We recently got the chance to ask Shaina Cruea about her experience as a traveling pole instructor. Read all about the ups, downs, and in-betweens of traveling to teach pole around the globe!
I literally feel like the luckiest person on the planet to be able to do what I love while traveling the world
On experiences at pole studios:
Some pole studios are more ideal than others. I am extremely tall, making it very hard to teach at studios that have poles that are close to together or close to the walls or mirrors. I have definitely kicked my fair share of mirrors! I know some traveling instructors ask the details of the studio dimensions and pole make/model/height before even booking to teach at that studio. However, I don’t ask beforehand because I do not want to limit myself to who I am able to reach with my teaching. I find that it is the studios with the less desirable studio conditions that are more grateful to have me then the studios with nicer conditions. The reason for this, I’m sure, is that there are less traveling instructors that go to these smaller studios. Butttt I tend to fall in love with these students. <3
On things I ALWAYS do when I arrive at a studio:
– Check the poles to make sure they are safe! If anyone is going to pop one out of the floor/ceiling it’s me because I’m superrrrr heavy!
– Make sure the floor is clean. In every workshop we end up in the floor at some point. Sometimes it is just warm-up or cool-down, but there is nothing I hate more than rolling around in dirt!
– Make sure there are clean towels and pole cleaner to ensure that everything is sanitary.
On the people I meet:
It is quite lovely all the people I would not have had the opportunity to meet if not traveling for workshops. Sometimes, I end up having deeper connections with them than others. Some are more interested in showing me the place where they live (that I have most likely never been to) and some have too much on their plate and do not have time to play tour guide hehe. Typically the people I meet at studios around the world are VERY appreciative of me being there. That is my FAVORITE thing about being a traveling instructor, students are hungry for new material and incredibly eager to learn. One interesting thing is that there are a ton of people that I meet for the first time in real life when traveling, but I feel like I already know them because we have been following each other on Facebook or Instagram for so many years!!
On places I stay:
I typically stay with someone from the studio where I am teaching, either the owner or a student. After about a year a traveling I decided that because my body is my tool, I require a bed to sleep in (as oppose to a couch). It is SO important to get a good night of sleep in order to stay on my A-game for workshops. I have certainly learned to adapt to my surroundings. Not all situations are ideal but I make it work.
On things I see:
Everyplace I see for the first time is exciting for me!! I think a lot of the people I stay with (esp. in small towns) assume that I will not like where they live because I live in the “big city.” And its SOOO the opposite for me!! I LOVE nature and miss it so much living in a city. When I go to a place with a beach or rolling grassy hills, before I leave I go there by myself, stare out and take five purposeful deep breaths to take it all in before I leave. I often tear up during these breaths. I think the tears stem from the lack of nature in my life at home and it makes me think of my home and my family (who do not live in the city where I reside). I have gone to some of the same places a few times and I find that unless I have formed a more meaningful connection with the people in that particular place it is less appealing to be there.
On things I eat:
Having different food from around the world is another one of my favoriteeeeeee things to do!! I am a little bit picky with meats but I do try to have a traditional dish from wherever I am. And of course I try the traditional dessert!! (I loveeeee sweets!!)
NOTE: My favorite thing on the planet is cheesecake. Do NOT search for cheesecake that is better than NY Cheesecake outside of NY…. #wasteoftime
I have never (KNOCK ON WOOD) had issues with luggage 😀 I suppose I am lucky (thus far at least!)
What have I learned from traveling?
– There are a whole lot of things about Americans and America that I do not agree with. (As far as the typical lifestyle and the health care system.)
– You HAVE to live in the movement every now and then. You cannot ALWAYS look for the perfect photo op!!
– I miss my regular students and regular studio when I am gone. (As well as BEING a student in pole and dance classes.)
– My students, a handful of friends, Body & Pole, and BDC are the only things I miss when I leave NYC.
– Even though I loveeee to eat when I travel, it always feels great to get back to normal after being gone for awhile.