It’s been a couple of weeks since the newsletter and website launched; and while I promised not to inundate you with messages from me, I didn’t intend for this much time to lapse between messages.
In British Columbia (Canada), most of the provincial health authorities have shut down fitness, dance, and recreation facilities due to the inability of participants to safe distance and failure of the facilities to clean sufficiently. We are currently in lock-down until May 1, with that date to be reviewed before facilities are allowed to re-open.
During this lock-down many instructors have challenged themselves and started online fitness classes. Unfortunately, the platforms that work best (such as Facebook and YouTube) violate the Zumba® instructor contract; and the acceptable platforms (such as Zoom) are glitchy and very susceptible to hacking.
However, Zumba® developed a platform that allows recording of classes and playback for up to 5 hours after uploading. The caveat is that there is a set list of “royalty-free” songs for Zumba® instructors to use. Since many instructors (myself included) do not already use songs from this list, we have to learn whole new playlists and (in my case) create new choreography that is safe for knee and hip replacements. The good news we received today from Zumba® Head Office is that they will soon have an approved platform that will allow live-streaming with no recording or delayed playback but access to all of our existing playlists.
So if all instructors have access to an approved platform, why isn’t everyone doing it? There are 2 other key considerations for an instructor:
- Fitness professionals who are not employees of a gym or studio need liability insurance. When the year began, I was only hosting classes in a brick-and-mortar studio; thus, my liability insurance limits me to brick-and-mortar classes. Should I wish to add online or outdoor classes, my insurance policy does not cover me; and I need an additional policy which almost doubles my insurance premium. For me and many other instructors, this a very significant expense when we have no income from other sources.
- Fitness professionals who are not employees of a gym or studio need licenses to play music. These licenses pay a royalty to the artists and technicians who create the music and allow instructors to earn an income from their music. Again, our basic licenses only cover existing formats; and additional licenses at an additional cost are necessary for online and outdoor classes.
For now, my dance fitness classes will remain in lock-down at least until the end of May and likely until the end of June. However, if Island Health lifts the studio lock-down in June, consideration may be given to offering Zumba Gold® classes on a prepaid basis with a very strict class size limit of 8. Please contact me before mid May should you wish more information.