Saturday, 16 April 2016

Pole Instructor Training in Turkey whilst the BOMB went off - March 2016

So this Blog is a big one !!  TEACHER TRAINING IN TURKEY

Part of my self development journey, was to learn to speak publicly, to be heard and to say something that really made  a difference to not only my life but to that of others ;/
My mum was a school teacher and very much an academic - I on the other hand did not have those gifts in my younger years

I always felt I was failing her and myself because I couldn't express myself with words or emotion - it was like sometimes I wasn't here or even born.

There are some people I believe you meet for a reason, maybe a reminder of my former self?
I believe in making your own destiny and we all have the powers and ability if we truly want it - I love to surround myself with individuals who are willing to try something new and put in 1000% percent to set a new standard of themselves and others, to those who listen speak and pass on their knowledge to others, to value themselves foremost no matter what age or sexual orientation they possess.

I had the most amazing experience in Turkey recently, a city of unrest and social turmoil, with my friends and family, my 21 year old daughter included, telling me to cancel the trip, but this I could not do, questioning myself, am  being selfish and not putting my family first, how would I have felt had this been my daughter travelling to an unstable economy?
I arrived on the the Friday before 4 intense days and within hours of meeting my amazing host family Sevinc, her sister, Selen and their father, I became  extremely ill.  Now i'm never ill !!  was this something I had picked up from the food on the plane??  Not wanting to show my weakness as that to me would have been failure  I soldiered on (my advanced leadership training had kicked in) 

Turkey - Wow studios and International pole instructor  teacher training - Bombings during our training  - A new class distraction
March 19-22nd 2016

A combination of emotions working along the most incredible school at Wow studios headed by Sevinc 
Such an inspirational and talented lady who has accumulated so much knowledge over her 7 years of poling and has dedicated her team to such success, leadership and empowering the modern women of Turkey 
A massive thank you to Elena Artamonova from Russia who was exceptional as always, representing Pole Passion, sharing her wealth of knowledge and pole dance and sport excellence & experience 
Its always a pleasure to work along side the dedication in creating outstanding students internationally, sharing her signature techniques, pushing and demanding nothing but perfection, creating such a solid and professional foundation to the next generation of teachers, in what could have been described as such a vulnerable and dangerous economic climate 
A massive thank you to Mahmet Uzel, Professor of anatomy & physiology in Turkey who provided us with a two hour comprehensive lecture that he specifically designed for Pole Passion 
Unfortunately this time I was unable to explore the beautiful culture and tourist places  due to the bombing of a public place on the Tuesday (day 2 of our training) and of our stay, however the hospitality far surpassed my expectations and I can't thank our hostess Sevinc and her family enough for reassuring us and looking after us 
So moving forward I am excited to be looking forward to safer times in this country so we can continue to grow professionally within our pole sport fitness and pole dance nation 

So what have I learnt ? 
-  That I will continue to be a risk taker for the greater higher purpose 
-  To continue to network internationally and share our knowledge and support for others to provide a fun, safe and professional education for all 
-  that people will forget what you say but will remember how you made them feel

In times of fear - people look for a leader, someone with some words of wisdom or a positive emotion to share, one who is willing to share a moment of gratitude - For me this lady was Sona Ertekin, a student attending the training, who stepped up during the feedback times I was giving to all, at the end of day 2; the Foundation Instructor Training certification day 
I have travelled another country listening to the pole people of Turkey, their challenges and their growth ideas , their understanding of techniques and core beliefs, furthermore uniting the world of pole side by side 
Instructor training is about change for the good, education & learning together, innovation and creating a road to further your pole journey beyond your expectations is about 
Time for change 
International Pole Sport & Fitness training certification 

Sugar Tiger a.k.a. Sona Ertekin
April 2016
The first International Pole Sport & Dance, Internationally Accredited Pole Instructor Certifications

Learning to fly... 

I am a 39 year old writer from Istanbul, Turkey and I started to learn pole dancing when I was 37. I trained six months at WOW Classes and after a one year break, I got back on the dragon last year first with private lessons from Rita the Moon and then with the awesome ladies of WOW Asia. So I have about 1.5 years of pole training and I never imagined I would come this far in my own pole journey. And when I say this far, I only mean the on-going passion, time and effort I put into this. Pulling my first front split at 38 years and doing whatever I can on the pole on a daily basis, hell yeah, I’m totally loving this  
Simply put: pole makes me feel good, I love doing it.

Before participating Pole Passion’s Pole Instructor Training Course in Istanbul Turkey in March this year, I had many questions in my mind: Am I good enough? Is this investment truly meaningful for me? Will I be able to do it?

