Becoming a pole dance instructor is an excellent choice of profession as it brings a number of benefits that can help you stay fit while you teach others how to do the same simultaneously. For some pole dancing professionals, the experience brought by teaching others is unparalleled and fulfilling.
Are you thinking about becoming a pole dance instructor? To help you decide better, we’ve listed the perks and challenges of being a pole dance instructor. We’ve also listed the certifications you can take and the preparations you have to do when you finally decide to pursue this career path.
Why Become a Pole Dance Instructor?
Here are the advantages you’ll gain from being a pole dance instructor:
You maintain your fitness
Part of the job of being a pole dance instructor is ensuring your body remains healthy and fit. Being on the dance pole every day, you’ll have no choice but to regularly exercise. You’ll probably do more than just your normal workout routine because you have to instruct other people by demonstrating the moves yourself.
Get to know forward-thinking people
The pole dancing community is full of inspirational, progressive, hardworking, and passionate individuals. Their drive for the dancesport is so immense that they’ve pushed the Olympic committee to consider including pole dancing in the global competition.
Many professional pole dancers in the industry have a deep dedication to let the world know more about pole dancing. They want to kill the negative stigma and promote pole dancing as a healthy workout alternative anyone can enjoy.
Outside contests and competitions, fellow pole dancers uphold a non-judgmental and friendly attitude towards each other. This makes the community a very welcoming place especially for beginners who have zero knowledge about pole dancing.
Pole dancers are willing to help each other out to make each other’s performance better. By becoming a pole dance instructor, you’ll spearhead the promotion of this kind of attitude to newcomers.
Grow the community
One of the perks of being a pole dance instructor is you get to meet a wide variety of students coming from different backgrounds. By teaching more students to love pole dancing, you contribute to growing the community and making it more inclusive, regardless of differences in culture.
Having a student and watching them grow is like raising a child until they can do wonders by themselves. There’s nothing more fulfilling for a pole dance instructor than to see a precious student enjoy and become successful in the craft.
There are several perks you can gain from being a pole dance instructor. However, you can’t gain all these without having to sacrifice a few things.
Disadvantages of being a pole dance instructor:
Just like any job, there are plenty of upsides and downsides and with teaching pole dancing it can be quite a taxing on your body and time in the day.
With that said, the upside of being a teacher is beneficial in these ways:
- Earn money while dancing
- Get free practice time in the studio
- Get paid to learn and improve your own dancing skills
- The health benefits of keeping active
You won’t be able to gain all these benefits without giving up something in return. A pole dance instructor maintains a very busy lifestyle. You have to create a lesson plan, come up with new tricks and routines, create a good performance playlist, and continuously polish your skills.
Most pole dance instructors have another job they go to and teach pole dancing as a side gig. This doesn’t deter them to pursue their passion even if it means having to juggle a number of things at the same time.
As a pole dance instructor, you risk over-training your muscles because of the repetitive moves you make during class. It’s common for an instructor to show the same move over and over again to each class or even each student. This raises the chance of getting injured which can permanently damage your career as a pole dancer.
To reduce muscle strain due to repetitive movements, ensure you allow time for rest and recovery. Knowing your limits can save you the trouble of dealing with injuries.
What are the Qualifications Needed?
You don’t have to be a gold medalist in the dancesport to become a great pole dance instructor. Still, you should have mastered the basics and be able to perform intermediate and difficult tricks.
It takes more than just good manners and excellent dancing skills to become an effective pole dance instructor. You may be able to explain and demonstrate certain tricks but being able to coach students to do more than just copy your movements takes time and experience to be good at. Similar to performers, pole dance instructors have to go through a constant learning journey before they become efficient in teaching others.
Technically, you don’t need any certification or pass any sort of examination to qualify to teach pole dancing to others. Still, getting one makes you more credible to mentor others in this craft. Certifications and training programs help expand your knowledge and expose you to teaching methods you can try yourself.
If you feel the need to attend a certification course, here are some of the best classes to consider:
KT Coates’ Internationally Recognized Instructor Training
KT Coates is one of the most prominent figures in the pole fitness industry with over 20 years of experience under her belt. As a matter of fact, she’s one of the pioneers that popularized the sport and made it more mainstream.
The certifications offered in this program is recognized internationally by the PDC, ACE, Australia Fitness, and REPS.
The training is based in Australia so you may have to go there if you want to undergo the training program.
POLEPEOPLE Pole Dance Instructor Training
Their Certified Pole Instructor Qualifications program has been around for 10 years already. They’re recognized by SkillsActive which is the official certifying body for health and fitness in the United Kingdom.
For those who are in London, they can easily access this 2-day course with ease.
