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Why Experience Matters in Teaching Pole

Lola Revolver 6-10 by Bill Chen, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Lola Revolver 6-10 by Bill Chen, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Image Lola Revolver 6-10 by Bill Chen, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

There are many certification and training programs out there for polers to become instructors. These can be valuable tools, especially for people without prior fitness industry experience. However, as with most things in life, there is no substitution for experience. Here are some reasons why how long a teacher has been a teacher matters.

You know everything that can go wrong.

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It never ceases to amaze me how creative students can be with their pole fails. You think you know the ins and outs of a move—what’s dangerous about it, what’s not dangerous about it, the tips and tricks to keep safe—but someone always manages to crash and burn in a way you never thought possible. Things I have actually said to students range from “No, you can’t just LET GO in the middle of your spin” to “How did you cut yourself on a 1-piece pole?” I’ve even had fellow instructors tell me the way I fell out of a move “wasn’t possible.” You won’t believe some of this stuff ‘til you see it!

The advantage of experience is that you have seen it. If you’ve been teaching shoulder mounts or inverted crucifixes for 7 years, you have a pretty good idea of everything that can go wrong and you can proactively try to prevent it. You know where to spot, what to say, and how to look out for common issues. Of course, another creative student will always be just around the corner to surprise you. But that’s what keeps teaching interesting, amirite?

You know a dozen ways to teach the same move.

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A beginning instructor usually has one set of instructions for each move: the way they learned in instructor training, or the way their instructor taught them, or the way they taught themselves. This works for about five minutes before you find a student who’s not getting it, and you have to change tactics.

An experienced instructor knows countless ways of explaining, breaking down, or demoing a standard move. They’ve had to keep reinventing their instruction as new individuals come through their doors. They’ve exchanged thoughts with other instructors, watched the move be taught in other classes, and seen every video tutorial out there (even if they’ve been able to do the move themselves for years). And they come up with their own ideas. Whatever it takes to get through to that stuck student!

You can command a classroom.

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One of the biggest gulfs between a new instructor and a pole teaching veteran is the ability to command the classroom. A fresh-out-of-certification n00b might know all the points of contact and the right amount of time to warm up and cool down, but they are often unsure how to comport themselves in front of a room full of students of varying skill and interest levels. If you’re not in control, students chat to each other instead of poling, try out moves they’re not supposed to, give each other illicit instruction, and jump into moves without a spotter.

An experienced pole instructor knows how to project a kind of classroom “stage presence.” They have a commanding energy that says, “I’m in charge here, and you’re in capable hands!” They know how to give instructions clearly so that students understand what to do, and how to keep things moving at the appropriate pace so that everyone gets a good workout. They know how to cue their warmup routines and how to project their voices so that everyone can hear over the music. While it’s impossible to control everything that goes on, that pinch of “classroom charisma” makes all the difference in the studio experience.

 You have your own teaching style.

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Are you touchy-feely and bubbly, or a hard-driving drill sergeant? Do you demo moves or have other students demo them? Do you answer questions or use the Socratic method? Do you talk through a move before, during, or after demonstration? Whatever your answers, your personal teaching style is unique to you, and it develops over time. New instructors haven’t had the time yet to settle on what they do and what they don’t, what they say and how they say it, and what their student interactions are like. They can still do a good job teaching, but it isn’t ‘til you develop your classroom personality that everything falls into place.

Everyone has to start somewhere, and we applaud new teachers for spreading the love of pole far and wide! But don’t forget when looking for an instructor for yourself, hiring for a studio, or examining your own teaching career, that experience counts too.



This post first appeared on Bad Kitty Blog | Pole Dancing Fitness Lifestyle Ne, please read the originial post: here

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Why Experience Matters in Teaching Pole

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