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How to Teach Pole Tricks without Demonstrating Pole Tricks

In previous posts, we have talked about ways to take care of your body and improve longevity as a pole dance instructor.

One of our recommendations to improve longevity was to use alternative methods to teach and demonstrate pole tricks. Pole dance instructors can experience bodily fatigue from demonstrating pole tricks over and over again. We hope the recommendations below will ultimately decrease risk of injury and prevent instructors from dropping out of pole dance altogether.

If you are a pole dance instructor, can you challenge yourself to teach tricks without demonstrating them?

Here are some of our ideas:

Use your words.

Talk through the tricks. Break them down step-by-step using your words. Challenge students to follow your voice rather than your body. The students who are truly visual learners may struggle with this, so we have proposed some alternative methods below.

Have a student demonstrate the trick.

Ask a student to volunteer to demonstrate the trick. With proper spotting, have the student do the trick in front of the class. Use constructive criticism to teach the class what to do or not to do. (This method is probably best for students who you know well, not new or beginner students.)

Use video.

Record yourself once and then show the video over and over again. Show the video on your laptop or a screen bigger than your phone screen so that the students can see you properly. Use slow motion in the video to break down the trick step by step.

Use social media.

Post or share tricks ahead of time so that students can “study” them before class. (If you teach a trick from another dancer on social media, make sure to give credit when you or your students share!)

We also have some ideas for pole choreography and dance classes.

Use words and videos.

Similar to above, talk through the dance rather than demonstrating it. Show a video for inspiration, then have the students interpret it in their own ways. This will encourage students to be more creative instead of just copying you as the instructor.

Play add-on.

This is such a fun game to get your creative juices flowing! You as the instructor start with one pole move or piece of choreo. Then one of your students adds a pole move or piece of choreo. Then another student, and so on and so on. At the end, you will have a beautiful routine that you would have never put together on your own!

Give your students dance challenges.

Rather than having to create and demonstrate choreo over and over again, give your students dance challenges. For example, they can dance around the pole without touching the pole. Or have your students partner up and take turns calling out body parts to move.

How do YOU teach pole tricks without demonstrating pole tricks? Let us know in the comments!

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