Not so long ago, careers in pole dancing consisted almost exclusively of entertaining in clubs. Today, more and more women (and a growing minority of men!) are interested in learning to teach pole dancing, as demand for classes in this fun and sexy form of fitness explodes.
So don't be surprised when your cousin Tiffany says she just got a job pole dancing...she might actually be referring to her new job as a pole dancing instructor!
Your Pole Pal gets a lot of inquiries from enthusiastic pole dancers wanting to know how to make the move to teaching. So let's dive right into the answers to all the most common questions around how to become a pole dance instructor.
The most obvious place to start your search is at your home pole dancing studio, if you have one. Since you're already a student there, the owner(s) may well be interested in training you to teach. You'll have the advantage of being familiar with the class formats, and you probably know many of the other students, so you might be considered a natural fit.
If you're new to town and aren't currently a student at a studio, or if your home studio isn't hiring, a good next step is to make a list of all the studios within an area you're willing to travel to. If you're in a larger center, there may be quite a few pole dance studios in your city, but if you're in a small town or outlying area, you may need to look at a map to see where the nearest pole dance studios are located, and decide how far you're willing to travel to get a teaching job.
This searchable pole dancing directory can help you with that task, as it lists hundreds and hundreds of studios all over the world, organized by country, region and city.
We'll look at options for pole dancing jobs if there are no studios near you shortly. But first, let's continue with the process of pursuing a teaching position, assuming that there are one or more studios in the area you currently live in, or will be moving to.
No matter whether you're inquiring about teaching at your home studio, or at a studio you haven't been to before, it's best to go straight to the top. In other words, try to contact the studio owner directly, either through a personal email address (not the studio's generic info@ email) or by phone.
Briefly introduce yourself and explain the purpose of your call or email - business owners are very busy people and it pays to show that you understand this by being succinct and to the point. Even if you're reaching out to the owner of your home studio, and you know them fairly well, it's best to put your professional hat on and be a little more formal than you would as a student.
Exactly how you approach the subject of working as a pole dance instructor will depend on your situation. For example, you might already have training and experience, and are hoping to find a teaching position in a new city you'll be moving to. On the other hand, you may be at the beginning of your pole dance instructor journey and looking for ways to gain experience while you pursue a certification course.
In any case, think of this initial contact as the first step in building a relationship with a potential employer. If all you do is ask if the studio has any pole dancing jobs available, it's far too easy for the owner to just say "no," or "sorry, not right now," especially if you don't live in the area, or if you have no training or experience.
If you're lucky, they might tell you to send in your resume, but the last thing you want is for yours to end up at the bottom of a pile. Keep in mind that most people will approach their job search by just mailing or dropping off their resume. You want to stand out!
Here are two examples of ways you can use that initial contact to make an impression and ensure you use both your and the owner's time wisely. The first assumes you're starting from scratch and are interested in getting into teaching; the second assumes you're already a qualified instructor and you're looking for a position as a pole dance teacher in a new city.
If you're thinking about taking the next step in your pole dance journey and becoming a pole fitness instructor, here's how you can start yourself down the path of fulfilling your dream.
Most likely, you'll have been taking classes at a local studio for some time, so the instructors and the owner will know who you are. Nevertheless, when you first contact the owner about your desire to become a teacher, it's a good idea to re-introduce yourself, particularly if the studio is large with many students.
Remind the owner of your name and let them know how long you've been a student, what level you're currently at, and be sure to tell them how much you enjoy being involved with their studio! Of course, your goal is not to land a teaching job immediately, but rather to find out what training and qualifications are required by this studio.
To do this, simply let the owner know that you've been thinking a lot about becoming a pole dance teacher, and would like to start developing the required skills so you can pursue this goal. Ask what specific training the owner recommends, or requires for their instructors. For example, they may say that a first aid certificate, a national fitness instructor certification, a minimum 2 years of pole dance training, and a 6 month in-house apprenticeship are the minimum requirements.
Well that was easy! Now you have your work cut out for you. Thank the owner for their time and suggestions, and let them know you'll be pursuing the courses they recommend. Then ask if you can stay in touch about your progress, and wrap up by saying that you'd love the opportunity to have an apprenticeship in the future.
Of course, meeting the owner's requirements isn't a guarantee that you'll be hired, but if you find out what's required, then go out and do those things before coming back to the owner with certificates in hand, there's a pretty good chance that you'll be a serious contender for any future teaching positions that come available.
If you're so inclined, you could also let the owner know that you're willing to volunteer for an hour or two per week at the studio, starting right now. You could offer to greet new students and give them an orientation to the studio, and perhaps act as their "pole buddy" during their first few weeks, to help them feel welcome. There's nothing like a little initiative to make you stick in a potential employer's mind!
Example Phone/Email Script:
Hello, my name is Jane Doe and I've been a student at Pole Central for the past three years. I've taken classes regularly and am really pleased with how much progress I've made. I've been thinking more and more that I might like to get into teaching one day, so I wanted to ask for your advice about which courses or training I should take in order to prepare myself. Would you share what your requirements are in terms of the qualifications you expect your instructors to have?
If you're already a qualified/experienced pole dance teacher, and you're looking for a job in a new studio, here's how to get your foot in the door...
