Having run lots of beginner’s courses, as well as going to other new pole schools for the first time, (and of course being a beginner back in the day myself) I like to think that I know how to be prepared for a class.
I send out emails to every beginner before they start their first class with me, letting them know all the important info – where to go, when to get there, what to wear and what to bring.
I like to think that this makes the class run smoothly and makes it hassle free too, and therefore more fun for the students. So here we go:
How To Prepare
Getting Through The Front Door
Well, first you need to get there! This sounds like an easy and obvious one, but in every new beginner’s class I have at least one person who is late or lost. The problem is that when they are late and call me, I’m already teaching and can’t answer! If I have a class straight beforehand I can’t answer then either, so leave plenty of time and find out exactly where you are going first.
The best thing to do, is look up where you are going and check to see where you can park. Postcodes and sat navs aren’t always reliable when you get close to your destination, so if you’ve looked it up on a map or know what the building looks like, it’ll be easier to find. I always take a screen shot on my phone with a pin on the location so I don’t have to rely on the internet. On the first day allow lots of extra time to get there as well.
Check you’re going to the right venue – and if you’re not sure, ask. I teach in a few different spaces and have links these venues all on the same ‘locations’ page on the website – the problem is (and this has happened) when people see the first venue, and don’t scroll down! They end up going to a different venue (of a different name) and finding no one there – luckily they are all walking distance from each other – so as long as people get there early, I can direct them to the right place.
Read All The Info Before Class
If you get sent an email or have access to any other information about your class before you start it, read everything you can! You will be more prepared for your class and may read something you didn’t realise before.
It’s likely that there’s paperwork on the first day too. I send a health screening form and consent form to every student before they come to class. I encourage them to fill it out before class to save time, but most don’t. If you can’t print it out before, at least you can read it knowing what you are signing. It also helps to get in touch with your instructor if you have any health issues. We aren’t doctors but do like to know the important things, and if we need to adapt moves for you.
Pack Your Bag
Bring everything you need. Depending on the venue and your instructor you might need to bring a few more or less items. Shorts are a pretty obvious one. The more skin available, the better – but make sure you are comfortable in what you are wearing. You shouldn’t need hot-pants for your first lesson (in my opinion) and by the second, you’ll know what to expect. Any sports tops are fine (and sports bras – we jog!) and no jewellery! If you can leave it at home, do, so that you won’t leave it in the venue. Otherwise take it off before class and put it in your bag. I currently have a gold bracelet, 3 ankle bracelets and have just given back a necklace all from different people and all experienced polers, who forgot to take them off before class.
Tips For The Class
You will probably be in bare feet – so prepare! I hate feet and certainly hate getting my feet out if I’m not aware, so as long as you know this, you will be fine!
You will all be nervous, and no one will want to go first. This might sound silly as you are all there to learn to pole but as soon as it comes to the first move, people get nervous. Try and step up! When I was learning and went first, I usually ended up with more turns on the pole! 🙂
Keep practicing. You might do a spin once or twice and think you’ve got it and so stop. Keep poling! I’ve said it before and mean it – an empty pole is a sad pole. Make the most of your time there and get on that pole. There are always variations and add ons, so each move needs to be strong before your instructor can add on.
If you have the opportunity to film yourself, do. Everyone tells me they don’t know what moves to try when they get home so if you film it, you will know what to do. Only film your instructor IF you ask beforehand. I have had a few people try to film me subtly, but I have tutorials online and give students video access to all our spins – I just like to be in control of where videos of me end up!
Talk to people and have fun! The students that get the most out of class are the ones that talk to each other – you can keep each other going and help to answer questions (usually about if you have any bruises!) You all now have pole in common, so even a ‘have you ever done this before’ will get the ball rolling.
I could write for days on all the things that prepare you for class, but I won’t overload you with information just yet! I hope you enjoy your first class and after, add to my list if there’s any thing you can think of 😀