PART I: Intro & Class Environment
Not-So-Quick note: I gotta say I'm grateful that this class environment stuff REALLY works! Jill and I taught a pole party over this past weekend (4/27), and before the party even started, the first three guests to arrive addressed Jill and me specifically with some phrase like, "We just wanted to say, your hospitality is [insert some word like 'amazing' here]. Your welcome was so warm and it's [etc etc etc]." --they made sure we heard that our warm welcome was both noticed and appreciated. I WAS ELATED. The guests were celebrating a birthday, and, man, birthdays are important! <3 I'm SO grateful for the "Welcome!" the pole partiers received.
I don't think I mentioned to you guys my recent...non-welcome experience to compare/contrast with the outcome that Jill & I got the other day. If I didn't mention it to you, here I go!
I was in Florida last month checking out a potential Frestyl location. (A handful of very nice, very pro-Frestyl ladies would like to arrange for some Frestyl classes to be taught on a sparse but ongoing basis near their homes in Florida, so I went around checking out potential locations. Putting yoga studios on hold, I started my search with the local pole studio.)
Here's what happened when I entered the pole studio:
I walked in. The door jingled. I thought I heard someone say a feint, "Hi," and I looked up to see two women facing not me, engaged in conversation about their purported (very non-obvious) sunburns. One lady sat on a chair about 12 feet from where I walked in, folding clothing of some sort and putting it in a gym bag. The other lady stood behind a counter, gesturing to her various (invisible to me trying not to judge) sunburn lines. Beyond, I imagine, glancing at the front door to hopefully see that I'd entered the business and hopefully saying the feint "Hi" I thought I heard, neither lady looked away from one another to address me. I stood by the door, looking around the place for signs of where to go.
A third person emerged from behind a closed door, turning to the woman behind the desk to say, "Thank you, class was great!" I don't remember the response from the woman behind the counter exactly, but it was encouraging and positive. It did not include, however, any sort of "Thank YOU [for attending class]." I watched the third lady/student approach some cubbies and retrieve some personal items. No one said anything to me. I turned to the cubbies, considered putting my bag in one of them, but they were a little grubby looking and too close to the front door for my liking, and I opted to hang onto my valuables. Despite the dominant topic being sunburns, I did get a cheerful "Bye!" from my fellow student(!) as she exited the building. I kept a good cheer and I walked up to the counter. "Hi!" I said, "I'm Brittin and I'm new here!" This part wasn't part of the experiment; I actually expected to be welcomed and told to sign a waiver or sit somewhere or go through some door someplace. This was beyond science; I had to pee.
Seated Sunburned Lady, obviously an instructor very much "off-duty," said, "Oh, are you new here or just totally new to pole?"
"I'm new here. I've never been here before. But I pole in Minnesota." I said.
"Oh!" Seated Sunburned Lady said TURNING HER FACE TO STANDING PURPORTEDLY SUNBURNED LADY, "so there are pole studios in Michigan and Minnesota, but not in Ohio that we know of."
"Yeah!" Standing Sunburned Lady said TO SEATED PURPORTEDLY SUNBURNED LADY, "we need to put together a map and mark it where we know there are pole studios." Additional interpersonal conversation between the Purportedly Sunburned Ladies ensued, this time regarding their personal summer travel schedules. I had time enough to consider whether I wanted to time their conversation. I stood, ...waited. But I had to pee. My bladder was duking it out with my inner scientist, who was asking questions like, Are these ladies testing me, instead of me testing them? Had Dan called ahead, given them a heads up, and told them to mess with me as much as possible? (He would!)
I finally say something like, "Uh, so - do I need to know anything? Since I'm new here, I mean? Do I need to go someplace or do I just wait here?"
"Nope!" said Standing Sunburn Lady, briefly looking at me. "Julie'll be here soon."
I knew from their booking system that my instructor's name was Julie. So I didn't ask stuff like, "Who's Julie? And can this Julie help me find a place to pee? Where does class happen? Am I in the right place?" I tapped out. "May I use your bathroom? And is that it?" I said, pointing to the door from whence student lady came.
Standing Lady said "Sure, go ahead!" then continued on the topic of summer plans - family plans, now.
I felt better after finding the bathroom. Julie arrived and rescued me temporarily; I followed her into the pole studio (no invitation to follow -- I just followed). I found a yoga mat. I did not find rags or spray, but I found those things later with the help of a couple of other students. The pole class was fun and physically challenging. We warmed up with calisthenics followed by two climbs up-and-down as high as we could go, and the pole lesson structure was some hybrid of "what are you, the student, working on?" and "here's what I, the instructor, am working on." After 20-30 minutes, a student approached me to ask how long I'd been doing pole; she liked my climb (bodywave climb - it wasn't gratuitous as far as I know). That conversation lead to some conversation that helped break the ice a little bit. Actually, I think the instructor realized I could help her with the stuff she was working on (apprentice threaded through to superman). And yes I did help her. (Her top hand was too close to the ceiling for the superman to stick.) Everyone in the room traded tricks, and it was fun. Julie promised she'd name a dismount we played with "The Brittin" and use it for her upcoming Monday night routine. She said she'd tag me in video of it (to my knowledge, she didn't do that, which is okay, too).
I had an absolute blast at the class. I enjoyed the poles and the people and myself. And I totally crossed that studio off of the Potential Frestyl Locations list. *sigh* Oh, well.
Part II: Cuing
PART III: Lesson Structure
PART IV: 40 Minutes for 3 Movements (Lesson Structure Example)
PART V: Frestyl Levels & Language
FRESTYL LESSON PLANS STARTING IN APRIL (except Frestyl Basic - no changes there!)
WARM UP: Floorwork Part 1 (of 2 videos)!
WARM UP: Floorwork Part 2 (of 2 videos)!
Movement on Pole: Mermaid Kicks on the pole
Movement on Pole: Pole Sits to/from levels
Frestyl Basic Lesson Plan
Frestyl Basic-Intermediate Lesson Plan April 2019