Tips to Become a Better Pole Dance Instructor for Your Students

Every pole dance instructor or teacher wants to get better at teaching their students. 

But not everybody knows what to do or how to do it. Some pole teachers also fear what their students think, so they don’t ask. 

Here are some tips that have helped me and other pole instructors become better teachers to our students. You can always tweak these tips to your advantage.

Work on Yourself

Working on yourself is the first step to becoming a better pole dance teacher.

Being short-tempered or getting easily frustrated can be detrimental for you and your students. Learn to exercise patience and understand that pole moves take time to learn.

Be open to feedback and take them constructively. 

Many teachers swear they are open to feedback but don’t take it positively (especially negative feedback). The key to growing as a pole instructor is to constantly iterate and work on yourself. The better you become, the better your students will be!

Help yourself to help your students.

Know Your Students

Being the best pole instructor isn’t a one-size-fits-all thing!

Students are different, and so are the approaches required to get them comfortable.

The greatest improvement will come from learning more about each student, how they respond to feedback, their struggles, and how to help them achieve their goals.

Being dedicated to each student (although a lot of work) can also help you communicate better, manage your and their expectations, and overall improve their sessions.

Welcome All Feedback

Student feedback is a great way to understand your delivery and how to improve on it.

I encourage feedback in many ways, including holding “circle sessions” before classes to discuss students’ struggles.

I also ask about their bodies and whether they are optimal or not. This can make a lot of difference, especially regarding your expectations and your student’s abilities.

Private and group feedback is also a great way to learn more about areas your students want you to improve on. I recommend group feedback because it can help you overlook biases and also give you an idea of how many students struggle with specific concerns.

It helps to audit other pole dance instructors’ classes too. You can learn from them to see what they’re doing right. 

Avoid Negative Reinforcement  

Expectation bias (1) is a huge issue among students, especially beginners.

Most beginners expect to suck at pole dancing, so they’re likely to latch on to any negative comments which may affect their psychology and performance.

Feed your students with positive reinforcements about their progress.

Remember that it can take some time to master certain moves, and all students aren’t at the same flexibility level, so they’ll naturally take different times to perfect moves. 

You should also avoid sharing uncomfortable or unhelpful stories/experiences about past students. While this is often aimed at creating a teachable moment, it often creates fear within students. 

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What you want to do, instead, is tell each student how they’re improving and how they can be better.

Balance Personal & Group Comments

Personal feedback to students can be great, however, it can sometimes feel like you’re singling the student out.

Students may become insecure about the moves they’ve mastered when you constantly direct comments at them. Avoid this by striking a balance between general and personal comments.

Notice one student isn’t doing it right? Encourage the entire class to work on it. That way, you’re helping all your students.

Celebrate Personal Achievements

Encouragement is a huge part of training.

Create an atmosphere that celebrates students and their milestone achievements. 

Has your student completed the Ayeesha move? Have they perfected the Superman move? Are they transitioning perfectly between knee hold to Jellagra, Sara-Jade, and a mix of mermaid figurehead combo? They deserve the recognition – A little “Yass Jasmine, you’ve got it!” will deliver tons of confidence boost.

It’ll also encourage others to improve while learning from other students who have perfected specific moves.

Be Honest With Students

As an instructor, you’ve gone through the cycle and know well that moves and tricks don’t work the same for different bodies.

Your honesty can take a load of burden off your students and help them become better. 

You should also share with your students the modifications you’ve made to certain moves to help your mastery. Doing this gives them an idea of the original move and the modifications you’ve made – allowing them to choose what works best for them!

Show Your Flaws

You’re not perfect, even as an instructor. You likely have some moves you’re struggling with. 

It’ll be relieving for your students to know that you’re also on a learning curve – that you’re human! 

It can help to further demystify how weird pole dancing is, thus improving their confidence in themselves and the sports.

Hope the tips help you on your journey to becoming the favorite instructor in your pole studio.

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