Respect For Aerial Class Please

As much as I want to say I wrote this article, I did not. But the website that it was on is now shut down, so I have to quote the whole entire thing.

First and foremost, lets give credit where it is due…This was originally posted on the Bad Kitty website and written by Claire Griffin Sterrett. It was originally titled Respect for Pole Class, but I wanted to update it because our studio offers so much more that just pole.

Now that that part is done lets get to this…


“Here is something that I don’t understand: when I go to Yoga class, I do not show up late and I do not leave early. Neither do any other students. The same is true for any dance class, Pilates class, barre class or martial arts class I have taken. In fact, in my Muay Thai classes new students are not only expected to show up early, they are encouraged to get involved at the gym and be of service. I did not know this of course, until I started reading the gym owners blog. But it makes sense. My brother has been studying and teaching Aikido for nearly 15 years, and as his sister I have not only been obliged to take Aikido but had been indirectly exposed to the culture of martial arts. While traditions vary among different dojos, the approach the martial arts training is generally one of respect for the place, the teacher and the practice. This is also true of yoga studios, which frequently trade classes in exchange for seva (or service).


But in my experience, this is not true of aerial dance studios. And personally, I think that it is a shame. Not only do I think it’s a shame, I think it does a disservice to the students, the teachers and to the aerial industry. Maybe I am old fashioned. Maybe I take aerial a little too seriously. But I think that it just isn’t about you—it’s about the community a studio creates. The classroom is a micronism of this community. If you consistently show up late to class, you are effectively saying to your classmates and teacher “I do not respect the rules that you have set forth and I am continuously willing to disrupt your class time.” That is hardly an attitude that would be tolerated at a yoga studio or a dojo. In fact, most studios (dance included) lock their doors once class starts, and the students KNOW not to try to enter if they are late. Even worse than the student who consistently shows up late is the one who complains when he/she is not admitted. If we want to continue to move aerials forward as a legitimate form of dance and artistic expression, then we need to begin to respect our classes the same way that we would respect any other class that we would take. 


But truthfully, being late to class isn’t one of my biggest pet peeves. Leaving early, on the other hand, is. Especially if it is a class where students take turns dancing at the end. And that goes double if you are dropping in on a class that is not your normal class. If everyone in the class supports you and stays though your dance, then you need to support them and stay through theirs as well. It is just polite. Plan on being there for the full duration of your class. If you can’t stay, then don’t come.


I am going to say something that is probably controversial (surprise) but that I think needs to be said: There is an overdeveloped sense of entitlement in the aerial world—a kind of low-level narcissism in which things like respect for your teacher, your fellow dancers and a sense of service to the studio is missing. Now I realize that certain studios may contribute to this attitude by proclaiming that “It’s all about YOU YOU YOU.”  I firmly believe that if you pay for a service, you are entitled to a positive experience, but at the end of the day, you are a student. You are there to learn, as is everyone else in the classroom. So, show respect for the rules of the studio and for your classmates and your teachers. Arrive on time. Train hard. Leave when class is over. You will get more out of classes this way, and you will make the studio a more empowering and positive place for everyone—including yourself.”


And on that note, I am going to go over our late policy for Dimension Fitness…

If you are more than 5 minutes late for your class, you will not be admitted to class. At that point you have missed the warm-up and are interrupting the learning time for the other students that have showed up on time for the class.  Even if we would permit you to warm-up yourself you would rush through it in attempt to be able to join the class and catch up on the instruction. Which could in turn injure yourself, the teacher and even the other students.

We understand that there are emergencies; accidents, traffic, dragons, we get it. Call the studio. Let us know. But also know that we can also say you should just not show up. 

If you just show up without calling, we will definitely not allow you into the class. Please be respectful of everyone that comes to our wonderful facility.