I recently completed a two year international tour with the spiegeltent show Limbo, performing 370…
An important motto to have with pole, whether you are a student or an instructor, is “never stop learning.” Pole sports is an ever-evolving sport that encompasses almost all aspects of dance, fitness and interpretation; and the number of various moves and styles are infinite. Because of this, it is important, for students and instructors alike, to expand their pole horizons and devote time to continued poleducation, even if it means stepping outside of the comfort zone of the studio we call home.
We are lucky enough to be a part of an all-inclusive community with many studios and instructors working together and supporting each other. Yet, as students, we sometimes find ourselves having an attachment and loyalty to one specific studio or instructor and going elsewhere gives us this looming sense of betrayal; and, as instructors, we may not want to appear to have conflicts of interest by sending business to another studio. If this is something that you have experienced or are experiencing, you may be short-stopping yourself in your pole journey.
Pole students: do not be afraid to take classes by other instructors or at different studios. Every instructor and studio are like snowflakes. From warm-ups to classes, every studio offers something different and every instructor teaches differently. Therefore, you may find that mixing it up every once in a while will help you better grasp your nemesis move or make your everyday passes smoother and easier. Ever find yourself in a pole rut? You may find that splitting your time between more than one studio keeps you going in your pole journey because your training won’t become monotonous. If you find yourself concerned about studio representation should become or if you are a competitor, most competitions allow competitors to represent more than one studio and most studios are proud of their students even if they aren’t the only studio being represented by them.
Pole instructors: do not be afraid to take classes by other instructors or at different studios. These classes will not only improve your skills on the pole, but also improve your skills as an instructor. Pay close attention to how the different instructor teaches and their methodology. There is almost as much to learn from this as there is the class itself. You may find a better way to teach a specific move or how to approach a student on certain issues they may be having. Have conversations with these instructors and bounce ideas off each other, get advice, and give advice. Sometimes, you’ll also teach the instructor just as much as they have taught you. Also, don’t just take level up classes: give yourself a refresher course on the basics or go to a class that isn’t even pole-related, such as yoga or dance. The back to basic and non-pole classes are often the most beneficial to you as an instructor because you gain a new outlooks on basic moves and improve your technique on and off the pole, which is crucial for a well-rounded class.
Pole students and pole instructors: take all the workshops you can! If a regular class is a step in your pole journey, a workshop is a giant leap to the end of the block. Whether they are taught by well-known pole stars or a studio’s regular instructor, the value of workshops is immeasurable because you have an extended amount of time devoted to a single particular thing rather than a regular class that teaches multiple things in a short amount of time. Depending on the type of learner you are, the specific focus of workshops may allow you to retain the information taught better and longer than that of a regular class. Instructors will find that workshops are most beneficial because the tips and techniques acquired in workshops can be taken home and applied to their repertoire, increasing their appeal to students. Additionally, these workshops are often great additions to an instructor’s resume and may be applied as a CLE credit depending on the certifications the instructor holds.
Continuing your poleducation through classes and workshops held by different instructors and studios/events is important to the continuance of your pole journey, for both students and instructors. So, break out of your comfort zones, see the pole wide world and, most importantly, never stop learning.
Jess Love of Terre Haute, IN has been doing pole sports for over 3 years and is an instructor at Pole Dance Fitness Terre Haute. She is a PSO competitor, PoleCon performer, X-Pert Level 1 & 2 Certified and an insured instructor.
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