An email I’ll never forget just a few days before my birthday this year: “Aerial Dance wants you!”

“Me?! Are you sure? Do you have the right Tessa?! Am I good enough? Why me? Am I ready for this?”

After wrapping up our first half of instructor training, I‘m still asking myself those same questions. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not super confident in myself. I only just started pole 8 months ago and it’s still an incredibly foreign apparatus to me. Pike on the pole? Um, excuse me but no thanks. All the drops on silks or anything bicep-related? All day, baby! I have to constantly remind myself that we don’t all have the same strengths; we all go through a learning phase with each apparatus and we don’t have to be badasses on all the things (but I wanna be gosh darn it!). As women, it’s “natural” for us to constantly compare ourselves to other women. And even though the studio is such a positive & uplifting place, every day I wonder if I’m good enough for this. Do I have enough badassery in me to pass along to students? Do I have the gusto to command the attention of a room full of other women? Am I absolutely terrified to co-teach my first class very, very soon? You bet. Am I already panicking about literally all the things? Mhmm…

Paula’s extensive training of the 7 of us has proven and shown the amount of time, pride, and knowledge she instills in the studio and everyone involved. I know I’m going into this well-prepared, no matter how scared-to-death I am. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve re-learned old things and learned new things. I’ve learned a bunch of the “whys” and “hows”. I’ve dipped my toes into some of the ins & outs of the behind-the-scenes stuff. If I didn’t already appreciate the amount of work the instructors do, I now have a completely newfound level of respect & admiration for them. The amount of knowledge they all keep in their back pocket amazes me. I’m still wondering how I’m going to remember it all! And now being able to see them show off new things firsthand in instructor classes each and every week?! And all in the same room? Pinch me, I must still be dreaming! On the same note, experiencing them learn new things and ALSO struggle through those new things keeps it all real for me. Not that I enjoy seeing those absolute goddesses not get tricks right away, but the fact that they’re only human just like me is a reminder I’ll continuously need through this journey. It may seem cheesy to say, but I feel like I’ve just gained a giant family of sisters that I know will have my back through this all. Do they pick on me and make me do things they know I hate? Ugh, yes. But do they also all cheer in unison when I do a new thing on my first try? Yep! It’s already been such a humbling, challenging, and rewarding journey so far. I just have to remember to take it day by day and not continuously overwhelm myself. 

I’m so so incredibly grateful for this opportunity and am so excited to broaden my own skills at a whole new level as well as be that beacon for our students like the instructors have been for me for so long. I’ve got this!