When speaking with the owner or manager on the phone, or when you send your introductory email, be sure to let them know you've done some homework, ie visited their website, spoken with current students, etc. You may want to ask a couple of pertinent questions about specific classes that interest you to demonstrate that you've done some research on what they offer.
Then ask if it would be alright if you had a quick chat with either the owner or a senior instructor when you visit the studio, as you're interested in learning about any teaching or apprenticeship opportunities the studio might have either now or in the future.
The point is to make a connection in advance, so that when you do visit the studio in person, you've already laid the groundwork and have started to build a relationship with the owner.
Your first visit doesn't even have to be on "official business," but rather you may drop in to take a class or a workshop before meeting the owner. That way you'll have an opportunity to check out the studio vibe ahead of time, and hopefully leave a positive first impression with some of the other instructors and students.
Caution: when approaching a new studio as a qualified/experienced pole dance teacher, be mindful of the fact that longer term teaching staff can sometimes feel threatened by a new instructor. To address this, make it clear to all concerned that you're interested in learning from
other instructors, that you'd be more than happy to help out to prove
yourself first, and that it's not your intention to take hours away from any of
the established teachers, but rather to become a valuable member of the teaching team and help the studio grow.
Example Phone/Email Script:
Hello, my name is Jane Doe and I'm a pole instructor certified by Pole Certification International. I've been teaching in Pleasantville for 2 years and I'll be moving to Poleville next month. I see from your website that you offer a lot of different classes and I'm looking forward to trying some of them out when I get to town. Would I be able to have a few minutes with you or one of your senior instructors when I come to your studio, to find out more about any teaching or apprenticeship opportunities that might be available in the future?
What do you do if you really want to teach pole dancing, but there's no pole studio in your area? If you have prior teaching experience or training, you may want to consider these options, particularly if self-employment appeals to you:
Depending on your skills and experience, you may want to take additional courses that will help you with running a small business, but all of the above options are excellent ways to create your own pole dancing job if you're so inclined.
As an added bonus, if there is no pole studio in your area you will likely do well by starting up your own venture, as you won't have any competition.
Whether you decide to apply to teach pole dancing at an existing studio, or approach a gym or recreation center about a possible business partnership, it's important to present a professional appearance, both in person and on paper.
This doesn't mean you need to show up for an interview in a business suit, but what it does mean is that you should present yourself as a competent fitness professional when seeking pole dancing jobs or partnerships.
Bring a resume with you, and make sure it highlights your relevant qualifications. These might include any of the following:
And while you should be professional in your approach, this doesn't mean you need to be boring! Let your natural personality shine through, so the person interviewing you can see what you'll be like in front of a class.
If you're naturally outgoing, that's great. If you're the shy, quiet type you don't need to pretend to be someone you're not, but you may want to really think through your desire to be an instructor. Teaching requires you to be "on" while you are in front of the room, and it takes a LOT of energy to keep a group of adults entertained, engaged, and focused all at the same time.
Other qualities to cultivate in yourself that will likely be seen as an asset when looking for pole dancing jobs are friendliness, helpfulness, a caring attitude, and a positive outlook.
It's one thing to be able to do something well, but it requires an entirely different skill set to be able to teach that skill to others. For this reason, Your Pole Pal is a real fan of the old-fashioned apprenticeship model of learning.
Whether or not you take formal training in teaching pole dancing, an apprenticeship will give you the opportunity for supervised, on the job training that you just can't get anywhere else.
Ideally, it will also expose you to different teaching styles by allowing you to assist and work with a variety of experienced instructors.
Even if you're not officially in an apprenticeship program, but are hired to teach right after you complete your certification program, there's no doubt that your teaching skills will develop much faster by having the mindset of an apprentice...attend classes with as many different instructors as possible with a view to watching what the instructors do, and seeing how they explain various concepts.
Ask questions of more experienced teachers when you have the opportunity, and always show your appreciation to instructors who take the time to help you learn.
If you're thinking of getting into teaching and want to know one of the best ways to get great pole dancing jobs, here's the secret: demonstrate a passion for ongoing learning and a commitment to helping others.
Stay open to learning continuously, lift others up, and soon the studio owner may approach YOU to ask if you're interested in teaching pole dancing!
If you need or want to take a training course to become a certified pole dance instructor, there are many different options depending where you live. If you're lucky, training may be offered at a studio in your area. But there are many online certification courses as well.
Be aware that most online courses are accredited by different associations, so you'll want to ensure you register for a certification course that is accredited in your country. More details can be found on the following websites that offer pole dance teacher certifications...
Pole Teacher Training
Pole Fitness Alliance
Level 1, 2 & 3 Certifications
Level 1 is also available in Spanish
Acro Pole Specialty
Spin City Instructor Training
Pole Fitness Beginner
Pole Fitness Intermediate
Pole Fitness Advanced
R Pole Fitness
Canadian Pole Fitness Association
Beginner & Intermediate Certification
Pole Fitness 1&2
Pole Fitness 3&4
Pre & Post-Natal
Children's Pole & Aerial
Essential Science of Heels
Ecole de Pole
Pole Master Training - Beg, Int & Adv
World Pole Fitness