‘How to’ – Be late for pole class & our policies on it all.
I came across this article the other day, which – via hilarious stick men drawings, explains the inner workings of what goes on inside the brain of a person who is chronically late (hands up me).
It got me thinking about lateness in general, how it affects pole, and our three basic rules about being all tardy.
What’s the big deal?!
I suddenly recall all of the Face Book rants, forum postings, blogs and conversations I’ve ever heard or read over the last decade by pole schools, instructors, dance teachers and the like, how lateness affects the classroom and their very strict policies put in place due to the utter disdain most sane, rational people have towards those who have the ‘chronic lateness disorder’. Being late REALLY offends people.
Did you know – for most dance or fitness based classes, if you’re even a minute late, they tend to lock the doors and it’s tough titty – you’ve missed your class?! Bit harsh. But when you go into it – it’s usually for pretty good reason.
This got me thinking about the policies WE have here at Candy & Chrome and I realized although we do have some, it’s not really documented anywhere or clearly discussed and apparently, they are a bit out of the ordinary.
So ….. here we have it….
At Candy & Chrome, we only really have THREE basic rules about lateness:
RULE 1 – It’s OK to be a bit late – we don’t give a sh*t.
We won’t lock the doors, we won’t turn you away, you won’t loose out on your paid lesson. I mean, we don’t WANT you to be late. Obviously.
But our classes are in the city center, in the week, at peak times. Lateness is inevitable.
Traffic, parking, work being arseholes, stuck behind an L plate, tripped over the cat on the way out, lost car keys or phone, dog shat on the carpet right as you were about to leave, child got a lego one brick stuck up nose, forgot my pole pants (these are all from my own repertoire of excuses – that are totally TRUE by the way).
I don’t care. You don’t need to give me an excuse … just be late. It’s ok.
However if you do have a really funny story about why you’re late then please do share this with the class!
Some reasons why other schools have problems with lateness (and our responses) are:
* ‘It disrupts the class’
Pleeeaaase …. like we care if someone scuttles through the doors whilst we are hanging off one leg! Got bigger things to worry about!
*’They will miss important instruction’
Fair point – My position on this one though is – DO NOT attempt a move if you weren’t present for the full instruction and break down. That would be a dumb ass thing to do, and you’re likely to hurt yourself – but surely that’s obvious right? Well if not, then please – for your own safety – don’t ‘watch and learn’, don’t blag it, and just don’t do anything stupid. Wait until we’ve moved on to the next trick before you participate.
Is it? If the lesson is pre-paid then as a professional working in the SERVICE industry, I believe that if the customer has already paid for a specific hour, to do a specific thing – and fully accepts the terms of their booking then … ? She can turn up when she likes. If she’s missed a few minutes of her class, she’s missed it! Doesn’t bother me, I’m not offended. It’s her loss not mine.
*’It’s dangerous – a missed warm-up can cause an injury’
Aaaahhh now THIS is the one point I agree with – and allowing a student to ‘jump right in’ without being warmed up would be negligent on my part. SO … this brings me to rule number two …
RULE 2 – It is YOUR responsibility to warm yourself up – or you can’t take part.
Ok – so I do HAVE TO be strict with this one folks.
If you walk into a class late and have missed the warm up, then just dive right in – you are literally asking for an injury! One that’ll knock you out for at least two weeks, if not worse. It will be your own stupid fault, but yet I would be a negligent instructor if I let this go un-noticed, as well as liable for injuries sustained – which could ruin my business … because YOU were late. NOT COOL.
This is why I must insist that if you wish to take part – you MUST warm up before you do anything. If I catch you on the pole without first warming up – you’ll be asked to leave.
Due to being late, you’ve missed the group warm-up and our instructor will be busy teaching the people who were on time – sorry.
(And this is exactly why most dance schools won’t let you through the door).
LUCKILY at Candy & Chrome, we almost always have a second body in the room who can assist you – if you need help doing a proper warm-up, then please ask.
After a warm-up, and whilst you wait for the next move where you can be present for the FULL instruction – warm up further with your basic spins to kill time.
RULE 3 – We don’t mind if YOU are a bit late, as long as YOU don’t mind if WE are a bit late.
We operate on an ‘ish’ time scale. Your lesson will start at 6:30pm ISH. And finish at 7:30pm ISH. It’s not an exact science.
And yes, sometimes we can run up to 10 minutes over into that start of what would be YOUR lesson.
Whilst this does seem pretty un-professional I’ll admit – let me explain to you the main reason why this happens…
The Glorious last ten minutes!
The last ten minutes of your lesson, is when you are at your fiercest, most fabulous, most productive, most on fire, most confident – full beast mode!
YOU ARE GLORIOUS!
If I have a room full of girls who are just five minutes away from achieving greatness – I’ll give them those last few minutes.
Five or ten minutes being sat in reception or hanging around outside of class is a drag I appreciate – but those last precious few minutes are GOLD – and worth so so much to the ladies ahead of you – please be patient – you’ll get yours too.
Those last few moments usually mean the difference between going home defeated – or utterly victorious and energised – that ‘On top of the world’ feeling you get from pole is usually squeezed out in the last few minutes.
Be generous – give them that.
You pay for an hour – you get a full hour, no matter what – and if you’re the last class of the night, probably a bit more than an hour BUT it will sometimes start at a ‘there abouts’ or ‘ish’ o’clock.
And finally …
The silent fourth rule
If you’re gonna be late – BE LATE IN STYLE!
Either fly through the doors, hair all askew – with an epic tale of lateness-greatness.
Arrive fucking perfect. Fabulous. Fashionable. Not a hair out of place.
Either way – Do it in STYLE!