I’m currently writing a post about what is ‘normal’ for a pole class. Chances are you may have been to only one pole school and stayed there, which is great 😀
The difficulty comes when you don’t know what should and shouldn’t be done, or happen in a class. I’ve been in a class (as both a student and instructor) thinking;
‘Is that a thing that should happen?’
So I’ve written a few do’s and don’ts to get you through class, and hopefully keep us all on the same wave length. Some will be more appropriate for certain types of studios, so I hope this will be useful. You can always sneakily pass it along to someone who does one of the ‘don’ts’ on my list, to help sort it out 😀
I bring pole cloths to class and replace them regularly to keep our poles as grippy as they can be. Some people prefer to bring and use their own cloths on the poles, which is great. I also have people bring their own towels to class for when they get sweaty – perfect, I like this a lot!
Now, the cloths provided to wipe the poles, are not there to wipe sweat off of your body. I’ve had people put them in their bras or under their armpits so they don’t have to get off the pole to pick one up. Hmm… Would you want to use a cloth to clean a pole, when it’s just been squished under someone’s armpit? Probably not.
I know there are exceptions – I tuck cloths into the back on my shorts when I’m climbing poles and wiping the top (but usually this is with my own cloths in practice time, and that’s fine!)
I’m not a fan of people wiping their sweat with our cleaning cloths — what’s the point? The poles won’t be grippy if the cloths are dirty.
I’ve thrown a lot of cloths away because of this (as washing them makes them less effective) and always buy new batches of cloths for each new term, so no sweat on the cleaning cloths please!
Talking And Poling While Being Instructed
Okay, so this one definitely depends on how you are being taught and how many of you are in the class. I went to an instructor training course and we were all told not to get on the poles and practice until it was time to. And it’s kind of stuck with me.
When I’m in a class where there is 1 person to a pole, students want to copy what I’m doing before I’ve finished explaining. Putting hands in the correct position will help to get body positioning right but if you start to spin before your instructor has finished, you might miss a key point and get it wrong. In my experience those people who try before being taught properly, end up getting it wrong.
You also need to listen while being instructed — that’s what you’re paying for after all! Do you know how hard it is to be upside down talking through a move, trying to compete with a conversation in the corner? Very!! Try it if you don’t believe me!
I’ve had people talk through my demonstration (after being asked not to!) and then have them ask me what they are meant to be doing – because they were too busy talking. I want to make sure you have as much time on the pole as possible, so the more you pay attention, the most practice you get. Of course, ask questions and ask for more demonstrations when necessary, but make sure you listen first.
The other side to this of course is that other people have paid their money as well, and they will want to hear what they’re meant to do! So try and be respectful of those around you. You can talk as much as you like after you know what you’re meant to be doing!
Be On Time
So this is a tricky one. Sometimes you can’t help but be late, which is fine – annoying for you, but fine. This is aimed at those who always turn up late in a bid to avoid the warm up!
Some people in class wait until the start of the class to put their money in for the car park, which is fine, as they then come and join the warm up. It’s those of us who are always 5 or 10 minutes late and miss the warm up. I know some classes won’t let you in if you haven’t arrived in time for the warm up, so if your class isn’t like that, be grateful and make sure you join the warm up – it’s there to keep you safe after all!
Obvious Pole Points
I’ve covered points of ‘don’t hog the pole’ and ‘don’t wear lotion‘ on the pole before, so I won’t bore you with those – even though they are important ones!
I would hope this one would be obvious – but don’t try moves that aren’t on the syllabus. So, every so often I’ll get a beginner (or hen party attendee) who thinks they can go upside down… and unfortunately they occasionally try – while my back is turned and without a mat. Firstly, this show a massive lack of respect for me, and clear understand that they know they’re doing something wrong. If you want to try something new – ask! That’s all it takes, and if you’re ready for it, your instructor should be able to show you. We have tried and tested lesson plans for a reason.
I know it’s fun to try inverts really soon after you start to pole but it’s not just you who’s in danger. Your instructor has insurance and strict rules which come with that insurance, so if you want to keep coming to class, behave! I’ve had long term polers who can’t invert or shoulder mount but try it right at the end of the lesson, without mats and while I’m helping a student on another pole – and yes, they do get told off! You might end up getting there, but the likelihood is that you fall and hurt yourself, and no one wants that!
This also applies to not showing off other moves. If you’ve got a pole at home and want to show off a move, take a pic or video off it. As soon as you try that move in class, everyone will slyly try it and they won’t all be ready – so keep it to your camera and ask for it to be in the next lesson plan.
Coming to the end now (you’ll be happy to note!), the theme of this blog has been about being respectful to those around you (mixed in with a little bit of whinging!) 😀
So on that same theme, if someone can’t do a move, don’t laugh at them – encourage them and help them to get it right! Luckily so far everyone who has walked through my doors has been fully supportive of each other 😀
So enough from me – I hope this has helped in some way, and feel free to add anything to my list 😀