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How to Become a Pole Dance Instructor

Become a Pole Dance Instructor

Last Updated on February 8, 2023

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Are you aspiring to become a Pole Dance Instructor? Congratulations! Being a Pole Dance Instructor/teaching others to pole dance is a wonderful thing to do. It’s such a great profession and industry to be part of, you have the opportunity to meet hundreds of people and have a fantastic time in the process!

Welcome to Confessions of  Pole Dance Instructor! This is a series of blog posts where Pole Dance Instructors (like myself) share our stories. But, this isn’t the usual type of post in the ‘Confessions’ series as it features none of the usual embarrassing stores or tales of woe! This is a guide for aspiring Pole Fitness Instructors to get the information they need to persue their career. 

Who wouldn’t want to be a pole dancing instructor? Well, apart from all the amazing benefits and perks, like every job, it does have its downsides.

This article will discuss the pros and cons of being a Pole Dance instructor, as well as give your advice if you’re hoping to become an instructor or start your own pole dancing business.

If you’re researching how to become a pole fitness instructor, this article is for you!

You will learn about:

  • The wonderful perks of being a Pole Dance Instructor
  • The downsides to teaching pole dancing
  • What certifications you need to become a Pole Fitness Instructor
  • How to start your own pole dancing business
  • Where to find out more information

How to Become a Pole Dance Instructor

The Pros of being a Pole Dance Instructor

Let’s start with the positives, shall we?

Having a Job that Keeps you Fit

If you’re a Pole dancing instructor, part of your job is to be fit. Using a dance pole every day is going to have mostly positive effects on your body and your overall fitness.

Part of the remit of being a pole dance instructor requires you to spend extra time at the gym, studio, or working out at home, improving your knowledge and skills to pass on to others.

Getting to Meet Hundreds of Wonderful Students

Pole fitness students are so varied. They come from various different backgrounds, cultures, and they’re all different shapes and sizes. Pole dancing has widened my social circle and given me access to a more diverse social life.

As a Pole Dance Instructor, you have the opportunity to meet hundreds, if not thousands of amazing human beings. What’s great is, they’ll always remember you, especially if you were their first teacher. If they go on to do great things, you’ll be at the back of their mind!

See also: How to start a pole dancing business

Being Part of a Forward-Thinking Industry

The pole fitness industry is a very forward-thinking one. Its clever PR, campaigning and innovative marketing has raised the profile of pole dancing for fitness to the point where pole dancing is en route to becoming an Olympic Sport! This wouldn’t have happened without hardworking, dedicated people who are passionate about the sport working tirelessly to achieve recognition for pole dancers around the world.

Professional pole dancers and performers are inspirational people; entertainers who aim to inspire others to be better people.

Putting aside competitions, shows and contests for a moment, pole dancing lessons are very non-judgemental, welcoming places to be. Students feel like they can be themselves within a pole dancing environment, even if they usually find it difficult to do so.

There’s very little bitchiness or the feeling of being stared at like you’d get at a regular gym. That’s what makes the pole dancing industry a forward-thinking movement to be part of, the grassroots of it, so to speak; the small dance studios who run classes for people who just want some confidence.

The Cons of being a Pole Dance Instructor

And now, onto the negatives…

It’s a Busy Lifestyle to Maintain

You constantly have the stay on top of your fitness game, as well as devising new routines and tricks, coming up with lesson plans, playlists, personal development goals and of course the boring stuff:  money, admin, insurance etc.

Many pole dance instructors have other work commitments alongside teaching pole dancing, they may have another job, or teach other classes outside of their pole life.

This means there’s a lot to juggle, and it can be very challenging to manage at times.

The Risk of Over-Training

The risk is very real. If you’re working out every day as part of your job, you can risk over-training or possibly injuring yourself. Having an injury can set you back a long way, but if you’re an instructor, an injury could mean losing your income permanently at worst, temporarily at best.

Over-training happens when you repeat the same motion over and over again, engaging the same muscle groups without a chance for them to rest and recover. This happens a lot as a pole dance instructor, as you have to demonstrate moves to learners several times each lesson.

Most of the advice us instructors give, such as practising tricks on both sides kind of goes out the window when you have 9 students in a class who all want to see the move performed again, and slowly.

Having a Job vs. Having a Hobby

As soon as something becomes work – ie. a necessity – then the fun kinda gets sucked from it. If you love pole dancing and you want to do it every day – great! But, what about those days when you just ain’t feeling it? It’s easy to cancel your space at a class if you’re not in the mood, but you can’t cancel if you’ve got a bunch of beginners who have paid $20 for you to teach them.

All physical jobs take their toll after a while, being a Pole dance instructor is no exception.

Training & Qualifications Needed to be a Pole Dance Instructor

This section will go over the training, experience, certifications, and qualifications available to aspiring Pole Dance Instructors. Technically, you don’t need any qualification to teach pole dancing to others, there’s no regulator so to speak. However, having a fitness certification, or preferably a specialist pole fitness qualification will give you better credibility for your potential students.

