At dinner with friends, who are also members at Aerial Dance, when one said “I want to take a class with you”. And that comment gave me pause. It didn’t occur to me that my not teaching regular classes was noticed. That a student would want me to teach something when they have my amazing Instructors daily.
The last class I taught was Thanksgiving Dance Cardio in 2019, I think. And before that, I couldn’t tell you when I was last in the classroom. The truth is for the past seven years I have had a slew of injuries that all started with that damn tomato plant rupturing a tendon in my hand. I do “teach” the instructors on Mondays & Thursdays but let’s be real, I can spot Leah, I can watch what she is doing and help break down areas that may be issues, but she has long ago surpassed my personal skill level. I do take a lot of time training our new hires and I did write most of the curriculum (or had a hand in it’s creation) using my research on injury prevention. But I haven’t been in the classroom in a long time for our students. And if I’m super honest, I miss it.
I miss the classroom. There are so many times I wish I could go back to the early years where I was one of the main teachers. I loved teaching pole. Aerial Dance started with me teaching ALL the classes, then gradually less and less as I hired instructors. I sometimes miss the days when Aerial Dance was more of a hobby than a business. Back before we had two locations or health insurance for our employees. Back to when I knew every single student’s name and life story. But the company became a company. A big awesome company. That change was the price of success. And my role changed. I can’t be in the classroom because I now have a million and six things to do that no one else can do. I mean, do you know how long it takes to make the schedule! lol. Heck, I have two full time managers that do what I used to do and I now have a whole other role on top of that with the unfun but important businessy stuff. And I am beyond grateful for that company growth, but sometimes I miss it being little because I miss being in the classroom.
So why not put myself back in to some degree? Because my schedule is unpredictable. Often things come up that I need to action post haste so it is difficult to plan when I could actually teach. And any time I teach I am taking hours away from my instructors who are paid hourly, which is crappy for them. I’m also not in the physical shape I was when I was teaching 20 hours a week! I have a lot of limitations now which are frustrating and hard for me to get past with my fragile ego. I simply can’t do stuff I used to be able to and it upsets me. I have two training buddies who help me push through the pain and mental blocks (Thanks Sara & Kelly) but in summer our schedules don’t match well at all so the motivation to workout is even lower which isn’t going to help me reach any of my personal goals. I loved working out with the students and giving tips on form and saftey from my vast knowledge but to date I haven’t made the decision to prioritize in some way getting back to that.
We have had multiple students ask for early morning classes. We’ve tried it many times and it usually ends with me paying an instructor to get up early and get to the studio and students who were scheduled to not show up. In covid recovery times, paying for an instructor to be by herself at the studio is not an ok expense! But I don’t get paid for teaching classes and I am a morning person….
Which brings us to: Paula’s choice! In the next few weeks you’ll see this class added to the schedule. Late notice added to the schedule, like 1 or 2 days before the class, because of my unpredictable schedule. Class times will be 6:30, usually. This will only be a morning class and will only be at the Appleton location since that is where I live and am close to get to in the wee morning hours. And those that register will be working out with me, doing my workouts, doing lots of shoulder stability and strength exercises as well as cardio. And there will always be some stretching. I didn’t want to specify what type of class, because frankly the workout will depend on how my body feels that morning (aka which part sucks least that day!) but it will always be a workout. My favorite exercises. The things I think are most important to do for a long healthy pole/aerial life. Sneaky workouts that are giving you a lot for stabilization for the cool tricks. I’m super excited to be able to share that knowledge with students in a more direct way and really looking forward to being back in the classroom in this small capacity! So keep an eye on the schedule for the first time “Paula’s Choice” is scheduled!