COURSE REVIEW: XPERT Children’s Pole and Aerial Teacher Training – by Lottie Sanders

Welcome back to another instalment of the XPERT blog! Autumn is well and truly upon us in the UK, with beautiful, crisp (albeit a little chilly) mornings one moment, to drizzly and dark afternoons the next. Staying motivated throughout the year can be tricky – after all, when the days get shorter our energy levels and will to ‘get up and do something’ can really start to fizzle out. But if there is one thing I am certainly glad I dragged myself out of bed to attend, it was the Children’s Pole and Aerial course delivered by XPERT. Read on to to get the
full low down about the course, how I got on, and what to expect.

I arrived at the host studio pretty promptly (anyone that knows me, knows I am a stickler for being on time). With my backpack filled with snacks, notebooks and my laptop in one hand, and a coffee in the other, I joined the bustle of the other eager learners, ready to take on a weekend of learning. The course was held at the gorgeous new space, Studio Flare, based in Redditch, which is co- owned by Jade Bensilum and Ollie Read. Studio Flare had an inviting atmosphere, and immediately put any nerves to rest before the weekend commenced.

Our trainers for the weekend were the incredible Stacey Snedden (it was very exciting to have our learning led by the head of training!) and Archer, who had come all the way from the States and is the head of sales and marketing for XPERT in the USA. Between them, the amount of knowledge was intimidatingly impressive. As Stacey began running through the fundamentals of the course, it became clear how excellent this course was going to be.

As always, the course began with the handing over of the manuals. One of the best things about XPERT is the courses and manuals are continuously updated and modified to give you the best information and teaching tools on the market. The manual covered everything from the moves, to safeguarding, to children’s development, and so much more.

Delivering pole and aerial training to children is not easy. The course wasn’t designed to teach you how to actually execute the moves (we did go over this too, of course), but the aim is to provide safe and effective coaching to children of all different ages. We covered everything from effective and fun warm ups, to tactics on how to keep attention spans as focused as they can be, to games you could implement in your class planning. I’ll admit, some of my most favourite factors of the weekend were running around and playing some games with my fellow attendees – stuck in the mud, anyone?!

The weekend covered everything you need to know about both running a children’s pole and aerial class, and how to introduce these classes to your studio timetable if you don’t already run them. Stacey and Archer were amazing at fielding any and all questions – it was invaluable to pick their brains on how to handle different scenarios and utilise their wealth of experience.

The final assessment was tough. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad it is – I wouldn’t want to be sent out into the world any less than totally prepared. The emphasis was not only on good teaching, but also on delivering the content in a fun, child-friendly way. We were tasked with providing both a fun and attention-grabbing class, as well as safe, informed and effective coaching.

Despite my initial nerves – I passed the course. Much like every other course, feedback was passed on individually at the end of the course in the form of a one-to-one. Archer gave me tons of super helpful observations and comments from her time assessing me throughout the weekend to help me continue to grow as a pole and aerial instructor.

I think all that is left to say is that if you’re on the fence about getting booked on for this course – do it. It’s a challenge, but it is so worth it.

Become an XPERT – Why You Should Book A Course Today by Lottie Sanders

Welcome back to your monthly check in with me here over at the amazing team XPERT’s blog. We’ve chatted about all sorts of topics here – everything from making the best out of training when the weather is too hot to handle, to candid reviews of what different courses have to offer. What we haven’t looked at, is exactly why you should take the plunge to book onto one of our amazing courses. If you’re reading this thinking, ‘I’m already an XPERT, this blog isn’t for me’ – stop right there. I’ll run through why you shouldn’t just stop at one certification. So let’s delve in – here are five reasons you need to get booked onto an XPERT course, ASAP!

Formalise Your Knowledge – Taking the step towards being a pole and aerial teacher is a big one. You will become responsible for the learning journey of countless students, and everything that comes with that. Insurance, First Aid training, self-employment contracts, invoicing, lesson planning, expanding your knowledge base constantly to stay at the forefront of the newest tricks and techniques. It is a responsibility, and It is not for the faint of heart. But amongst all of those new things to navigate, being a pole and aerial instructor is so rewarding.

To students, their instructor is a magical being who dropped to the earth one day with the natural ability to fling themselves round on aerial equipment, and an endless knowledge base on how to pass those skills onto others. The reality is quite a different story. You have spent time working on your craft to get to where you are now, and to be in the position to start teaching others. Make sure you start that journey right, with an accredited, high quality XPERT course.

On your XPERT course – whether that be online or face to face, you will be provided with a training manual which outlines everything from how to run your classes, to breakdowns of different moves, to helpful tricks and hints to creating a fun, inclusive environment at your home studio. The support doesn’t end once your training with XPERT is over, either. You’ll be given access to an online portal with all sorts of great resources to continue to supplement you throughout your instructing journey.

Spend Time Spotting – Earlier in the year, when team XPERT got together for the ‘Train the Trainers’ week, our head of training (and industry legend)

Stacey Snedden shared that some of the most common positive feedback received from course attendees is how much they enjoy the emphasis and practical application of spotting within the courses.

What is ‘spotting’? Simply put, when a student is going up into a trick (often a move they aren’t overly familiar with), and they need a little bit of extra support whilst carrying out the move – their instructor will be an extra pair of hands (literally) to help them execute the move safely and effectively. To those new to instructing, this can be a little daunting. Don’t worry, XPERT has you covered. Incorporated into the course is not only how to execute the moves on the syllabus, but how to spot them too. Your training will give you the knowledge on the correct stance to use, the correct hand positions, how to communicate successfully with your students – and if you are on the face to face course, a lot of time is spent spotting each other as you go along, too.

The Best in the Biz – When you check out who’s on team XPERT, it’s pretty much a wish list of everyone you’d ever want to get teaching hints and tips
from. Each trainer is handpicked and undertakes robust training to be able to deliver XPERT content – rest assured, no matter who is instructing your training course, the key is consistency. Your trainer will apply the same amazing XPERT methodology in delivering your course to give you the tools to be a safe, effective pole and aerial instructor.

CPD is Essential – Okay, so you’ve already done an XPERT course, and you have your regular classes at the studio. Why do further training? You need your CPD, that’s why!
We need to do our CPD so we Continuously Professionally Develop. What does this mean, and how does it apply to you as a pole and aerial instructor? Let’s break it down. When you teach a pole and aerial class, no matter the ability level, the students put their trust in you to provide great teaching. Great teaching is made up of a lot of factors – being safe, being fun, being well informed, being supportive, being inclusive, being effective, being well planned. It’s a lot of things (that list is only the tip of the iceberg). A big way to achieve the dream goal of being a great teacher, is to continue to work on developing your teaching skills. A great route to do this is by taking additional courses to keep your teaching ability in tip top shape.

XPERT training courses provide a safe space for you to work on your skills as an instructor. Under the expertise of our trainers, you’ll be able to ask questions and undergo practical training to work on your pre-existing skills, too.

For Everyone – With so many different courses, and ways of learning, there is an XPERT method for everyone. The face to face courses tour globally, with opportunities to learn from a trainer popping up at the studio near you available to view with a click of a button under our ‘Book a Course’ section on the website. And don’t be disheartened if you can’t see one for you – the site is always being updated with course availability, so just be sure to check back.

Online learning is also a great way to get your XPERT certification. With two available avenues; live online learning, and online self-learning, it has never been easier to access the XPERT training best for you.

So, what are you waiting for? Book onto your course today and start, or continue, your XPERT journey – we are so excited to have you!