Know How to Pole Dance

What’s that? To be a Pole Dance Instructor you have to know how to pole dance?! You don’t say?! It may seem obvious, but you need to be a good pole dancer to in order to teach others.

You don’t, however, need to be perfect. Being a teacher is not the same as striving for a gold medal or first prize. Teachers often require different traits to performers, which is why many famous performers often run one-off workshops to focus on one particular thing as opposed to regular ongoing courses like you’ll find in your local pole dancing studio.

If you want to become a Pole Dance Instructor, you should practice pole dancing as much as you can, as well as improve your overall fitness.

Gain Interpersonal Learning Skills

Teaching any skills requires a certain manner with people. Explaining something is one thing, demonstrating is something else, but actually coaching someone and helping them develop or progress along their journey is the mark of a great teacher.

Adults learn in different ways, there are academic models based on research which explain the different ways that adults learn. Pole dancing is a very practical teaching method, with a small amount of theory and a lot of active motivational encouragement.

Being a good teacher takes as much practice as it takes to become a good pole dancer. You won’t jump straight into teaching and be the best you can be right away, all teachers are on a constant journey of continuous improvement, and Pole Dance Instructors are no exception.

Everyone remembers that crappy teacher they had in school who didn’t really teach you anything and made you lose any remaining enthusiasm you had for the topic – don’t become that teacher!

Stay engaged, stay focused, it’s not all about the physical skill if you want to become a Pole Dance Instructor!

Pole Dance Instructor Training Courses

For professional, industry recognised training and certifications, there are several options available to you, but be aware that you may need to travel to attend these courses!

Want to become an amazing pole dancer?

Access to more than 450 high-quality video lessons with the lifetime access option
Excellent value for money when compared to the price of local pole dancing classes
Suitable for beginner, intermediate, advanced & expert pole dancers


Use the code polefitfreedom to get 10% off Pole Dancing Lessons with Open Dance Academy. This is an exclusive offer for readers of this blog!

KT Coates’ Internationally Recognised Instructor Training

KT has over 20 years’ experience in the pole fitness industry. She was one of the original pioneers who brought the sport to the mainstream. The courses, qualifications and certifications offered by her company are internationally recognised and endorsed by REPS, Skills Active, ACE, PDC, Australia Fitness amongst many others.

The only downside is that they’re in Australia, so most of the rest of the world will have to travel a long way to access this training.

Learn more about KT Coates’ Internationally Recognised Instructor Training

POLEPEOPLE Pole Dance Instructor Training

POLEPEOPLE have been offering Certified Pole Instructor Qualifications for over 10 years. Based in London, their courses are certified by SkillsActive, the Official British Health and Fitness Certifying Organisation.

If you’re able to easily travel to London and want to become a Pole Dance Instructor, then these 2-day courses are not to be missed!

Learn more about POLEPEOPLE Pole Dance Instructor Training

XPERT Fitness Professional Training

XPERT Fitness Professional Training courses are held in Europe and have different levels available, meaning that students can build upon their skills with future courses.

Their courses are accredited by the top fitness certifying organizations around the world – ACE, AFAA, REPSUK, REPSSA, REPS NZ, Fitness Australia, Active IQ and CIMSPA. They are also endorsed by PDC and the Pole Safe Federation.

They also offer accredited courses in teaching Aerial Hoop, Aerial Silks, Aerial Hammock, Flexibility Flow and Children’s Pole & Aerial Teacher Training. So, don’t stop at Pole Dancing – become an all-out aerial instructor with XPERT Fitness!

Find out more about XPERT Fitness Professional Training

Spin City Aerial Fitness Instructor Training

Spin City’s Instructors come from a range of backgrounds, including fitness, dance, yoga and pilates. Whether you’re experienced or a brand new instructor, if your background is in pole fitness, fitness instruction, dance, pilates or yoga, then these courses are right for you. The training will keep you up-to-date on latest developments within the industry. They’re currently offering a selection of courses for different levels, and the courses are fully certified.

Find out more about Spin City Aerial Fitness Instructor Training

How to Start your Pole Dancing Business

As a newly certified Pole Dance Instructor, you’ll most likely want to start promoting your services as a teacher. There are a few formalities that you’ll have to adhere to, which may be different depending on where you live, so please check with your local authorities before accepting this advice as the truth!

Finding a Suitable Premises

The easiest thing to do is to find a dance studio or gym whose space you can rent. It’s much less admin-heavy than leasing your own studio, which comes with added responsibilities.

Purchasing Equipment

You’re a Pole Dance Instructor. You need poles! You’ll have to consider what will work best for you and according to the restrictions of your premises. Will freestanding dance poles or floor-ceiling poles be best for you? What about crash mats? Do you want any other equipment such as yoga mats or resistance bands?

This could easily turn into a very large expense when you’re just getting started!

Promoting Yourself as a Pole Dance Instructor

You’ll have to promote your services as a Pole Dance Instructor to gain students and customers to teach. Consider the marketing approach that’s right for you, including any of the following:

  • Printed fliers and posters
  • Social media
  • Getting your own website
  • Word of Mouth
  • Google advertising

You’ll definitely need to put some time and effort into your marketing to make sure that you stand out. It also helps if you have some previous expertise in this area, or have a marketing budget!

