Look Ma, No Hands!!!

Teaching My First Real Class                                Thursday, April 26, 2012

I finally reached the final destination of my instructor training: I got to teach a class – to paying customers – all by myself. As in no one was there to correct me or save my ass should I flail. Not that I flailed (too much) at my student teacher classes, but still. I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal for me since I had already taught two classes, one to a rather large group of people, but clearly my subconscious was concerned.

Hence my rather fitful night of sleep. I had the longest anxiety dream ever and it was all about teaching. It started off with me walking into Boulder Spirals only it was different. Sasha was there and she had shoved grammar school desks against all the poles. You know, the ones that flip open to keep all your stuff in. Some of the poles were really wide in circumference, kind of like structural supports. Others were wrapped in paper. There were desks and chairs everywhere and you couldn’t move. My students were wearing street clothes (the regular teacher dream equivalent of everyone being naked) and they couldn’t do shit. And there were a bunch of men there.

I kept sliding off the pole every time I tried to do something and Sasha was yelling at me from the edge of the room because I was using the wrong technical terms. She would step in to teach for me and I’d be like, “NO! I can do this! I know the right words!” (Sasha, if you are reading this, I love you. I just have fucked up anxiety dreams) I ended up in a public bathroom (a recurring theme in my dreams) and the floors were all wet (yuck) and the toilet was spraying water all over my ass.

Don’t you just love your subconscious? I don’t need to ask anyone what my dream meant, clearly a was freaking out a little bit despite my calm exterior. I woke up early, studied my notes and went to the gym to burn off some of my nervous energy by doing aerobics. I’m like a small dog. I get very yappy if I don’t get my exercise. After I took my youngest to school I went to the studio a full hour early. What if I couldn’t figure out the lights? What if the computer started acting all weird? What if my iPod crapped out? These things take time to sort out, people!

By the time my student showed up, I was ready to go. I was supposed to have two pupils but one was a no-show. To tell you the truth, I was just as concerned about teaching to one as I was about teaching to eleven. It’s just different. You don’t have the class energy to carry you, you have to slow the pace to take up the full hour, you need to connect more. Fortunately my student was completely awesome. I sold the class as “Lucky you! You get a private!” versus, “Why doesn’t anyone want to take my sucky class?” And you know what, it was great and I learned a lot about teaching to one person.

She was, like me, a mature woman and doing the yoga portion of the warm-up was a snap. I didn’t have to correct her form at all. Once we got to the curriculum, she was game to do anything. We had a great time going through the booty pops and body waves and I really appreciated being able to fine tune my instruction so she could really get the movement. I’m also fairly certain that she worked up a sweat.

Sasha said she was going to show up during the class to get some work done but I think she might have delayed her arrival to give me space. When she showed up I was demonstrating what a spin looks like if you don’t have your proper bow-and-arrow technique down. It was ugly on purpose, hopefully she realized what I was doing. I wrapped the class up on-the-dot and my student said she had a great time and that it was actually fun. I guess she was concerned that it might not be. She said she tried to get some friends to come but they were too self-conscious. Hopefully she can assure them that there aren’t any celebrity panels to judge their looks and that they will have a fun and sexy workout with me.

I stopped at Whole Foods for lunch and ran into a friend of mine who teaches hoop dance. She asked me what I was up to and I said, “I’m a pole dance instructor!” and it felt amazing.

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