How to Make Money Teaching Jazzercise
This is a guest post from Phillip Taylor of P.T. Money.
The very best side hustles are the ones that pay you for something you’d be doing anyway. That’s what Erika Plank Hagan discovered more than a decade ago when her Jazzercise instructor announced there was an upcoming information meeting for anyone interested in becoming an instructor. “I realized I could get paid to do this thing I loved to do and was currently paying to do, anyway,” Erika says.
She found that getting paid for her favorite exercise regimen was the best way to find time to make extra money for herself and her family. Teaching Jazzercise has been a constant in Erika’s life ever since, through the birth of two kids, a cross-country move, and several job changes. She recommends becoming fitness instructor to anyone wanting to stay fit and make extra money at the same time.
A Lifestyle and Business Choice
Erika has been dancing her entire life, so becoming a Jazzercise instructor was a natural progression, and one that she knows is the right fit for her. Though she realizes that doing one-on-one personal training is a solid way to make money, it’s not the right path for her:
“I love the music and the party-vibe of a group class, and as a dancer, I really responded to the quality choreography in Jazzercise. I’m not going to become certified as a personal trainer because I won’t get as much out of it.”
And that’s why finding the right fit for a side hustle is so important. Not only does Erika get paid for teaching, but she can look forward to these classes, as well as her practice sessions when she learns the choreography. If she were to try to expand into something lucrative but less interesting like personal training, it would become a chore or just another job, instead of fun she gets paid for.
Erika highly recommends only taking on an exercise side hustle if you love it. “It’s a lifestyle choice as well as a business choice, so you better really like what you’re teaching,” she says.
Jazzercise is a franchise, which means every instructor is a franchisee, and potential instructors must pay an initial franchise fee—which, according to Erika, is relatively low as franchises go. She made her investment back within the first six months of teaching. For anyone who would be paying to take classes anyway, the cost of the franchise fee can be a no-brainer.
In addition to the franchise fee, each potential instructor must also go through an audition process where their dance technique, stage presence, and teaching aptitude are evaluated. You must also go through an initial mandatory training workshop, and there are additional optional training workshops and ongoing instructor evaluations.
Even if Jazzercise isn’t your particular jam, you can expect to have some start-up costs. According to Erika, “Even if you’re going on your own, you’ll want a generic group fitness certification and liability insurance, and you should expect to pay royalties on the music you use in class.”
Sweating for a Profit
There are various levels available to potential Jazzercise instructors, from a class owner, who runs her own classes and has other instructors working for her, down to associate instructor, who teaches for other people, submitting invoices for each class taught.
Erika has shifted back and forth between class owner and associate instructor over the years, based on her family needs at the time. Her income from Jazzercise has varied throughout the years. At one point as a class owner, she grew her classes enough to gross $36,000 per year, but her expenses ate up most of that income, between rent, insurance, paying her associate instructors, music royalties, and marketing.
“I have had the most solid, dependable income on a smaller scale—when I teach for others and invoice per class. I end up netting $100 to $400 per month.”
The level of income is almost entirely dependent on the instructor. “I know some Jazzercise franchisees who make enough to quit their full-time jobs,” she says. “And I know other who just want to get free classes, so they teach just for that.”
Erika currently needs to plan classes around her kids’ school schedule and other work and church obligations, so she’s happy to accept lower profits right now. She teaches between three and six classes per week, although she has the flexibility to pick up more classes as her schedule evolves.
Do the Side Hustle
If you’re passionate about your favorite fitness regimen, becoming an instructor can be a great way to make time for exercise and earn money at the same time. Just remember, this is still a place to be very professional.
According to Erika, “You’re building your own small brand within a larger system. Be someone others want to work with.”
If you are interested in becoming a Jazzercise instructor, click here to learn more.
What fitness class could you teach to make extra money?
Philip Taylor, aka “PT”, is a CPA, financial writer, FinCon CEO, and husband and father of three. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or view the Philip Taylor+ Google profile.