Okay boys and girls there are some things that we just absolutely CAN NOT take into the new year. I know that Pole•Lyra•Silks•Trapeze•Cube•Flexibility•Flow (Insert whatever aerial sport you do) are fun in terms of fitness, but they are a SPORT at the end of the day. Sports that come with REAL injuries. Sexy, fun or whatever aerials are to you, these are still sports and we need to act accordingly. The studios that you attend are your TEAMS and every time you walk into a class/workshop that is a TEAM PRACTICE. I know that just about everyone of us has been on a team of some sort at least once in your life. Teams come with responsibilities, rules and regulations. I actually wrote this as a (really long) Facebook post a few days ago, but these issues have still been heavy on my mind as I CONTINUE to see this unacceptable behavior occurring in classes and often NOT being corrected. This post is not just an FYI to students, it is a plea to my fellow aerial instructors to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get on the same page. We have to cohesively communicate expectations to our students and enforce rules. It’s not a good look if one instructor cracks down, while others let these things fall through the cracks. Just the other night I decided to be a student again and took a class. 11 minutes into the class (yes, I stopped to look at the clock) a student casually strolls in; warm up is already done and we are digging into choreo. She’s greeted by the instructor and fellow students like nothing was wrong. Then this student takes 3 minutes to “get ready” and then she just hops on the pole – no stretching, no warmup. That’s just complete unacceptable! That same student is going to walk into my class or possibly another instructors class thinking it’s okay and when corrected (for sure if it’s my class) will assume that I’m unfair or not understanding. I have jotted down some key studio Etiquette principles that I think are important to effectively and safely running our classes.
1. Come on time. If class starts at 8:45, showing up at 8:46, 8:50, or 9:00 is NOT okay. Class starting at 8:45 means arrive early and be standing next to your apparatus ready to go at 8:45. There is no grace period and no you cannot just stretch yourself. Your stretching most likely does not = your instructors stretching and you do not know what type of warmup/stretch is needed to match the planned curriculum for that session. It’s one thing if you’re coming from another aerial class and are already warmed up and are trying to make that mad dash to another room or studio, but don’t take advantage of that. Still get your hustle on and get to that next class ASAP.
2. When you walk into the studio be ready to WERK. Running in at the nick of time BUT then having to change clothes, grab towels, spit out your gum, take off your rings, go to the bathroom, send a last minute text, etc is not okay and does NOT = on time. It still = LATE.
3. Speaking of phones. The only time we want to see them in class is when you SNAP so you can POST and TAG. THAT’S IT! If you need to take a call or return a text, it’s okay to step out of the room and do so (actually we insist), but don’t do it in class. It’s disrespectful and lets others think that it’s okay and it just starts a chain reaction.
4. DROP EARLY. It is NOT okay to sign up for a class and not show up or late cancel 5 minutes before. When you don’t show and don’t drop early you prevent others from getting into class, and that’s just selfish. If you’re not sure if you can make it don’t sign up until you know you can go.
5. Behavior and attitude matter! It is not okay to act a donkey in class. Just about every instructor I know is super chill, fun and laid back, but don’t get it twisted they can snap back when needed. That’ being said, if you’re an instructor taking another instructors class, you have a RESPONSIBILITY to have some ACT RIGHT in your life. You can not have uncontrolled outbursts in class. Students ARE watching you. Even if you are not on the same page as the leading instructor, you need to at least act like a united front while students are around. Then afterwards you can have a one-on-one convo to hash out any issues/concerns.
6. Do the presented curriculum. Your instructors take their personal time to plan what they are going to teach and often invest our own money to do trainings/research so we can be the best possible instructors. It is not okay to show up to class and do what you want. Go to open studio…that’s what it’s there for. OR if there’s specific skills that you want to work on then maybe signing up for some private lessons may be more appropriate.
7. Speak up! If something hurts or feels weird, ask your instructor if that’s normal and if there’s a modification. Although we try our best to be aware and alert, we don’t read minds.
8. If you do have free time and you want to try something, do it safely. Get a mat (they are freaking expensive so USE THEM) and let the instructor know exactly what it is you’re wanting to attempt so we can spot you accordingly.
9. If you’re a student, enjoy being a student. Let the instructor instruct. One of the best (but also most dangerous) things about our aerial community and camaraderie is that we have the natural desire and instinct to help each other. While it might seem helpful, there’s been too many instances of peer-to-peer “teaching” that is not safe. There’s information, foundational skills, body awareness, etc that is missing/not considered. Also, some advancements and adjustments are given to certain people for certain reasons. So please stay in your lane. Plus its a violation of studio insurance policies. But if you do have the natural urge to teach, get certified or talk to your instructors/studio owners about the teaching process!
10. Don’t stop coming or “opt” out of conditioning/certain moves because they are hard. Chances are, it’s exactly what you don’t want to do that’s exactly what you need to do so you can advance.
11. Save the negativity and drama. We all have to deal with real life but when we’re at the studio let’s be positive and supportive. If you have issues with classes, instructors, owners, studio policy please go directly to the Studio Owners with your thoughts, concerns, suggestions and feedback. I can attest that all of the DFW studio owners are will hear you out and want to hear you out. They are sweet, reasonable and personable. They want to hear FROM YOU..not through the grapevine. If you really want a solution then you’ll go to the source. Spreading negativity and gossip in class is not acceptable.
– – – – – – – – – – Additions from my fellow instructors – – – – – – – – – –
12. Students please exit the room between classes when we are trying to set up/break down equipment. When there are students moving around in the studio (signing in, chatting with friends) while an instructor is trying to swap out equipment, often times using a ladder to do so, it increases the potential for someone to get hurt, either by an apparatus swinging into someone’s head or an instructor getting knocked off a ladder. (From Danielle)
13. PLEASE wear underwear if you have on see through leggings. Yes, your leggings are see through. Even your fancy ones. (From Shanna)
TO MY FELLOW INSTRUCTORS, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ADD TO THIS AND SHARE. LET US KNOW, WHAT ARE YOUR STUDIO/CLASS POLICIES AND HOW DO YOU HELP ENFORCE THEM? WE HAVE TO DO BETTER MOVING INTO 2017, ESPECIALLY WITH THE BOOM THAT COMES WITH THE NEW YEAR. IT’S STARTS WITHIN SO LET’S SET A FANTASTIC EXAMPLE.