I recently went Salsa dancing for a girlfriend’s birthday. We had a blast. (If you’re looking for a great spot on Wednesday evenings in Chicago – email me.) Surprisingly, this dancing experience unearthed a helpful tip for trainers.
Gym etiquette is still a struggle in most places. As independent trainers and boutique studio owners, we navigate the challenge of smaller shared spaces while executing physical work. Let’s consider a solution to this struggle with a dance floor analogy.
In celebrating my friend’s aforementioned birthday, we as women on the dance floor, appreciated the request to dance. Everyone there that evening wanted to dance, but it was the request that made the difference. It opened the door for a quick communication and gave everyone the option to decline or engage. It also, eliminated presumptions, respecting space and preferences.
- As trainers sharing small spaces and limited equipment, let’s remember to ask. Often, fellow trainers and members appreciate the request to share and are happy to accommodate when possible. Quickly and politely ask, “May we jump in?” They may not be able to accommodate, but they now know you are interested in using that equipment and will keep that in mind / increase your odds of having access soon.
- If you see equipment still out, instead of rolling your eyes at a mess left by someone else and a waste of precious space, politely ask, “Are you finished?” This can be a gentle reminder to pick up equipment they may have unintentionally left out or indicate to another trainer that you are interested in utilizing that area/equipment afterward.
- Both of these requests set the stage for future interactions and expectations. Valuable tools when we acknowledge that thoughtfully sharing the space benefits everyone.
In our evening out dancing, our partners’ leading gracefully sailed us through Salsa or awkwardly pushed us through Bachata. As a trainer or studio owner, you are the leader. You guide the culture of the studio and your business. You are in charge of the session and, in charge of navigating the space and equipment for your clients.
Be the great leader we know you can be. Know the steps, ask for what you need and politely indicate what you want. Remember the gifts of a great dance partner and move through your space and studio with the couth of a consummate professional.