Some things I’ve learned by taking workshops and/or privates with some of the pole greats:
- Don’t overextend yourself. It’s tempting to sign up for every. single. session. — but do yourself and your instructor a favor and sign up for a select few so you can get the most out of them.
- If they have prerequisite moves, pay attention to them. If one of the prerequisites is a solid outside leg hang, and yours is just “OK” then think twice about signing up for that workshop unless you have the time and the will to get solid in the moves required. Instructors have a list of confirmed moves for a reason — they are often a baseline for the moves that will be taught. If you don’t have the confirmed moves you may be setting yourself up for frustration.
- Don’t injure yourself by overtraining in an attempt to get ready. Condition safely and smartly.
- If they demonstrate a move that you don’t think you’re ready for, tell them. They will likely: a) spot you, b) show you a variation, or c) tell you what you can do to condition for that move in the future.
- If you’re not in condition or have an injury, ask about auditing. You’ll get the benefit of some level of instruction even if you can’t actually do the moves. As an auditor, pay attention, be quiet, and don’t hog the session with questions or comments.
- Don’t try to teach the other students in the session. Allow the instructor to do his/her job.
- Don’t talk over the instructor. Coming into a new-to-you studio to teach varying levels of students is challenging enough without your students chatting about where they’re going to have lunch, or how much they love their new pole shoes. Save the chit-chat for break time.
- Have a list of moves you’d like to work on, whether you want/expect to get them today or want help with conditioning for them for the future.
- Don’t expect to nail every single thing you work on. While that’s nice, it rarely happens. Chances are you’ll get a move, but you may not solidify it, and it almost certainly won’t be perfect. Privates are a good chance to try new things that you can then take back and continue to work on.
- Don’t oversell your ability. As a student you’ll get sooooo much more out of a private if you acknowledge your abilities and weaknesses. It’ll be less frustrating for everyone.
There are so many other ways to get a lot from a private or workshop–these are just a few pointers. Now…. go train! 🙂