Witten by: Arloa Reston
In the U.S., it seems that the majority of pole class offerings come in the form of drop in classes. Students can decide from day to day or week to week whether or not they want to take a class. If so, they sign up and drop in. And if they don’t feel like going to class for whatever reason, they simply don’t sign up. From what I’ve seen, it’s not that common for classes to be taught in a “series” or “course” in the U.S. In Australia, however, Pole Courses are the norm. They are generally taught in 8 week terms with each course starting on the same date. There is a set course outline for each level and each level is taught every term. Once a student has successfully completed their course, they can proceed to the next level for the next term. I absolutely love that system! In brainstorming the benefits of each approach, here’s what I’ve come up with.
Pole Courses Are Safer
The students in each level have taken the previous level and are therefore supposed to be in their current level. The instructors see the same students each session which allows them to get to know each of their students, their bodies and their capabilities and can therefore make adjustments based on this knowledge. Students master basic moves before jumping into moves their body is not prepared for. As each level builds on the previous level, it makes it much less likely that a student will skip over an important foundational move on their pole journey. There is less emphasis on learning the latest and greatest and more emphasis on safe progressions.
Pole Courses Offer More Motivation
There’s a much greater sense of responsibility with regards to attendance when it comes to pole courses. Once a student has signed up for the course, they want to learn everything taught in that course so they can progress to the next level. They also want to get their money’s worth and they don’t want to fall behind the other students. In addition, they are attending classes each week with the same students, so they build camaraderie and look forward to seeing each other and progressing together at every class.
Tracking Progress and Success Is Easier With Pole Courses
Each course has a specific course flow and goals which are shared with the students. The students all start with similar skills and each week they build on those skills as well as what was learned in the prior week(s). As they check off each of the goals from their current level, they feel an enormous sense of accomplishment. And graduating from each level gives them a very clear indication of their progress as well as where they stand in relation to their long term goals.
Drop In Classes Offer Greater Scheduling Flexibility
Many people do not have the luxury of having a set schedule from week to week so it is more challenging for them to sign up for a Pole Course.
While it is understandable that some people truly need the flexibility that drop-in classes offer and they have their place on every studio’s schedule, I would personally love to see the Pole Course system become more of a norm here in the states. What are your thoughts? Would you like to see more studios offer the Pole Course system? Have I missed any key benefits of either system? If you’re a studio owner, I’d love to hear what you think about Pole Courses vs. Drop In Classes.
About Arloa Reston:
Arloa Reston is a pole performer, competitor and instructor. She is currently on staff at The Choreography House and Luscious Maven, is a Master Trainer with Pole Moves and a cast member of Kelly Yvonne’s Girl Next Door show.