Spin City Aerial Fitness Instructor Training
The instructors in Spin City come from a variety of backgrounds, including dance, yoga, and pilates, in addition to pole fitness. They welcome experienced and newcomers alike since they offer different levels of difficulty in their courses. You’ll be up-to-date with the latest developments in the pole fitness industry when you come to their classes.
XPERT Fitness Professional Training
Training courses under this program are held in Europe. They offer different training levels, allowing aspiring instructors to obtain better skill sets in future courses.
Their courses are recognized and accredited by a number of certifying organizations around the world, including REPS, PDC, ACE, and the Pole Safe Federation.
XPERT Fitness Professional Training also offers other courses aside from pole dancing. They have classes for Aerial Hammock, Aerial Hoop, and Aerial Silks to name a few.
Starting Your Career as a Pole Dance Instructor
As a new pole dance instructor, you have to consider a lot of things first. Before starting your business, make sure you check with local government policies and ensure you adhere to their requirements to avoid issues in the future.
Find a location
Look for a studio or gym that will allow you to rent a space where you can install a dance pole. This is more cost-effective than leasing a whole studio by yourself.
Make sure it has a good ceiling height and it’s spacious enough to allow freedom to move when performing.
Before you purchase a dance pole, assess which type will work best on the premises. Installing a permanent dance pole is ideal but if you can’t, a freestanding dance pole will still do. Also, make sure you put in crash mats for added protection. Don’t skimp on equipment quality to avoid injuries and accidents often caused by failing equipment.
Decide on the model to follow
Before you start teaching, you need to determine how you want to conduct your classes first. Will you be teaching a full course and take a class of students? Or will you do a workshop-style program, instead?
In case you decide to do a full-course program, have a lesson plan to follow. Knowing what exercises and routines to teach to your students according to their skill level and experience, help prevent injuries and accidents caused by getting them to perform moves past their capabilities.
Build a lesson plan
In building a lesson plan, always include warm-ups as part of the routine. Mix in strengthening and flexibility workouts that will build the physical foundation your students need to lift themselves upon the dance pole. Depending on the skill level of the student, prepare appropriate tricks that you can teach.
Juggling all these stuff can be overwhelming but these shouldn’t deprive you of being creative with your lesson plan. Use your extra time to come up with routines that will fit your choice of song or playlist. This way, you’ll keep things interesting for your students in addition to feeding your imagination with new dance moves.
Start marketing your services
Reach out to potential students by promoting in social media. You can also create your own website or go traditional by printing flyers and posters and even buying advertising on social networks like facebook & instagram.
It may take some time before students come knocking on your door, so don’t lose hope right away. Having experience in marketing will help a lot but it’s not really necessary.
Establishing Your Branding and Reputation
The job of a pole dance instructor is to do more than just demonstrate to students how to perform tricks. There are those who teach today and then forget about their students until the next meet-up. You don’t want to be one of them if your goal is to encourage more people to get into pole dancing.
It can be hard to keep track of the performance of each student, especially when you’re holding several classes a week. Still, you have to take note of their progress and keep an eye on those who are having difficulties following the lessons. Take the initiative to pay more attention to them and encourage them to become at the craft.
As you grow stronger relationships with your students, you’ll build a reputation of being a supportive and caring pole dance instructor. Word-of-mouth will take care of your marketing and you’ll soon get more students to enroll in your class.
Being new to the teaching business, you’ll be facing a lot of challenges but you’ll also get a lot of opportunities to make yourself stand out from the competition. Aside from providing excellent service and developing a brand of your own, consider the following ideas to spice up your pole dancing classes.
- Organize a retreat with your students
- Decorate your pole dancing studio with something different
- Host showcases and free demonstrations to entice more customers
- Award students with something for achieving a specific milestone
- Start your own blog where you can tell your journey as a pole dance instructor
There are surely more ways to improve the overall experience you give to students. You just have to give way to creativity and let your passion for pole dancing naturally come out. This will not only reinforce your unique branding as a pole dance instructor but also keep the journey fun and exciting.
There’s a great difference between being a pole dance instructor and a pole performer. They often require different sets of traits to succeed. The former is more focused on individual improvement which is why they only conduct workshops that last for a day or two. The latter, on the other hand, is more focused on sharing their knowledge and experience to encourage more people to try pole dancing.
Asking yourself whether you want pole dancing to be a job or a hobby is the first question that should come to mind when considering the career path of being a pole dance instructor. Choosing it as a profession carries a great responsibility that you should be prepared to handle. Nevertheless, the benefits of becoming a pole dance instructor are so immense that you won’t regret going with this career path. However, you don’t need to become a certified teacher to teach pole dance which makes online programs for learning new moves so appealing.