Decide Upon Your Business Model

This is very important, or you’ll end up blinding teaching students how to pole dance with no syllabus or strategy. You need to decide exactly how you will be teaching your new pole dance students. By that, I mean:

  • Will you be teaching them according to a pre-determined set of ‘ability levels’? If so,
  • What will those levels be? How are you defining those levels?
  • Are you teaching a set course or drop-in sessions?
  • What format will your classes take? Workshop-style, or Course-style? Or, Something else?

Building a Rapport with your Students

A great Pole Dance Instructor will really get to know their students and engage with them, don’t just show up an teach them then forget about them until next week!

As well as your regular lesson plans, make a personal pole dancing development plan for your students, take notes as to what move they’re currently working on (as it can be easy to forget when you’re teaching several people at once!)

By going the extra mile, you’ll build yourself a reputation for being a great teacher. Word of mouth is the best form of marketing, so providing an excellent service is the best way to get ahead!

Preparing your Pole Dancing Lessons

This part of being  Pole Fitness Instructor is really fun. I actually love preparing for my lessons! Your lesson prep will likely include:

  • Planning an appropriate warm-up
  • Strength-building techniques
  • Flexibility techniques
  • Tricks and Spins to cover
  • Routines and combinations
  • Music, songs and playlists
  • Incorporating other equipment, such as aerial hoop or yoga blocks
  • Planning an appropriate cool-down

There is a lot to think about! Also, before your class begins, you’ll need to know:

  • Who is attending?
  • What is their ability level?
  • Have they paid in advance?

As you can see, becoming a Pole Dance Instructor, just like any other job, involves being a multi-tasker!

Building a Creative Pole Dancing Business

Hopefully, you’ll have some future plans for growing your new pole dancing business. As this is a relatively new industry to be part of, there are lots of opportunities for your business to be unique and stand out from the others. With clever branding and excellent service, you’re sure to find success!

Here are just a few creative ideas for your pole dancing business. We’ve actually recently published an entire post just listing tonnes of creative ideas for you, but we’ll list a few here anyway:

  • Decorate your pole dance studio with unique artwork
  • Host showcases or taster sessions to lure new customers in
  • Organise a retreat for your students
  • Give out certificates to students who nail their milestones
  • Start a blog to celebrate the achievements of yourself and your students

Read more about our creative ideas for your pole dancing business here 

Further Reading

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Become a pole dance instructor or pole fitness instructor

Happy poling!

If you’re a Pole Dance Instructor and want to submit your story or experience, you can do so here.

7 thoughts on “How to Become a Pole Dance Instructor”

  1. Hi! I was thinking of offering Pole Classes from my home, as I don’t have any pole studios within 3 hours of me & I think there’s a lot of people in my community who would love it! I plan to start getting certified for a beginner course within the next couple of weeks but I was wondering if you would suggest – or if I had to – get liability insurance? Or anything else you would suggest? I would just want to give one-on-one lessons but want to cover all bases. Thank you so much for your help! (I’m in California if that helps!)

    1. Hi Kate – absolutely, liability insurance is a must! Especially in the US, you definitely want to avoid the possibility of being sued. You’ll need insurance like any other personal trainer or fitness instructor would need, you’ll need to state what equipment you’re using. Also, as you’re teaching from your home, you might want to look into whether that needs a license in your state, or getting additional business insurance to protect your home. We’re not lawyers here, so please get proper advice, you need to take precautions due to the dangerous nature of pole and aerial sports. Good luck with your new venture and let us know if you have any other questions.

  2. Hey Kate (unless someone else would know) , where is a good place to get pole certified? I know Kate mentioned she is and was wondering where you found to become certified.
    I live in Florida if that helps. I tried googling it and nothing came up and this website was the only one that has suggestions but I have a child in school so I can’t just get up and go get certified in another country to pole dance.
    Thank you in advance! ????

    1. Also… I’m going to be taking CRNP-“Cleos Rock N Pole”, certification classes in Florida. Here’s the link https://certification.cleosrocknpole.com/ . Cleo The Hurricane, Gemma Lux, & Blue Phoenix, are the 3 that teach between Fl and CA they’re holding certification classes for floor work, beg-int spins, int-adv spins and more! I also believe that X-PoleUS has an online certification program now!
      Im fairly new to pole, however, I’m working hard (almost every day) and I really want to bring pole to the area I live in. It’s currently an hours drive to any pole studio…(just as Kate mentioned above! ) I know I want to instruct others and empower them on their journey just as others have done for me! I wanted to jump in head first. This article really helped me to get a game plan together! Thanks so much PFF! You are always helping with the most informative, true, inspirational material! Im going to set a goal of 6-10 months to gain certifications, attend tons of workshops from experienced trainers, and really gain the knowledge with the goal I have of instructing, foremost in my mind, so as to really gain info pertaining to that goal! Once I feel as though I could answer, assist, and lead students correctly, I’m putting my heart and soul into a successful business of vertical empowerment for others! Thanks for helping me everyone! See you out there! ????????????- Kerita Polecat

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