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Instructors: How to make it all about your students!

As instructors, we wear a lot of hats. We prepare our class material and we work on choreography. Sometimes we teach 8-10 classes a day. We have to fit in our own pole workout to stay current with what is trending in the pole world. Some of us run the business end of the studio: scheduling, financial, continuing education, Oh my! We train for competitions and we prepare for judging. We write blogs, prepare advertising and marketing materials and a lot of times we do all of this while having a second job and/or a family. So to say an instructor gets tired is an understatement. And when we get tired, sometimes it is easy to forget (or maybe put on the back burner, is a better way to put it) what pole is all about.

Pole is about the woman who just walked through the door. The woman who made three appointments, kept cancelling (always 24 hours in advance, of course ha!) and has finally worked up the courage to come into her first class.

Pole is about the professional woman who takes an hour out of her weekly schedule to fit in her vertical workout. It is her time where she can take her hair out, whip it back and forth and allow her inner vixen out to play.

Pole is about the man who struts in (probably better than you and I) to the studio wearing his stilettos and stretches, getting ready for his hour of feeling fierce.

Pole is about the working mother, who barely has time to sleep and take a shower, but has been able to get the planets to align so she can get out of the house for an hour and 27 minutes – an hour for the class, ten minutes to get to the studio, ten minutes to get back and maybe seven minutes to just sit in the car and listen to the silence. This is her time to feel sexy again, because after three babies, that can be a challenge all in itself.

Pole is about the man who just walked in the door. The man who has decided he wants to give this power-house-core workout a try. He glances at the woman who is going to teach his class, in his head saying: bring it Barbie! Show me if this workout will even cause me to break a sweat.

So, how do you make it about the students? How do you, on days where you may be tired, overwhelmed, sore etc make it all about that woman (or man) who just walked through the door and are your students for the next hour (or 90 minutes, depending on your studio’s preference)? Three little words: the little things. I have included five little things that you can practice in your studio in order to make each and every student feel welcomed and feel like your studio is their world.

Paparazzi: Pictures Please

This is a big one – offer to take pictures of your students when they accomplish their goals for that day. Not only is this a great teaching aide (after all most of us are visual learners) but it will also instill confidence within your student to see visual proof of what their body can accomplish.

Story time anyone?

Allow your students time to talk – to vent, to tell a story, to talk about their week. This can be done in opening stretches or maybe closing stretches – although I find it best to do this at the beginning so they can leave anything from their day or week at the beginning and are able to focus the rest of class. Ask about their day, their week, their holiday. Take the time to know each of your students personally but also encourage each student to know their fellow classmates so as to not only lend support to each other on the pole but to also develop that pole sisterhood and female (and male) empowerment.

A little One-on-One

Usually, you will have a full class of women (and men) who learn at different rates, who have different strengths. So take 5-10 minutes out of the class where you circle around the room and work with each person individually. Of course, make sure that the rest of your students are practicing safely, but give your attention to one student at a time in order that they may ask you questions, you can give them direct instruction and they can adjust accordingly.

DJ Anyone?

Most new students will be shy to suggest their music at first, so for the first day pick something fairly tame – you just met this person, and the last thing you want is for them to be offended by your music – so go with something that gives a sexy vibe but doesn’t dance on the fence. After a few classes, encourage your students to pick their own music, even if it is only when they freestyle. This will not only make them comfortable but guaranteed you will see them find their own pole rhythm.

Clean, Cinderella, clean!

Yes, we are all guilty of this – sometimes we run late and don’t get time to sweep/mop/wipe down the studio or we have back-to-back classes with no time to run the sweeper quickly. However, this gesture means a lot to our clients. So set it up that you can take five minutes in between classes to sweep up. If your studio doesn’t have a cleaning service (most of us don’t, it’s usually called the owner) then take five minutes at the end of your class to straighten up. That way the studio is ready for the next day. Make sure to wipe surfaces down where people touch and give the mirrors a quick Windex treatment. Your students will feel more comfortable slithering on a nice shiny floor – I promise!

Sarah Jacoby

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Hi. I am thinking about atndneitg one of your evening classes to check it out. I’m not sure what to expect. I am used to the regular gyms. Do you offer first time free just to check it out. How much are your private sessions. If I have a friend that might to do it with me, how much would it be for two of us.Thank you very much,Kay

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