Nailing the Audition: An insider’s guide to getting the gig
know you’re ready to make the leap from student to instructor, so you
take a Spinning Instructor Orientation, study your Instructor Manual
and arm your iPod with a slew of new songs. You feel more than ready to
take a seat at the front of the room but that’s not enough—you’ve also
got to convince a facility’s program director.
facilities require potential instructors to audition—which means you
get the chance to show them just how great you are. But if you’re like
most people, the thought of auditioning for a program director
can be nauseating! Concerns ranging from what to say and what to wear
to how to answer tough questions can turn an exciting opportunity into
a dreaded event.
already got what it takes to wow the program director—but with the help
of a few simple tips you can make sure that you’re prepared and
confident for your next audition.
Remember where you’ve been. Boost your confidence by reminding yourself
that you know what you’re doing. Odds are you’ve been a student
in countless classes and you’ve learned a lot in your Orientation.
Know where you’re going. Take the time to check out the club. Most
clubs offer free passes for potential members and instructors. Take a
few classes and make notes of what effective techniques instructors
employ. Talk to members to get a sense of what their goals and values
are. Visit the facility’s website and read up on club history and key
employees. Make sure you are a good fit for the club and the program is
a good fit for you and if it is, use the information you’ve gained to
tailor your performance to your audience.
• Come early.
Whether you are auditioning in a full class or just for the program
director, arrive a few minutes early to acclimate yourself to the
studio. There’s nothing worse than arriving frazzled because you hit
traffic or took a wrong turn.
• Be prepared. Don’t
forget to bring your CPR card, Spinning instructor card and copies of
any other certifications you may have.
• Design a profile. Give riders a glimpse of what to expect so they can pace themselves for a successful ride.
Be cadence conscious. Cadence is important. It sets the tone for the
terrain and is the best way for riders to make sure they’re riding
appropriately. It’s not necessary to take a cadence check after every
song, but 2-3 checks during a 40 minute ride should be enough to give
riders an idea of what certain RPM feels like.
• Teach with
heart. Set a good example by wearing your heart rate monitor. Cue heart
rate ranges but don’t forget to mention perceived exertion since not
every rider wears a heart rate monitor.
• Coach off the
bike. Demonstrate your commitment to your students by floating between
bikes to ensure proper form. Check in with your students to verify that
they’re getting the intended benefits from the ride.
Tune in. Select music that will appeal to a variety of members. Let the
music speak for itself. You don’t need to spend every moment cueing—a
well-picked song can propel a rider to the top of the hill on its own.
Strut your stuff. Include each core movement and hand position during
the ride. Let the director know that you know what good body
alignment looks like by modeling proper posture—whether in or out of
the saddle. Be sure to use the proper amount of resistance and the
correct speed for the terrain.
• Finish what you started. Don’t
rush to the finish! Be sure to include a proper cool down period
with lower body stretches performed off the bike. Take this opportunity
to thank and congratulate riders.
• Ask questions. There’s only
one way to find out about things like job responsibilities, the
facility’s mission, compensation and continuing education
opportunities. Ask! Remember—it’s not just about them. You want to be
sure that you are becoming part of a quality program with trained,
• Follow up. Ask when a
decision will be made or what next steps are. Take the time to
send a thank you note to the program director and you’re sure to stand
out from the crowd.
Jett is the Corporate Group Fitness Director for Global Fitness
Holdings, which owns 18 Gold’s Gyms throughout Tennessee, Ohio and
Kentucky. She oversees three Lexington, KY-based clubs and manages over
50 certified Spinning instructors. She has over 20 years experience in
the fitness industry and holds a B.S. in Therapeutic Recreation from
the University of Kentucky.