Drop-in classes when you don't know who or what you're getting can be the hardest to pitch. The easiest way to provide a safe and enjoyable class is to make the exercises and choreography scalable - have a simple version that can be developed by those with a higher skillset to an intermediate or advanced level. Don't pitch the base choreography too high, and be aware that what is basic and easy to one person may be a considerable physical challenge for another.
Recreational dancers usually come to class due to a combination of the desire for an exercise class, and an attraction to the art of dance. They didn't go to spin class, out for a run or to the swimming pool, they came to class because there is an urge to dance, whether it's classical ballet, hip hop or zumba. As a dance facilitator it's a balancing act between trying to provide for this desire to dance, and working within their particular fitness and skill limitations. Injuries tend to happen with recreational dancers when they are pushed to perform choreography their bodies are not ready for. You want to push them to improve their strength, fitness and technical skill, the higher these are the more challenging choreography you can throw at them, the more they enjoy the class and the more they grow. Equally many will not have a great deal of bodily awareness or co-ordination, and therein lies the danger of them pushing their bodies too far and opening themselves to injury.
|Rhythm and motion class at ODC Dance Common, SF, 2010.|