I want to start teaching pole dance but I'm not certified. I was a dancer who only focused on pole tricks and choreography for over 3 years in California and Las Vegas so I'm very experienced in teaching others what I have taught myself. I want to start going to peoples homes and teaching them pole and get my certification once I have a nice customer base for the plans I have to open a studio here in California. Is it okay for me to start teaching without being certified?
Your Pole Pal says...
Thanks for your question Monae. There's definitely nothing illegal about teaching people to pole dance, whether in their home or elsewhere. At this time there is no requirement in any country that I'm aware of that one must have an industry certification in order to teach.
Some professions do have a regulating body that specifies the training and certification required before a person can call themselves a real estate agent or a financial advisor, for example. But the pole dance industry as a whole has no such requirement.
Of course, a particular studio may require that all of its instructors have specific training and/or certification, but that's different from a regulating body that restricts people from using a particular profession name unless they are certified. In other words, anyone can call themselves a pole dance teacher, but only instructors who have been certified by the Canadian Pole Fitness Association can call themselves a CPFA certified instructor. Make sense?
Other examples would be a Physiotherapist, Registered Massage Therapist, Registered Nurse, etc. In order to call yourself any of these, you need to take training, pass exams, and be licensed to practice by the regulating body.
The sport of pole dancing has no such regulating body, which means that anyone can teach pole dancing. Basically, it's up to the person buying your services to decide whether or not you're qualified to teach them, and whether they would like to learn from you.
That said, there are arguments to be made in favor of obtaining specific training and/or certification. These may include the ability to purchase less expensive group insurance coverage for liability, or to be automatically covered by the certifying body's group insurance. There may also be the opportunity to learn other aspects of teaching aside from how to do a particular move. For example teaching methodology, progressions, injury prevention and first aid treatment, etc.
In addition, some people feel that a certification lends credibility and helps bring them more business because potential students may feel more confident in a certified instructor's abilities to teach them safely and productively.
But in the end the decision on whether or not to certify is entirely yours to make. And aside from certification, do be sure to consider all the other important issues that go along with being a self-employed instructor in the fitness industry, such as insurance, tax implications, and the like.
Best of luck to you, whatever you decide!
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