Those Who Can’t Do, Teach

teachingAfter complaining heavily about a pole move the other day, one of my friends chirped out this ever so popular phrase. While it was said in a joking manner, it still irked me. But it took me a bit to figure out why.

Putting aside the obvious fact that as a pole instructor I literally have to do in order to teach this expression got me thinking.

The common idea is that when someone does not succeed in their field (Ex. An injured sports athlete) they should result to teaching. But there is one obvious flaw with this plan:

Not everyone makes a good instructor.

I have always ranted- very loudly if I admit it- that just because you’re fit does not mean you make a good personal trainer. And just because you love exercise or dance does not make you a great instructor. Unfortunately, this seems to be a common trend.


Teaching/instructing/coaching requires more than an enjoyment of your subject. Training especially requires more knowledge then “well this worked for me” and it pisses me off that this is not recognized.

A coach needs to possess a lot of qualities. They have to have the ability to inspire, problem solve, re-direct, understand, motivate and progress a client. And those are just the basics.  A pole instructor should be no different.

Just because you are an amazing dancer does not mean you have the ability to pass your hard earned capabilities to others. What if someone has a different body type than you? How do you adjust what you can do for those who cannot? What are your beliefs in progression?


Teaching should not be the “back up plan”. It shouldn’t been viewed as something to do when all else goes to hell.

Instructors should want to teach, to coach, to motivate and to share their knowledge (hopefully hard earned knowledge) with others in the  best way it implies to them.

So those who can’t do should not necessarily teach.