How It Started
Before COVID, I wasn't sure if online fitness was for me. There seemed to be too many logistics and technical elements to consider, not to mention the legality of insurance and safety.
And then, early 2020 the pandemic hits and the fitness industry as we knew it ceased to exist! We were locked down.
Unknown to me at the time that it would be my last, I taught my final pre-COVID in-person Zumba Instructor Trainings in Ottawa the weekend of March 6-7, 2020.
My 1st Virtual Class
On March 12, 2020 schools announced they would stay closed after March Break. I had another Zumba Instructor Training scheduled for the next day and had to pivot on the spot to cancel it with no other option.
But with Zumba Instructors everywhere suddenly out of work, the Zumba Home Office jumped in with a solution right away - teaching virtually.
Within 7 days of this extraordinary disruption to everything I knew of the fitness world and my career, I taught my first virtual Zumba class on March 20, 2020.
Before COVID, I had never even heard of ZOOM! There was a steep learning curve, but I kept pushing through. When the Zumba Home Office encouraged us to pivot to virtual Instructor Trainings, I knew I needed to figure this out and quick.
From learning ZOOM and sound sharing, to Bluetooth microphones and bigger and bigger ring lights - I finally felt properly set-up just after my birthday in mid-July, spent wallpapering my gym backdrop for that urban underground feel.
What I Found Out
Live virtual classes are great! But my students don't always have the same availability as when I was able to offer classes (just like in-person). But virtually, I could be a bit more flexible to pivot as needed.
And I needed to try to find a way to serve my participants! So, I pivoted.
The Evolution of the Class Schedule
I tried a mix of morning and evening live online classes, but with the kids home all day every day and my husband also working from home, it just didn't work for myself or many of the participants.
We settled on early morning classes before the crazy of everyone's days would begin.
Come September, the schools reopened and there was a bit more flexibility in participants and my schedules. We pushed the class start to 715am to get it done before kid drop-off and work, but the mornings became too hectic for some.
So, I needed to try to find a way to serve them! And I pivoted again.
Now with a split of before school drop-off and after school drop-off, we know had 715 and 930am classes. After a month here, some participants felt there was a gap between drop-off and class start.
And I wanted to try to find a way to serve them better! So I pivoted again.
Our 930 classes moved to 915am.
And here, we have found our happy medium across different morning class times.
But, Was Live the Only Option?
Even with constantly adapting to offer the best for the members of Team Fit Body, I have teachers and other who can't flex their work hours to join in live!
So, I needed to try to find a way to serve them! And I had to get creative.
And along came the multiple devices teaching set-up.
Broadcasting live via ZOOM while recording to upload for members to follow along later! Later, thankfully finding a way to have classes automatically upload after-the-fact by recording live via my website.
Now instead of several days for one class to be available on-demand, I was growing the member On-Demand library by 5-7 classes every single week!
As of early 2021, we are now at over 100 On-Demand fitness classes in our virtual library, including Cardio Kickboxing, HIIT, Core, Yoga, Pilates, Barre and more!
The Innovation of the Live On-Demand Hybrid
But I recognized that On-Demand isn't for everyone. It doesn't have that same feel of coming together with a group at a set time to work towards our goals.
And so, live reply was born.
Coming together as a group at additional class times, to follow along together to Fit Body On-Demand classes. A perfect blend of live and on-demand! And this is something unique to The Fit Body Project that I am so very proud to be able to offer my members.
I'm continuing to always serve my clients better! With the best experience in technology and user-friendly features, and of course - always striving to bring new movements and innovation into the class itself to teach a kick butt workout that's fun, while safe and effective!
More exciting things coming soon, but you'll have to just stick around and see!
To all the members of Team Fit Body, those who purchased classes passes, tried a free class or shared my classes with a friend - THANK YOU! I wouldn't be here without you.
A special shout out to the Founding Members, for being with me from the beginning of this virtual journey and supporting me through the stumbles and successes.
And I'm so excited to keep growing, learning, and delivering the best I can for you!
Let's Keep Moving!
I'm inviting you to come dance in recognition of this incredible year of discovery in the virtual fitness space. On Saturday, March 20th, 2021 - exactly 1 year since my very first virtual Zumba class - we're doing it again!
Move with me for 45 minutes of Zumba, followed by 15 minutes of core! We're bringing these formats together in celebration of this month's "All About Core" theme and the Fit Body Project Core Challenge #FBPCoreChallenge.
If you haven't tried a live online class with me yet, sign up for our biweekly newsletter for a free class code to get started.
Can't make it live? Try the On-Demand experience with free on-demand class demos.
And if you're looking to get started teaching virtual Zumba classes, contact me for more information about my upcoming instructor trainings.
Remember, we will get through this, stronger and wiser! We now have this amazing new way to connect via virtual fitness.
And that my friends, is here to stay.