Ok, Miss Manners, what am I supposed to do, delicately dab the corners of my mouth with my linen napkin? Wait… no no no that’s not what we mean by group exercise etiquette!
Let’s face it, people are quirky. We all have our own unique styles, needs and desires. And because of these differences, sometimes there can be conflict. This can happen in group fitness classes just like anywhere else. Mostly this happens when people are jockeying for their favorite position in the studio. Some people want/need to be directly in front, some people prefer to be in back, some people just don’t care. When the class is crowded it can be difficult to get the perfect position.
People want to see themselves in the mirror to check their own movements. That’s why we have mirrors in dance studios! And sometimes people need to be in front because they have a harder time following the moves and need to see the instructor at all times.
Suppose you like the front right side of the class and that’s always your usual spot. You show up to class and oh my gosh, someone else is standing in your position! What should you do? Stand a foot away and try to crowd that person out until they feel so uncomfortable they move back? Or maybe they decide to hold that position and you end up in some weird dance-off battle during class? Neither situation is good. There is just no point in fighting for position when there is room for everyone in class.
Let’s follow these simple rules:
- If someone is standing in a spot ready for class to start, they own that spot throughout the duration of the class.
- If someone has placed a water bottle in a spot, you can assume they are trying to save that spot for themselves as they put away their keys or go to the bathroom. Let that spot be theirs. You’d want the same courtesy for yourself.
- During class, give each other a few feet of space all around. Imagine an invisible bubble around each person of a few feet and stay out of it. Stay in your own bubble of space as well.
- If the class is extra crowded, make your bubble a little smaller, your movements a little closer and be considerate of others. In crowded class situations, the instructor may randomly switch the rows up to insure everyone can see to the front.
- Please do not put your bag, purse or other non-class-related belongings at the front of the room next to the mirror (water bottles and towels are fine). This is distracting and blocks other’s views of the class. There is always plenty of room at the sides or back of the room for these things.
Let’s try to remember that we are all in this together and that the more fun we make it for each other, the more fun we ourselves will have. Let’s give each other the space we each need and have a great time!