Categories > Fitness

elevatED Experience

Back in October 2016 I decided I would sign up for a couple of certifications in the new year that I was contemplating for a while.  The first was POUND® (which we are launching in March!) and the second was to add another pole certification to my resume.   After much research, I decided on elevatED.  Even though I’ve been an instructor for over 6 years, there is always something new to learn and this would be a great opportunity to learn from one of the best and an industry leader, Michelle Stanek from Body & Pole NYC.    I arrived (really) late on Thursday to Houston after a cancelled flight but I made it and was so excited to start the very next day.  The weekend would be filled with pole dancing, laughs and education.  I wasn’t sure what to expect but was keen to find out.

Friday was going to be a short day (5pm to 9pm) at Verticality Fitness (the studio hosting elevatED).  I hopped in a taxi and made it a bit early to settle in.  Everyone greeted me with a smile and as expected, we all asked each other where we were from.  I happened to be the only Canadian in the group 🙂  Michelle came in and we began to introduce ourselves and our backgrounds in pole.  We quickly got into the curriculum and discussed many topics including pole instruction excellence, body knowledge/muscle activation, common injuries and cueing.  I really enjoyed the different perspectives we all shared and there were definitely moments of “I forgot about that” and “that’s a great addition to my teaching method”!  I loved the section of cueing…  Everyone learns in different ways and to incorporate different cues really makes a difference to students’ experience and progress.  We ended the day and one of my new friends dropped me off at my hotel.  I ordered some room service and went to bed early because tomorrow’s training would start at 9am.

Saturday would be 8 hours but I couldn’t wait to get moving!  We would be reviewing warm ups and dance-based and strength-based techniques and spotting.  It took me a while to figure out the different terminology (the old adage is true… every studio uses their own pole language!) but I got into the swing of things pretty quickly.  We took a break and I went with my new friends to grab some lunch.  Everyone was so welcoming and nice…  That’s not surprising though.  The pole community is amazing and some of my closest friends are people I met through pole.   We finished up and walked back to the studio.  When 5pm came around, I couldn’t believe that the time had passed so quickly!

Sunday was going to be another 8 hours plus a practical exam.  No matter how long you’ve taught pole, an exam always make you nervous!  We each created several pole combos and flows throughout the day.  We all were learning different moves from each other and it was awesome to see other styles.  We also taught each other moves and spins to prepare us for the practical where we would teach a specific technique to the rest of the girls.  By the end of the day, I was losing a bit of steam but I was looking forward to teaching climbing.  We were all to pretend that the others were new to the technique we were teaching and so I began my instruction.  Michelle was taking notes and at the end she confirmed my success!  We just had one more challenge upon returning home, the written exam.

The next day, I boarded my flight and the day after I successfully completed my written exam online for L1 Pole.  Next up?  elevatED L2 Pole!  I can’t express how great this experience was for me and I know that my new knowledge will benefit my students and the other instructors at Aradia.  The biggest take away for me was the EXPERIENCE we as instructors bring.  This is the single most important thing I can give my students.  Not only should we continue to focus on technique, safety and learning new things but when I think about any fitness classes I’ve taken, I think about my experience and the feeling I had during and after class.  Classes should be fun, motivating and satisfying.  The studio, music and comfort all play a part too.   At Aradia, we want your experience to be fulfilling and our goal is to deliver that to you every single class!


(Many thanks to the elevatED team and especially Michelle Stanek!)


ElevatED training for Aradia Fitness Calgary instructor. Improving your pole dance experience.

Continuing to improve our pole dancing classes at Aradia Fitness Calgary with elevatED instructor training.

Pole instructor training in Houston, TX. A great weekend with Michelle Stanek from elevatED.


Cross Training for Pole Fitness

Even though Pole Fitness provides the benefits of a full body workout there are plenty of reasons why cross training is important. Any one activity repetitively can result in overusing some muscles which can cause injury.  Also, if you include a few other activities it can improve your overall performance in pole!

Here are some of my favorite activities that can improve your performance:

Running: This is a great way to improve your cardio! I personally love running however I do have a tough time when it’s cold but there is nothing better than running in the spring, summer and fall.  If you are new to running start with a 20 minute walk/run where you walk for 4 mins and run for 1 min.   Adjust these times to what works for you and each week increase your run time by 30 seconds.

Barre: Ballet Barre is one of those activities like Pole Fitness that combines a few fitness areas such as strength, flexibility and endurance.   Most barre classes are inspired by ballet, yoga and Pilates. It focuses on isometric strength training combined with high reps of small range of motion movements.  I personally love this workout because it also helps with graceful movement.

Weight Training: Lifting weights that are heavy enough to do only between 8 -12 repetitions is the best starting point. I find that working on shoulder strength is a big benefit for pole. Shoulders are typically not strong for most people and safe weight training can really help build your strength and stability.  Also, squats, lunges and deadlifts are great for your legs!

Yoga: There are so many benefits to yoga but among them are improved flexibility, increase in muscle strength, improved posture and wellbeing. I’ve never left a Yoga class without feeling great.

What does my typical week look like during the winter months?  (Keep in mind I teach seven pole dance, pole fit and/or sexy fit classes a week)

  • 8 hours of pole
  • 1 to 2 hours of barre or yoga
  • 3 hours of weight training

At Aradia Fitness Calgary we have classes over and above Pole Dance that can help with some of the fitness areas above such as:

  • Pole Circuit – Strength training, endurance and cardio
  • Flexibility and Conditioning – Conditioning and flexibility
  • Yogalicious – Flexibility and muscle strength

So how much pole should you do a week?   Well that’s tough to answer based on everyone’s busy lifestyle however doing more than 1 hour a week will help you advance faster in pole.  When I was a student I usually did 2 – 3 classes a week and I felt my body changing in a positive way within a month.  It didn’t just feel like a workout for me, it felt like a fun evening out!

Check out all of the Class Descriptions and start having fun while getting fit with Aradia!

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