT, kickboxing, or something else, you would make 3-4 times more and wouldn't have all the extra stuff to deal with.

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