Instructor-in-training log number 1: learning to spot! If you recall to a previous blog post about starting my instructor-in-training, I mentioned being nervous and excited to start this process and that throughout the journey I planned to document my thoughts and feelings. Well here is my official first blog in regards to that! Our class officially learned how to spot and how to do that with different inverts and moves and how to act with students. Now I’d like to mention that we are NOT cleared to spot regular students at any point right now and can only practice with each other and other instructors. This is for everyone involved and all of our safety, and this is something I truly do appreciate about Aerial Dance and making sure we are not only taught properly but that we have time to practice spotting.
During our first practice of spotting, not only was it a lot of inverting from all of us but it was getting comfortable being so close to one another. It’s honestly not something you think about until you’re the one doing it. We’re all so used to the other instructors doing it and being so close to us when we’re trying tricks, that normally you don’t even notice they’re there. But when you’re the one that has to stand next to a person and help them invert, all of a sudden you’re really nervous! Even though all of us students/trainee’s know how to properly and safely invert, pretending to be someone who doesn’t and having to help them is a weird hurdle you have to mentally get over. You have to think about where to place your hands, where are the “students” legs, their hips, their head in relation to you. Are they spinning too much? Are their hands in the proper place? Are you too far away, too close? All of a sudden there’s a million things running through your brain and you just want to make sure they don’t fall!
We practiced spotting with each other for an hour and a half, and it was tiring not only physically but also mentally. There’s so much to take in and process for the different kinds of inverts and it’s something we still need to get comfortable with. I’d say one of the biggest mental hurdles for a lot of us was being okay in the other’s personal bubble. Being the student for so long and trying all sorts of inverts, I never realized how close our instructors were to me, and I’m extremely grateful they were, because there have been some close calls where if they weren’t close by, it could have been bad, but I seriously appreciate them all way, way more now! I’m excited to try spotting more in the future, because I know I’m not even going to think about a “personal bubble” anymore, I’m just going to be thinking about the students safety and helping them invert successfully!