Whenever you walk into a new training space (and I’d say even your regular digs) you should be giving it an eyeball.
Once upon a time, another tutor and myself tried to put together a guide for our students about rigging basics, and things to look out for in a new training space. It proved really hard to write a ‘bite size’ guide and we kind of just made a massive mess of it. (You can see in the picture some of the notes we started making) So, I’m secretly very glad that someone beat us to it.
Born To Fly wrote a brilliant article called How To Be Judgmental When You Enter A New Studio (which I have printed out at class, and have been leaving lying around for people to read) Two of my teacher training courses have been part of the Born To Fly Curriculum, and they have been an excellent source of information. Have a dig around the rest of their blog for other gems!
I feel like this is super important topic this time of year for students. Are you moving away for university soon? (Yay! Exciting!) You might be pretty used to how things work where you currently train, but do you know what kind of things to look for when you are scoping out new places? How do you decide if your tutor knows what they are doing? Reading the born to fly article is a great place to start.
Have you read it? Excellent, keep going!
Check this out:
After you have read the article, here is a super quick basic check list of some things to ask:
- Would you hang a car from it?
- Are the carabiners being used correctly?
- Are people using crash mats?
- Is the equipment damaged or worn?
- Do you have enough space?
- If you get stuck in the air and need help, what is the plan to get you down?*
- When was everything last inspected?
- What experience does your tutor have?
And finally, sing it with me…
This one is a little harder to define. Circus is fabulous and fun, but also difficult and dangerous. It has a rich, complex history, and that feeling of respect will be a general vibe you get from the place. Students and tutors should inspire trust in each other, and maybe most importantly, admit when they don’t know something! The best bit is finding out the answer.
As always, I’d love to know what you think so get in touch or leave me a comment
* Top tip: As a rescue plan, ‘just call the emergency services’ is NOT enough. Depending on the height of the venue, most fire departments wont have ladders high enough you get you down.