AERIAL ACROBATICS POLE DANCING

Pole Dance Safety: Guidelines for a Safe Pole or Aerial Lesson

Pole Dance Safety: Guidelines for a Safe Pole or Aerial Lesson
Written by Vertical Wise

Ensuring the safety of students and instructors is paramount in the world of Pole Dance Fitness and Aerial Acrobatics. These guidelines are designed to provide clear instructions and best practices for creating a safe environment in pole and aerial lessons. By following these guidelines, you can protect the health and well-being of everyone involved and minimize the risks associated with these activities. It is an attempt to provide, in a simple document, clear guidelines for safe practices and healthy working conditions for you, your staff and your students. It can be used as a tutorial and as a control tool.

Guidelines for a safe lesson

These policies seek to:

  • Create and maintain a safe environment for staff and students.
  • Be a guide concerning the use, maintenance, and storage of equipment.
  • Provide sufficient information and guidance to ensure that we minimize the risks involved in a lesson.
  • Protect the health of those in school.

Employer’s responsibilities

  • Ensure that staff is aware of the risks that may affect them or the students and of the measures you take to protect them.
  • Ensure that the instructors have the appropriate qualifications and skills to undertake all aspects of the course, that they are aware of their responsibilities and that they are willing to comply with the relevant legislation.
  • In case of your absence provide emergency phones.

Instructor responsibilities

Maintaining the security of the students and the work environment is the responsibility of all employees. This requires that you are aware of the risks, know the proper action in an incident and be able to recognize potential security issues.

Each member of the teaching staff has the duty to exercise care and take caution in relation to his personal safety and also of his disciples. As part of this responsibility, each trainer should:

  • Take care of avoiding injuries.
  • To follow the necessary safety procedures.
  • To inform the school of any risks identified.
  • Report any injuries to the owner of the business as soon as possible after the event.

Educators need to be aware of a number of potential risk factors:

Warm-up and Cool-down

Before engaging in any pole dance or aerial activities, it is crucial to prioritize a proper warm-up routine. Warm-up exercises prepare the body by increasing blood flow, raising the heart rate, and loosening up the muscles and joints. This helps reduce the risk of injuries and enhances performance during the lesson. Similarly, a cool-down session at the end of the training is essential to gradually lower the heart rate, stretch the muscles, and promote muscle recovery. Integrating both warm-up and cool-down exercises into your training routine can significantly contribute to a safe and effective learning experience.

Progression and Technique

Building a strong foundation is key to safely advancing in pole dance and aerial acrobatics. It is important to follow a structured progression that gradually introduces more challenging moves and techniques as students develop their strength, flexibility, and coordination. Mastering proper technique and form is essential to prevent strain, overexertion, and accidents. Instructors should emphasize the importance of practicing moves within their skill level and provide guidance on correct body alignment, spotting potential mistakes, and offering adjustments to ensure students execute movements safely and efficiently.

Student Assessment

Each student possesses unique strengths, limitations, and prior experiences. Instructors should take the time to assess the capabilities of their students, including their physical condition, strength, flexibility, and any pre-existing injuries. This assessment allows instructors to tailor the lessons and exercises to individual needs, ensuring students are challenged appropriately without compromising their safety. By understanding each student’s abilities, instructors can provide modifications, progressions, or alternative exercises to accommodate different skill levels and help students progress safely.

Spotting and Assistance

In pole dance and aerial lessons, instructors play a vital role in providing spotting and assistance to students. Spotting involves closely monitoring and physically supporting students during challenging moves or transitions to ensure their safety. Instructors should maintain a vigilant presence, offering guidance, and stepping in when necessary to prevent falls or accidents. This hands-on approach helps build trust between the instructor and student, allowing for a supportive and secure learning environment.

Injury Prevention Tips

Students can actively contribute to their own safety by following injury prevention practices. Staying properly hydrated throughout the training session is essential to maintain optimal performance and prevent muscle cramps. It is important to listen to your body and take breaks as needed to avoid overexertion and fatigue. Additionally, using grip aids or protective gear, such as knee pads or wrist guards, can provide extra support and cushioning during intense movements. It is crucial to avoid pushing beyond personal limits and always prioritize safety over attempting advanced moves prematurely.

Emergency Procedures

In the unlikely event of an accident or emergency during pole dance or aerial lessons, it is crucial to have clear protocols in place. Instructors should be prepared to handle emergencies by knowing the steps to take, such as contacting medical services when needed. Additionally, maintaining a fully stocked and easily accessible first aid kit is essential for providing immediate care in case of minor injuries. Instructors should familiarize themselves with the proper use of the first aid kit and encourage students to report any incidents promptly.

Ongoing Training and Education

To ensure the highest level of safety and professionalism, instructors should engage in ongoing training and education. Staying updated with the latest safety practices, teaching techniques, and industry standards is crucial for providing a safe learning environment. Instructors can participate in workshops, certifications, and seminars specific to pole dance and aerial acrobatics to enhance their knowledge and skills. Continuous professional development allows instructors to refine their teaching methods, incorporate new safety measures, and maintain a commitment to the well-being of their students.

Is this exercise or movement potentially harmful?

An instructor must know what exercises or movements are safe to teach and what is potentially harmful, especially if a student suffers from an injury, or a health issue or is in a particularly vulnerable stage of physical or psychological condition. It is good practice for instructors, to ask students if there are injuries they should know before beginning the lesson.

