Transport yourself back in time to February, a dark and drizzly time of year (if you’re in the UK, that is), with little to look forward to until the warmer, springtime months. At least, that
was the case for me, until I received a coveted invitation to the XPERT ‘Train the Trainers’ week. Read on to join me, and learn all about my experience behind the scenes at the
gorgeous new XPOLE Academy in Hertfordshire, UK, getting to meet all the wonderful faces that make up the XPERT team.
With an eager arrival time of 8am, my friend and XPERT colleague Annie Norris (owner of Pure-Studios Hereford and accomplished pole dancer) and I met up, coffees in hand and ready to immerse ourselves in all things XPERT. Excitement filled me as we arrived – anticipatory butterflies of what the week was to entail. I received a warm welcome from XPERT alumni, and fresh faces also new to the week greeted us as we headed through the studio doors. Despite being hosted in the UK, trainers had come far and wide, from all over the globe to take part.
The XPOLE Academy is new for 2023 – or as industry legend Stacey Snedden, Head of Training and Development at XPERT informed me, new that very week! The luxe, matte
grey flooring was freshly laid on the Monday, ready for the XPERT week to go ahead. The aim of the studio, she informed me, was to exist as a purpose-built space by the global
leaders X-POLE International themselves, and to provide quality classes to the local surrounding area of Potters Bar, as well as a base for all things XPERT. Don’t fret – the
amazing trainers from XPERT will still be touring various studios globally to share and impart their knowledge and teach courses, but you can certainly expect to see the XPOLE
Academy featured on the website as a host, too – and trust me, this gorgeous space is well- worth a visit. The academy itself is beautifully light and spacious, with (almost) unthinkably
high poles, and enough rigging points to fill any aeralist’s heart with joy.
As the group assembled for the day to commence, it’s safe to say, the amount of talent being gathered under one roof is intense. Everywhere you looked, there was another brilliant poler or aerialist, and each one as friendly as the last. We split off into two groups – the pole team led by Chloe Anderson and Jakub Kolasa, and the aerialists led by Hannah Nicholls and Vanessa Bagge. I elected to follow the pole team, as my own XPERT certifications lie firmly in this field. The session consisted of spotting techniques, troubleshooting, and
providing consistency across all the trainers capabilities and offerings.
Now, the term 'consistency' may just seem like another buzz word thrown around – but in this case, consistency really is key. The ‘Train the Trainers’ week was curated to put each
participant through their paces, led by Master Trainers, to ensure that everyone is on the same page. The peer reviewed content is ever-growing, and XPERT is always one step
ahead, striving to purvey professionalism and – you guessed it – consistency, across the board. As I moved around the room, talking to the many different people that made up the team, the message was clear. The commitment to quality training and providing the best teaching tools to the next generation of pole and aerial instructors remained a constant
theme to everything we did.
The rest of the time was filled with top tips, training activities, assessments and more – we were really put through our paces! It is certainly safe to say, my eyes have been opened to
just how much work goes into providing the training courses, and it is immensely impressive. Stacey and Vanessa were at the forefront of the week, delivering the vision of XPERT to the
group, providing opportunities for questions and clarifications, all whilst ensuring a commitment to cohesion amongst us all. It is a tough job – and they certainly do it well.
The week finished with a photoshoot and content day, with half the studio divided up to run videography sessions and the other half for photoshoots. Dressed up in our new XPERT
swag (I’m still living in my hoodie now), we all got to take part in all the different activities going ahead. After I got my headshots done – by the amazing Jo Dandridge – I settled in on
one of the brand new yoga mats to take part in some mock classes. You can keep an eye out for me in future XPERT content, being put through my paces in a thorough warm up by
Lea Roth, and listening intently during Jakub and Chloe’s class lecture on the anatomy of stripper heels.
I could gush on forever about how amazing, and eye opening this week was, but the simple truth is this – at XPERT HQ, consistency really is key, and if you are looking to level up your
pole and aerial knowledge, you need to get your course booked in with XPERT as soon as you can!