If you are wondering about joining pole dance classes and are faced with different options from different schools, CHOOSE YOUR POLE SCHOOL CAREFULLY.
As with most things, prices vary – but this is not to say one school is better than another, what is MORE important are things like value for your money, and how comfortable you feel. Here are a few hints to help you dodge the cowboys, and find a class that will suit you.
Ask about the instructor’s experience…..
Have they been pole dancing themselves for at least a few years? Otherwise…..how would they expect to teach something they have little experience in? Just because you walk into a class and the girl is nice and can do lots of impressive tricks on the pole, do not assume she is experienced or a knowledgeable teacher. As pole is such a new sport, many people are claiming themselves as teachers with less than a year’s learning under their belt!
Watch out for the ‘Qualifications’…
Pole qualifications. Yes … they are a thing. And whilst I believe they are a good thing – it’s always great to gain extra credentials and experience from anywhere you can, and to be rewarded with a pass certificate for your day’s training – this is where it gets confusing for NON-polers.
Pole is not yet a fully formed, fully developed industry with enforceable legalities and governance like other traditional sport or dance.
DON NOT assume that a piece of paper ‘Qualification’ means that this person has studied for years and years, has had to prove their skill and be put up for speculation and testing their extensive knowledge to be rewarded with a prestigious ‘Qualification’, similar to what we know from traditional education.
They haven’t. It doesn’t exist. There is no degree in pole dance.
Pole dance qualifications are a great supplement to an already well built repertoire, they are a feather in the cap.
So when you see an instructor who is hazy on the details about their experience but ‘DON’T WORRY, I’M FULLY QUALIFIED’ …
Ask yourself – How does this compare to someone who has been pole dancing for x amount of time, or knows the mechanics of the moves well, or is an experienced mentor, or has a lot of relevant other dance/fitness history etc…
Ask if your instructor is dance or fitness qualified…
Anyone half serious about TEACHING a pole dance class, or any fitness/dance based class for that matter will at least have bothered themselves to study a bit about human anatomy, the effects of exercise and how to conduct a class. Although, this is not ALWAYS absolutely essential in many areas of fitness, as earlier stated EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE is more important.
Ask if your instructor has insurance…
If you have a serious injury (and this can happen ANYTIME, whether you are pole dancing or just cleaning the loo!), you want to feel safe in the knowledge that the insurance will cover you.
Ask if your instructor is First Aid qualified…
As above, if you have an injury – you want to be in a position that the person controlling the room knows how to deal with it!
Do some research…
Look at the school’s website, does it look professional? Are there plenty of pictures of the actual classes being run, rather than stock images?
Is it friendly and welcoming? Is it informative? Forewarned is forearmed people, so lots of information shows a school that really cares for it student’s well being and has the knowledge and expertise to deal with ALL of your inquiries.
What’s the student to pole ratio?
If there’s only one pole and 10 ladies expected to dance around it – how much learning will you seriously get out of that? No more than 4 ladies to a pole MAX – otherwise you’ll be waiting all day for a turn! ALSO, ask how big the groups are…. if there’s only one instructor and 30 students (i.e. like an average aerobics class, although aerobics is ground based exercise at least!) all clambering poles does this seem safe? NO!
Ask questions before you join…
Anyone running a respectable school will be only too happy to answer your questions as best they can, with educated answers.
Look for testimonials…
From other students to see what they think of the classes being taught.
Stick with what’s important…
Yes price is ALWAYS important we know, but look at what you get for your money….comfortable and professional environment, properly equipped dance space, quality of instruction, facilities, safety, knowledge of the instructor, location, continuous help & personal tuition.
Not as important as some of the other stuff we’ve covered here, but sometimes it’s the little things that just make you feel extra secure, so if we’re going to pick, let’s take a look at the facilities. Start at the beginning…
Is there available parking nearby?
Or access to public transport close?
The walk to and from your car – is it safe and well lit?
Is the building safe and acceptable to walk into? Do you feel comfortable here?
Is the room good enough?
Is there safe flooring?
High quality, safe & well maintained dance poles?
Is it warm / cool enough for you?
Is there enough space to swing yourself about without hitting wall …. or other people?!
Are there toilets and or changing rooms?
Ongoing training options…
Unless you come away absolutely hating pole dance (unlikely), you will probably want to carry it on, either as regular exercise or to progress your skills further….does your chosen school offer options for you to do this?