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.