I’m extremely disappointed to announce that we will no longer be holding Saturday Zumba at Fitness Works due to circumstances beyond our control that were sprung upon us this week. We will relocate our Saturday Zumba to the Philly Dance Fitness Studio beginning October 15. In the meantime, we will directly contact all of the class card holders who have been attending the Fitness Works location to offer refunds if the new location or other group classes do not work with their schedules.
I purposefully avoid talking too much about all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into running our programs because, well, I’d rather have you spend your time dancing. However, because of the unexpected, abrupt nature of this change, I felt it was important to explain exactly what transpired.
Some of you may remember that I had been planning a long-delayed honeymoon in September. As a general rule, our company takes the responsibility of finding a sub for any of our classes very seriously. We communicate the relevant sub schedule to the studio at least a month ahead of time so that we’re all on the same page
In this case, I communicated both my intended absence and full sub schedule in writing to Fitness Works management in July and followed up with several reminder emails in the weeks before my trip. The last time I taught the class on Saturday, Sept. 3, I reminded gym owner Joanne Renzi as well as the students that I would be gone for five weeks, but they would be in good hands with two of our teachers who had both team-taught or subbed that class before. More than 20 people showed up to dance – a huge crowd in comparison to other classes that were being held that Labor Day holiday weekend.
Four days later, shortly after arriving in Germany, I received an email from the instructor who was set to substitute for me. Joanne, the owner, had called to inform her there was no need to sub because she’d found a permanent teacher and no longer wanted to work with Philly Dance Fitness.
Taken aback and confused, I immediately sent emails and made multiple international phone calls to the gym to find out what was going on. I did not reach Joanne on her cellphone until Saturday evening.
She said that the woman working the gym’s front desk on Labor Day weekend had noted that some members were worried about my upcoming vacation because they didn’t know if they would have a consistent, quality substitute. She didn’t know how many people had said this or who, commenting that no one had ever complained about me or my teaching in the year that I’d been teaching there. In fact, she continued, if these concerns hadn’t been brought to her attention, I “could have gone on teaching that class” for a dozen years.
However, by her own admission, she did not refer to my numerous emails documenting that I did, indeed, have two consistent subs in place –both of whom had taught that class previously to rave reviews – nor did she make any attempt to relay that information to the students who were worried that I wouldn’t be there. Instead, Joanne Renzi decided to completely replace me and Philly Dance Fitness with Renee De Johns Renzi – who had never taught that group of students until this past Saturday.
I want to apologize to my Fitness Works students, first and foremost, for not being able to follow-through on my repeated promise that I would be sending two Philly Dance Fitness teachers to sub for you while I was abroad. Certainly, I would not have communicated that if the gym owner had told me of her plans, but I feel bad nonetheless.
If you’ve been coming to our classes regularly, you hopefully know that we always strive to provide the best possible experience, from motivating you to dance harder to clearly communicating any changes to our class schedule. Of course, our schedule is constantly changing but we do our best to give notice well in advance if a class is going to be canceled so that you can plan accordingly. We hope that re-instating the class in mid-October at our own, albeit smaller studio, will make up for that at least a bit. I’ll be looking forward to shaking it with you then when we get back from Europe.