95 Kids from Denmark

ok talk about a challenge! We had 95 kids come through the gym today (because the weather was too bad to do a fitness program outside) and since half the kids were from Denmark and couldn’t speak Dutch, the classes were explicitly requested to be taught in English.

Since I obviously have the best English at the gym, I was naturally asked to teach the classes. The kids were seperated into 2 groups and so I taught a bit of a preview mix of pump, combat and balance to about 45 kids around 15-16 years of age. Half of the kids were Dutch though, cuz the kids from Denmark were on some exchange program with the Dutch kids at the school.

I have to admit that beforehand I was a little nervous. I had no idea how good their English would be? I have to say I’m very impressed with the language skills of people here, and as kids they have a pretty good level of English. I learnt German in high school and I could NEVER have had a conversation or communicated effeciently with it. At the very best I might have been able to book a motel room in very badly broken German.

Anyway, the classes went well, as far as kids go. I tried to pick a bit of a “euro” mix and started with combat, then pump and finished with balance. I set up a CD with:

  1. Shake That/Bom Bom Suenan  (BC27) – warmup
  2. Angel Eyes (BC33) – power track
  3. Walk on Water  (BP61) – squats
  4. Flaunt it (BP 60) – biceps
  5. God’s Top 10 (BB34) – standing strength
  6. Crazy (BB31) – abs
  7. Centre of the Sun (BB32) – forward bends/hamstring stretch

Each class was supposed to be about 45 mins, and so I had about 40 mins of music. But since it takes a bit longer to get kids to move I ended up having to drop 1 balance track. In the first group I dropped the abs (Crazy, track 6), but the second group I decided to drop God’s Top 10, since we had already had a load of legs in the squat track.

Although here in the Netherlands you don’t really have to worry about insurance or whether you do a cooldown, whether kids wear shoes or whatever, I couldn’t put the class together without some sort of structure (in Australia you have a “Duty of Care”, especially when it comes to kids). It would go against all my training to just randomly throw tracks together. It would have been logical to do a pump warmup first and get the weights out of the way, but I didn’t want to do all the warmup moves and have 45 kids randomly doing terrible lunges, so I started with a combat warmup, but had them all prepare a bar and put it at the side of the room before the class.

So after the combat warmup I chose a power track so that it was all upper body, to keep it simpler. For the two pump tracks I chose tracks that didn’t require a bench (to keep the class moving quickly) and that they could see me easily all the time and facing forward, without having complicated moves. So squats and biceps it was. The tracks I finished off with in balance, I picked standing strength to give them a taste of yoga poses, abs to give their core a bit of a workout and Centre of the Sun was my perfect choice for the last track to give them a few stretches while also having a taste of tai chi.

Out of the two groups the second one was much easier to teach. The first group I was still a bit nervous and I also learnt techniques to get their attention so that by the time I got to the second group it was easier.

My hubby Alexander also came as a bit of moral support and helped me by shadowing and going around correcting kids and helping them set up their bars at the start.

Another experience to jot down in my teaching career 🙂