Is the environment safe/appropriate?

If you work in an environment you consider dangerous (e.g. in an external or unknown environment) and you are concerned, you should ask what risk minimization measures have been taken. If the company refuses to do testing or does not disclose the results then I suggest you leave and try to contact the relevant authorities.

Accidents and first aid

Ensure that your school is permanently equipped with a full Med Kit.

All accidents must be reported and recorded in a special accident book. If there is no good reason then first aid is not required. However, if there is a serious injury, then the situation should be addressed immediately. The treatment should be administered only by people trained in first aid. Do not offer any drugs or pills of any kind because some people have allergic reactions to medicines. If you have doubts about the seriousness of the injury, call emergency services immediately. It is best to call an ambulance. Do not take the responsibility of carriage unless you be asked by emergency services due to exceptional circumstances.

Security Checks

Equipment

The correct use of the equipment is vital for minimizing the risks. Each exercise equipment either mobile such as weights, or stable (Pole, Aerial Silks, Aerial Hoop, etc) which is not used, is a potential danger.

When it comes to equipment for pole dance and aerial lessons, it is crucial to prioritize safety by choosing certified products from well-known suppliers. Avoid the temptation of purchasing cheap or uncertified items that may compromise the safety of yourself and your students. Certified products undergo rigorous testing and meet industry standards to ensure durability and reliability. By investing in quality equipment, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are providing a secure environment for your practice and minimizing the risks associated with substandard or unverified gear. Remember, the safety of your students should always be the top priority. Choose wisely, invest in trusted brands, and prioritize quality over cost.

In addition to selecting certified products from reputable suppliers, it is essential to regularly inspect and check your equipment for any damages or wear and tear. Even high-quality gear can deteriorate over time with regular use. By conducting routine inspections, you can identify any potential issues or weaknesses that may compromise the safety of your pole dance or aerial sessions. Look for signs of fraying, loosening, or damage to straps, carabiners, or other components. If you notice any concerns, it is important to address them promptly by either repairing or replacing the affected equipment. By maintaining a diligent inspection routine, you can ensure that your equipment remains in optimal condition, providing a safe and secure environment for yourself and your students. Safety should always be a priority, and regular equipment checks play a vital role in upholding that commitment.

In addition, care should be taken for:

  • Storage: make sure that all mobile equipment used, is stored safely after the lesson.
  • Reference: Any damage observed on the equipment should be reported immediately for repair or replacement.
  • Installation: the installation of the equipment should be complete, correct and safe and always in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Maintenance: care should be taken for the proper maintenance of equipment in accordance with the specifications set by the manufacturer.
  • Safety mat: Where needed, the safety mat should be used appropriately. Especially in Aerial Acrobatics and Pole Dancing involving elements of danger, the use of a safety mat is deemed imperative regardless. You can buy a crash mat at Vertical Wise Shop
  • Equipment use: make sure that the students are taught how to properly and safely use the equipment.
  • Supervision: ensure that no student can access the equipment without supervision.

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Venue

Checks must be made before students enter the Studio:

  • Floor: Ensure that the floors are clean and there are no objects on the floor, especially electrical appliances.
  • Environment: there should be sufficient ventilation and temperature are appropriate for the age level.
  • Mirrors: make sure there are no broken mirrors.
  • Sockets: make sure it is safe without protruding wires.
  • Blinds: Check that they are securely fastened.
  • Doors and exits: make sure there is no object blocking emergency exits.
  • Lighting and switches: Check for burned-out bulbs or damaged switches.

There should permanently be a fire extinguisher on site and the staff should know its position and how to use it.

Students

Ensuring the health and safety of students is a shared responsibility of instructors and employers. You must make sure that your equipment is not likely to cause harm, either physical or psychological, to yourself, to others or to your working environment.

The likelihood of injury tends to grow:

  • During a class in which students experiment with moves that require a high degree of control, strength or flexibility
  • When students are tired, stressed or sick
  • When wearing jewellery
  • When chewing gum
  • If space is insufficient for the number of students
  • When students have over-trained
  • When wearing unsuitable clothing

Where appropriate, in order to minimize injuries, additional personal protective equipment might be required e.g. knee pads.

To reduce risk in your workplace there is a need for proper management and planning. Whether you are a teacher or employer it is important to be aware of your responsibilities.

Conclusion

In conclusion, adhering to safety guidelines is crucial in the world of Pole Dance Fitness and Aerial Acrobatics. By creating a safe environment, providing proper equipment maintenance, and implementing appropriate supervision, instructors and employers can protect their students and themselves from potential injuries. Remember, safety should always be a top priority in every lesson and training session.

The information is simplified and generalized and is not intended as personal advice. It is best to read in conjunction with all relevant legislation.
References:
Safety Guidelines for the Entertainment Industry by AEIA and MEAA
WorkCover NSW
Your Body Your Risk Pub. Dance UK, 2001

We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences with safety in pole dance and aerial lessons. Share your comments and questions below. Let’s create a community dedicated to safety and growth in these exciting disciplines.

About the author

Vertical Wise

Vertical Wise is an international website dedicated to supporting and promoting the world of pole dancing and aerial fitness. Our mission is to spread awareness, share knowledge, and celebrate the incredible artistry and athleticism of these disciplines. Join us as we connect enthusiasts, athletes, and professionals from around the globe, fostering a vibrant community that inspires and empowers individuals to reach new heights in their fitness journey.

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