At the annual show I talk a lot about how dedicated my instruction team is to training. We training 3 hours every week to keep our spotting skills sharp and learn new material to challenge our students. Our initial instructor-in-training program is six long months of over 200 hours training. But the training weekends are something I haven’t properly explained and how amazing it is that my team choose to do them multiple times per year.

The dedication to be at a training weekend is a HUGE time commitment. The company pays for the training but the instructors are not paid for attending, it is by choice to attend. This means taking time away from other jobs and families with no “gain” but knowledge, skill and being a better instructor for their students. At the end of February I brought Vertical Art Athletics to Aerial Dance to do a Vertical Barre course. This 16 hour course we did over three days. You hear that and think, “that’s not too bad” but what it actually looks like is this. The training intensive spans a weekend, so in a two week period of you have 336 hours available (24 x 14). I’m going to use Instructor Lynn (with her permission) as an example:

336 hours available
– 120 hours at her muggle job (she works on average 60 hour weeks for her main employer, so 60 x 2)
– 6 hours training at Aerial Dance (our usual 3 hours per week, so 3 x 2)
– 28 hours teaching at Aerial Dance (I counted her scheduled hours during the two week period in discussion)
– 30 dive time (she made 10 trips to Aerial Dance in those 14 days, each way is 1.5 hours, so 3 x10)
– 16 training intensive hours (the number of hours for the Vertical Arts Athletics Course)

That left Instructor Lynn with 136 hours for “herself” during the 14 day period. That’s 9.7 hours a day for 14 days to do EVERYTHING else in her life. You know, things like spend time with her Husband, help on the family farm, run her side business, grocery shop, meal prep (since she does that), eat, shower, and oh yeah, sleep. That is not a lot of time for “her”. But she came to the course for every hour with a smile and learned all the information even though it made for a really long two week period with little down time.

And all my instructors make this choice multiple times per year when I bring in trainers or courses for their growth and to make them better instructors for our students. The dedication of my instruction team is truly amazing. Aerial Dance has the most knowledge instruction staff because of the commitment my instructors make to take time out of their lives to continue learning and growing.