I’ve spent over a decade attending fitness classes at the local gym, and I am still trying to discern the unwritten rules for who gets to be up front near the instructor. I’ve spent a little over a year attending kickboxing, yoga, and Zumba classes in my new town. It seems as though these rules are written in sand and not stone.
The New Kid in Town Rule
When I first moved to Indiana, my understanding was that new people get to stand up front next to the instructor so that other people can get to know them. I would go up to the instructor before class starts and introduce myself. Then I would just stay there until the other class members fanned out a bit to make room for me. How very kind of them!
The Worse Dancer Rule
After about three months, the instructor started introducing new routines in these fitness classes. I am not a naturally gifted with body movement. Consequently, I would place myself up front next to the instructor so that I could see her clearly in the mirror or in my line of sight if we turned away from the mirror. Most people leave a wide margin around the yoga teacher, so there I can easily set up my yoga mat in this area. This makes sense because it’s important to nurture and support the weakest members of our tribe. We are not animals who push the weak to the periphery to be eaten by predators! Oh, no.