POP Pilates Evaluation Class
I taught my first POP Pilates class this last Saturday (5/14/16). It was for my evaluation video and wouldn’t you know it, most things went wrong. Of course.
The day of was the hardest to deal with the “bad” things because they were either in the moment or fresh after so my mind dwelt on them and magnified them beyond anything. It’s funny. No matter how rational I may try to think, it doesn’t squash the irrational emotions and thoughts.
I kept telling myself that it was fine, that it was a learning experience, that the important thing was that I kept going and didn’t give up, etc. Very rational. And I knew those things. I believed them. Except I wanted to pull my hair out and pound my head against a wall to get the memories out. I felt so horrible, like I had failed.
That’s not rational and it’s not true. I hadn’t failed and I knew that. But I couldn’t shake the feeling. Absolutely ridiculous. Yet there it was. The next day was better. I no longer felt that way. Rational thought had resumed its throne and irrational emotions had melted back into the crowd to be ruled.
Here’s what happened:
First, I had planned to do the class outside because I couldn’t find a place to do it indoors. Okay. No problem. I picked a Saturday that promised temps in the 70s (F) and sunny, clear skies; a time in the morning that would give people enough time to wake up and get there without having to get up too early and without it being too late that it would get hot. I bought a speaker and tested it outside my home to make sure it’d be loud enough and that it would work with my phone.
I created an event on Facebook to notify my Colorado POP Army and also gave an invitation to my son’s teacher along with another friend of mine who was (relatively) near. I made sure I’d have access to at least 2 modes of recording the class.
And of course I practiced, practiced, practiced the choreography. I even had my outfit picked out!
Everything was in place.
- choreography memorization
- weather – it was super cloudy, cold, and windy (typical CO promises sun but threatens rain)
- location – field was taken by kid’s football tournament of some sort (not mentioned on high school’s athletic’s activity schedule…I obviously should’ve checked elsewhere…of which I still do not know where) so we had to move to elsewhere
- acoustics – an open field does not give the same acoustics as trees (music was hard to hear)
- off-beat – I was constantly off-beat because I was nervous and couldn’t hear the music well
- flubbed/lost moves – I actually skipped part of an Earthquake move and added in extra Jackknives, along with losing my place in one song
- forgotten songs – twice I tried to skip ahead to the moves of a different track and had to start the track over with the correct workout
- bad intro – I forgot to introduce myself in the intro because everyone in the class already knew me
- false start – if you drop your phone, it disrupts the bluetooth connection with the speaker causing static so I started over after 1 minute to start fresh
- bad directions for basics – I forgot half my students were new to Pilates itself and didn’t give them instructions for moves before the class so that they had a hard time keeping and getting into correct form during the class
- technology – none of the cameras could record the entire class all at once and all but one were completely inappropriate for my needs so I didn’t bother using them at all
- sound – along with the music being hard to hear, so am I!
I can’t think of anything else right off the bat but isn’t all of that enough??
Even my outfit had to be changed to accommodate the cold but that wasn’t a big deal because it meant I got to use my new peony POPflex leggings. Woohoo! I ended up shedding my jacket after the first song as did half the others.
What went right:
- Everyone had a good time.
That’s really the most important thing. But here’s what else went right:
- sound – although it was hard to hear in both videos, the students could hear me and (I think) the music
- weather – IT DIDN’T RAIN!!!! and the sun eventually peeked out from the clouds for a bit
- temperature – we warmed up pretty quickly after we got started
- location – it was nice and quiet and secluded in our new spot; it was even noticeably warmer and less windy
- cues – while my cues could have been better, I was able to guide everyone through the class
- demonstrations/modifications – I demonstrated the hardest moves and gave directions on how to do them in between and during each song while also giving modifications
- laugh – I turned my mistakes into jokes (except the first big one when I was too panicky to do so) and made people laugh and relax
- attentive – I paid attention to my students and tried to correct their forms without singling them out (it didn’t work but at least I tried)
- smiling encouragement – always smiling, always encouraging (except when I was panicking)
Can’t think of anything else.
Despite so much going wrong, this was an excellent learning experience. While I may know the choreography by heart when I’m by myself cueing imaginary people, being in front of living people proved to be very different. I need/want more practice with living people. Unfortunately, I don’t have living people upon which to practice. But that’s okay. I’ll make do. And maybe I can get my son’s teacher and her daughter out again for another practice run next weekend. Or one of my son’s other teachers for that matter. Who knows?
Next time I’ll know that if I’m outside, I need more than one speaker. My husband and I have a new camcorder at Best Buy in our sights (and a tripod) in case I have to do another video. That may be a bummer money-wise, but we do enjoy playing with electronics (despite my abhorrence of all new technology…until I’ve learned to use it at which point my hate turns to love).
I’ve learned so much just from that one class. It was anything but a failed attempt, not when it’s given me so much to think about and learn.
And everyone had fun (or at least they told me they did). That’s really the important thing. No matter what I do wrong, if everyone has an enjoyable time while moving then I’ve done my job successfully.
Let’s hear it for my first POP Pilates guinea pig class!