But today my 6:00pm private group lessons showed up just over 15 minutes late. I don't actually mind if private students show up late. My philosophy is, you're paying me for that time, so you're allowed to use it any way you want. If you want to use that time learning to dance, you'll be there. If you want to use that time to do something else and then show up late, I'm still making the same amount of money while I sit in my studio and kick it while I'm waiting for you. So I wasn't mad when I opened the studio door for these 5 girls...until one of them told me WHY they were late. Because they were having cocktails. *head*desk!!*
I had to really wrestle with this decision as I took them through their warm ups and floor work (which are all very slow and easy). These 5 girls who are all friends and taking private lessons together, have demonstrated in the past that they are there more to have fun and be wild rather than learn a new art form. For this reason I suggested they book a pole party instead, since a pole party is much more high energy and fun and might be a better fit for what they are looking for. They declined the offer and came back for more classes. Yet they went out to cocktails first like my class was a party, not a physically strenuous art form and workout.
I want to be the good guy. I enjoy the fact that my students like me and of course I want to keep it that way. But safety comes first, so I had to be the bad guy. When the warm ups were done, I told them that I would not be able to teach a pole spin to any of them that had been drinking. One of them replied, "Then I guess we'll all have to go home now." I assured her that going home wasn't necessary but that they absolutely would not be learning their first pole spin today as I had originally promised. Instead, they would learn a simple pole move. I've been teaching long enough that I can put together stuff pretty quickly and off the top of my head. So I did, and I taught them all an undulation, also known as a body wave. Then I showed them how to combine the body wave with a sexy way of crouching down and getting up. They loved it! They were having so much fun and they even said so. Problem solved and clients are happy!
I didn't bother to tell them that they won't be learning a spin next week either if they have been drinking again. I'm hoping they got the message. And if not, well, this is their class. So the way I see it, if they want to keep drinking before class, then they'll get nothing but easy floor work and some cute moves they can do while on their feet and holding on to the pole for balance (like the body wave). They won't get to spin. They won't know the excitement and freedom of feeling your feet leave the floor as you defy gravity. They won't get everything they could out of the class. But if they prefer to arrive in a condition in which I can only teach them safe, easy, non-strenuous moves, then I can certainly provide that.
I'm proud of myself for standing my ground. Mind you they did not appear tipsy in any way, shape or form. So it would have been easy to assume it would be fine and let them try a spin. But I did the right thing and yet still managed to show them a good time.
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