by Julianna Hane
The aerial arts industry is booming, and we love that! With performances spreading like wild fire, more people are inspired to take classes in our beautiful art form. With the rising interest in teaching aerial arts, myths about teaching have popped up. Today, we will bust:
Myth #1: You can learn to teach in one weekend.
Truth: It takes years to develop a personal practice in the form before even considering teaching it to someone else. Enrolling in a one-weekend teacher training course may expose you to some incredible ideas about aerial teaching, but it is literally just the tip of the iceberg.
Think about the last intensive training you attended. The presenters probably gave you so much information in such a short amount of time, filling your notebooks with handouts and points to remember.
But how long did it take those expert speakers to learn those things for themselves? My best guess…years.
Experience, and lots of it, is the best teacher. It is simply the amount and quality of time invested in learning. By spending lots of time in the air, you learn how different skills relate to one another, what can go wrong in a move, how to cue a move so it is clear to different types of learners, and so many other lessons.
Experience can only be acquired by overcoming roadblocks. Get through the days/weeks when “I just want to quit,” so you can get to the days when you can say, “I am so proud of myself – I am changing for the better.”
When you overcome problems and make it to the other side a bit wiser, other people will want to know how you did it. They seek your guidance - you become a mentor because you earned the title. The great mentor has experienced failure and rejection, and has many more scars (both physical and emotional) than the student. The great mentor has stared their deepest fears in the face and moved forward anyway.
No one can gain this level of experience and wisdom in one weekend, but that information can be absorbed over a longer period of time if you set the intention to do so. This means showing up consistently for your personal practice.
So why are aerial teacher trainings usually offered in a 2-4 day format?
The weekend format works for most people who have full-time jobs, and for those who teach a full schedule at a studio. In fact, many teacher training programs purposely offer multiple weekends of training to help trainees absorb information over a longer period of time.
This gives participants time to apply the teaching techniques they learn in the live course before returning for another round of training. It also gives time for supplemental training in anatomy and rigging, and observing or assisting other teachers.
So how can I develop as an aerial teacher?
A weekend aerial teacher training is a great start for those who wish to become aerial instructors and have maintained a strong personal practice for a few years.
In a live training you can get your feet wet, meet new people, and learn various teaching and spotting techniques. Then, when the weekend is over, train rigorously in preparation for the next live weekend.
Stay involved in your teacher training program or certification over the long haul to get the absolute best results – both you and your students will see the difference it makes!
If you would like to know more about our teacher trainings, click here. Rebekah and I would love to work with you!
Our authors include our Master Teacher Trainers as well as Born to Fly™ Certified Teachers.