Recently I was discussing the pros and cons of teacing outdoors. Instead of focusing on what I don’t like about teaching outside, I thought it would be more beneficial to give you 6 Benefits of Teaching Inside.
- Control of the space: You have a door and walls which separates you from other peple, energies, eyes and experiences that might distract or influence the students in the class. The fact that you have the opportunity to put people on one side of the door or the other gives you so much control over the environment you’re fostering for your students. It’s a useful and practical gain. This allows you to…
- …Create a Container: in which you can define the energy. By controlling the area, you can also control the vibe and raise or lower the energy by directing it in the space without having to worry about someone else barging into your environment and messing with all the subtle and not so suble energies you’ve given your class.
- Barrier: both for wind and other people so there is a private space for the student to explore in safety. In a very real sense, a visual barrier really allows students to feel more comfortable taking risks because if the unfortunate outcome leads to a slap in the face with a poi, fewer people will be there to witness the moment. Risk taking is a big part of pushing one’s development forward since exploring the edge of one’s comfort zone leads to predictable (if not humbling and difficult) growth.
- Clearer Examples: particularly when working with poi, we discuss planes. By having walls and straight lines to work with, it is easier to help guide your students into both the understanding of and practical drilling that develops the fine motor skills associated with controlling a poi plane. It is often difficult to do this outdoors because you’re not always in a regular shaped space let alone one with walls that are easy to see to which it is easy to compare parallel versus perpendicular planes.
- Mirrors and Music: working indoors allows you the opportunitiy to work with mirrors which is very useful for some students in helping them adjust and refine their movements. Similarly, students may benefit from your control over the sound in terms of both the music being played as well as the volume and level of impact it has on the environment. There is also the very practical element of being able to project your voice in a way as to be heard, something you can control far less outside.
- Entrance Fee: because you have a door and because you can turn people away at the door, you can also charge an entrance fee. This helps you in a variey of ways, beyond the obvious one of helping feed you. Having an entrace fee separates people who want your services from those who are kicking the tires. Someone who has put down money has demonstrated a significant interest in what you’re offering and as a result, they are invested in your success. People randomly happening on you may or may not care about this and are less likely to be as invested.
Written by Temple of Poi founder and visionary, GlitterGirl, who has been a full time flow arts coach and instructor since 2002. If you are looking to step up your skills as a student, performer or instructor using personalized coaching with GlitterGirl, email her directly (GlitterGirl <at> TempleOfPoi <daught> com).