Last Updated on December 18, 2022
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!
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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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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
- How to get better at pole dancing
- Confessions of a Pole Dance Instructor
- 9 Reasons to fall in love with pole dancing
- The Truth about Twisted Grip Handsprings
- Best Pole Dancing Books for Inspiration & Motivation
- Learn Pole Daning at Home
- Inspirational Pole Dancing Quotes
- Protect Your Knees When Pole Dancing
- Protect Your Wrists As A Pole Dancer
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If you’re a Pole Dance Instructor and want to submit your story or experience, you can do so here.