I had zero experience in teaching pole, except showing a few moves to my little sister about a year earlier, which didn’t end up so productive. At these first early attempts I realized how much work it requires to teach someone something, anything… I was always amazed when I noticed the knowledge, strength, stamina, effort, background work and endless patience my teachers put into their work when they were teaching.

I am a freelance writer/translator/editor and I do love my job, so I was never one to imagine running away from my current career to become a full time professional pole dance teacher or anything like that. When I applied for the Pole Passion instructor training, all I had in mind was to improve myself as a pole dancer and give myself a chance to see if I could teach. Since I take my hobbies pretty seriously and invest years and years in my passions (rock climbing, 10 years professional dj’ing, advanced scuba diving, cooking etc. etc.) I wanted to see if I could take myself to the next level. If I’m pole dancing 2-4 days a week and thinking about pole related anything and everything non-stop every day, why not dig deeper or fly a little higher perhaps…

The training process was intense and definitely tiring but always fun and very rewarding. The most valuable thing I learnt from it was what I needed to improve in myself to become a decent pole dance instructor. Or to be more clear, I learned what it takes to become a good pole dance instructor: Time, Endless Research, Planning Ahead, Flexibility, Adaptability, Creativity, Safety, Punctuality, Respect, Control, Self Confidence and a Crazy Love of Pole for one thing… And of course the most important thing is Safety and safety always comes first.  Also a warm heart and a friendly attitude would never hurt… So the Pole Passion Instructor experience showed me clearly what I already had, and what I needed to improve. Plus it was two days with dozens of awesome pole ladies and it was much fun…

The most difficult part for me was preparing months of lesson plans ahead, and I thought I didn’t have enough moves to fill these classes but now I know my lesson plans were not very realistic and should have been progressing at a much slower and a more natural pace. Also the practical part was sooo exciting that it made my legs wobble during the exam, but it was rewarding and very educational since this is more or less what you’re going to be experiencing, if you keep up the good work and have students one day.

I am deeply grateful to everybody who gave me a chance to take part in this training, but I am especially touched by the professionalism and courage of Dear Kay and Dear Elena, coming to our country in a difficult political climate and a democracy crisis like this. It was amazing to see how they kept going without blinking even after the news of terrorist suicide bomb attacks hit the crowd, and completed the training program. The next day after the bombing, tears filled my eyes when we were all together, warming up with funky disco tunes early in the morning with Kay. Such sweet memories, such great women, so much love and tenderness… This is what Pole Dancing really means to me: Because it defines women as a whole, in all her strength and tenderness, in all her wildness and sensitivity, in all her truth and in all her glory…

It’s only been a month since the training and I still see “teaching” pole dance as a means to intensify and improve my own experience rather than a professional move, but I already have a student now and I’m seeing results, which feels amazing. I am lucky to have a close friend who wanted to start learning pole dancing and she wanted to train with me. So now I have a chance to work on my teaching skills and see where this is going. My student just turned 40 this year, it’s her first time pole dancing and even after only 2-3 classes it makes me sooooo happy to see her that she is truly enjoying it and improving herself every week.  It is a great pleasure to see her leave my place with a smile on her face and come back again with joy and enthusiasm the next week. I never imagined it would be such a great feeling to make someone happy by teaching what you love and see the results of this labour of love.  

As for my own experience of teaching it is simply how I imagined it to be: Rewarding, Demanding and Fun! I spend hours, day and night researching, practicing and planning our sessions but in the end I am sure that I’m learning more from it than my student does. I am learning the language, the grammar and the foundations of pole dancing which gives me a better understanding of how moves are linked, or what kind of effort it takes to create combos and mini-choreographies. Every lesson teaches me the beauty of basic moves and how important they are. How there would be no dance without the flow and with just the tricks. And that no matter how great all the acrobatic moves may look, nothing beats the basics when you put some feeling into it and really start dancing. And clearly this is another experience where I am learning more than I am teaching; getting a better understanding of what I must improve in myself both as a dancer and an instructor, and getting a clearer vision of where I am headed in my pole dance journey myself.  

As a trained linguist with a BA in American Culture and Literature and an MA in cinema theory, I’ve been working as a writer in different guises such as copywriter, journalist, radio programmer, travel writer, book editor, translator etc. all my life but in these last five years I have been working on my first novel “Unavoided Adventures” which will hopefully be in print soon and I can safely say that for someone who needs to work sitting in front of the computer all day, some kind of physical activity is essential. I believe that pole dancing is a way to balance my body and soul, it is where my muses are happy and free to fly as they please 

Like I said earlier above: Pole makes me feel good, I love doing it.

Kay Penney


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