Episode 25: How to Create Your Own Class with Shay Kostabi

Shay Kostabi

You’ve been teaching for a long time and have mastered the method that you teach. You feel ready to create your own class.

Shay Kostabi

Fitness Consultant

You’ve been teaching for a long time and have mastered the method that you teach. You feel ready to create your own class. Or, you’re a studio owner looking to create a class. Where do you start? What is the process like? What should you focus on? Shay Kostabi, an internationally recognized consultant who has build many classes in multiple modalities as well as her own class called PowerLines breaks down the process of creating your own class from identifying the essence of what your class will be like to launching it on the floor.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

-The steps to creating your own class

-Determine your differentiator

-Build a class as a studio owner or master instructor

Here’s the Complete List of Tips:

1. Become a master. Beyond getting your certification, you need to learn how to teach and program a class. Signs you are becoming a master are.. when your class becomes very easy and effortless. You know the content so well that you can improvise on the spot- whether that’s with exercise modifications or being spontaneous with the energy in the room. You might be faced with a little bit of boredom- it feels like you put on a record and you just let it play. External signs may be that your classes are full and they love them, the company that you’re working for want to give you more responsibility, people are copying you or emulating you, etc.

2. Pick something that you’re passionate about. Something that you’re good at.

3. Think about what your differentiator is. Is this something that’s needed and necessary. Does the community want it? Provide something that doesn’t exist where you are, or create something that makes you, your personality, your music, your coaching the differentiator.

4. Start with what you want the essence of the class to be. Do you want it to be fluid and zen-like? Really athletic and intense? Do you want a blueprint that your instructors can use to create their own version of the class? Do you want your instructors to download and teach something exactly as programmed?

5. Infuse elements of things you’re good at or passionate about. Are there elements of a dance background, athletic drills as an athlete, or experience as a musician that you can infuse into your class? Feel free to teach yourselves things by going onto YouTube, other classes, etc. Find inspiration from other instructors in your “family tree”. Experiment and explore what you like.

6. Know that your class will evolve and change over time. Keep learning, keep teaching yourself, and keep up with what people want and what is trending in the industry.

7. Start with a Warm-Up. Think about the movements you’re doing in your class. Build up to that in your warm-up. An athletic class will require a very different warmup than a barre class. You should feel the essence and vibe of the class in the warmup.

8. How do you want to move through the exercises? Is it a full body class? What parts of the body are you working? How do you want to move through the body in the structure of the class? Once you get the movements down, then you can begin to integrate pieces of equipment. Don’t put yourself in a box by building your class around pieces of equipment. Plan it from the beginning to the end- what parts of the body you want to work, and how.

9. Test it! Take yourself through the workout a few times to see how it feels, and make sure it’s well rehearsed. Then find friends mentors and colleagues that you trust and love you that will give you loving honest feedback. Be ready and willing to go back to the drawing board if necessary.

10. Rent a space! Find a place to start beginning to teach as a pop-up. Shay workshopped her class for two years.

Other References in This Episode:

FCM Episode 4: How to Develop a “Persona” with Shay Kostabi

Show Note's Index