Pole pas de deux

Pole pas de deux

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Rest of the Story (A reply to my original post on Coaching and Teaching)

(Posted on Studio Veeena after I strirred the hornets nest with my blog about Coaching and Teaching).

I understand that many of my readers probably think that I have overreacted to something meant to be humorous or tongue in cheek and I totally understand that. However as (Veena Member) said I grew up male and I have been subjected to what borders on or what could be considered physical and emotional abuse by teachers and coaches.

I come from a pole dance studio that is very spiritual. The dance is used by my teacher to heal in a gentle but firm way. We are never allowed to say "can't or never". But her reminders and insistence are quiet and gentle. Her approach to dance is philosophically very Eastern. Her warm up is demanding both mentally and physically but I never walk out of her class feeling like I have after some hockey practices or gym classes. When my arm is out of position on a move she gently moves it. When she does it without saying a word after the fifth or sixth time I feel like I'm letting her down and that is my reminder to suck it up and pay attention.

What I want to say is that one of the reasons men don't dance is because we are always supposed to be tough. We can never cry, we can never show hurt. The whistle blows... we skate. Seeing that list brought out something in me that dug up a lot of old wounds and reminded me that if I reacted as I did yesterday how did some of my older players remember me as a coach before I had to rethink my methods and change?

When I put on my skates and take the ice I am the guy the players are supposed to look up to and trust. In a dance studio I'm the student and when I look in the mirror and see my demons I know that all the push ups in the world are not going to fix what hurts and I also see things from a different viewpoint because I do coach and teach.

Everyone responds to teaching methods differently and I just want people to think carefully about the way they run classes and approach students. Some students shut down and other thrive in the class environment. Reach as many as you can.

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