Blind Ambition – Teaching Visually Impaired Aerialists

I would like to share my experience of working at Tempest Dance & Fitness with pole and aerial students who are visually impaired, in the hope that it will help other instructors to have the confidence to seek out these mutually beneficial relationships. Discussions with student First of all discuss your student’s visual impairment with them. What, if anything can they actually see? Have they always been unable to see? Can they make out shapes or colours? Each student’s needs will be different and may change each lesson, so have an ongoing discussion of their abilities. For example, consider which part of the room you are teaching in that day, maybe it’s not a good idea to teach directly in front of a window or maybe that could be the best place for them. Try to understand their sight loss as much as you can. Do they want music? Some students will want background music as it helps with the movement and flow,...
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Mental Health Awareness and Suicide

5 Suicide Warning Signs That Indicate It's Time to Get Help Although suicidal thoughts can happen to anyone at any time, they are more likely to occur in individuals who are struggling with depression or stressful lives. Are you worried someone close to you is considering suicide as an option? If they’re considering suicide, they’re probably displaying warning signs to look out for that indicate they may need professional help. Making preparations Someone who is considering suicide usually starts to make preparations for when they’re gone. They might begin to give away their belongings or visit friends and family members to say goodbye. They could also visit a solicitor to make a will to ensure their possessions go to people close to them when they’re gone. Cleaning up their room or house may also be a warning sign. One of the last things they may do while making preparations is writing a note to say goodbye. If someone close to you is showing signs...
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Why I slept under the stars to support CEO Sleepout Durham 2018

I was scrolling through Facebook one night in January when I came across CEO Sleepout UK. My team of amazing Tempest students and instructors had previously raised money for DASH who support those at risk of homelessness in Durham, so without thinking too much about what I had to do I signed up. Then came the fun part; I realised that I had two challenges ahead. To raise a whopping £1000 in donations and to actually sleep outside (I detest camping). However, as I contacted Bianca to confirm my place and to ask if some funds I raise may go to DASH alongside the other great charities in Durham, I realised there was no turning back. At Tempest we had raffles, secret auctions, a ghost hunt, a play day and other fund raising events. Team Tempest, along with family and friends, were so generous in their giving and as far as I can tell, with offline donations and gift aid included, we...
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Team Tempest were more generous than the ghosts!

Our first Charity Ghost Hunt took place last night, in aid of Durham homelessness charities and we were left high in spirits despite Vane Tempest Hall lacking in spirits! Armed with torches and a good sense of humour, twelve intrepid amateur ghost hunters gathered at 9pm in the sports hall to do a group call out. The spirits at first seemed to be very responsive to our questions, until we realised the taps we were hearing were actually drips of rain into a bucket!! A few of us witnessed a figure in white on the door to the kitchen area which we couldn’t explain, and it seemed to go in and out of focus.  We also had the distinct feeling of being watched; CCTV has been recently installed. In unit 6 we attempted to contact the spirits via a Ouija board and we appeared to contact someone called Ed. Could it have been someone called Edward?  The glass only seemed to move...
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Student Spotlight March – Andrea

Andrea was nominated for Student Spotlight by her best friend who said "Andrea is always enthusiastic and constantly helps me with any moves that I struggle with. Her journey in pole encouraged and inspired me then her sister and our other friend. It is because of Andrea that all four of us come week in week out." Why did you decide to start pole/aerial? I was in the navy and had to keep fit but hated the gym, so I googled fun fitness classes and pole fitness was at the top of the list. So I thought why the heck not, what have I got to lose, so I went and had an absolute blast. Then when I came back to Darlington I found Tempest Dance and Fitness and couldn't wait to go again. Did you do any other dancing/fitness before starting pole/aerial? Nope I have no dancing skills what so ever!!! How long have you been taking part in classes at Tempest? I’ve been at Tempest...
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STUDENT SPOTLIGHT DECEMBER – KES

Kes is one of our most regular members at Team Tempest, she joins in with everything. We have loved watching her grow in strength and confidence and she's a great asset to our team. Why did you decide to start pole/aerial? I only like exciting activities with an element of risk. I was playing the extreme sport of roller derby but having had several concussions and having broken my leg (twice) it was time to hang up my skates. I needed to find some form of exercise that did not involve too much impact on my leg but that wasn't boring. I used to dance and do a lot of gymnastics and I found this studio online that did pole dancing and aerial and I decided I needed to try it out. Did you do any other dancing/fitness before starting pole/aerial? Yes, I danced as a child and I did acrobatics and cheerleading in my teens and early twenties. I also trained as a...
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STUDENT SPOTLIGHT OCTOBER – KATY

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT OCTOBER – KATY

Katy has been attending lots of different classes at Tempest for over 7 months, she has a positive attitude and always helps out at the start and end of classes. Why did you decide to start pole/aerial? I wanted to do something that combined exercise with fun and that was a bit different. I saw a friend's pictures on Instagram and was desperate to give it a try. Did you do any other dancing/fitness before starting pole/aerial? I previously did ballroom, Latin and classical dancing. I also do Pilates and had done some TRX workshops. How long have you been taking part in classes at Tempest? I joined Tempest in March starting with Aerial Yoga and Strength and Conditioning classes. It’s been just over sixth months now and I have loved every minute. What has kept you interested in pole/aerial? I have tried lots of different courses to try and work out which style I prefer. I find though that I learn something new each week and love...
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What is Aerial Yoga?

What is Aerial Yoga? Aerial Yoga is a form of exercise using a fabric hammock or swing suspended from fixed points in the ceiling. Designed to give an holistic form of fitness, it increases flexibility, strength, endurance and motor skills. Aerial yoga combines benefits for the mind and body with muscular and cardio fitness alongside aerial acrobatics. Who can take part in an Aerial Yoga class? Anyone and everyone! From those who would like more support in their traditional yoga poses, those who would like to deepen their stretches and hold their poses longer to those who would like a more vigorous acrobatic type session. Also those who just like hanging upside down wherever and whenever they can. Do I need to be fit to start? No, you do not need to be fit to start. Aerial Yoga is excellent for those that have no previous exercise experience as your weight is supported in the hammock and we can lower the hammock so that you...
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Student Spotlight September – KEITH

Why did you decide to start pole/aerial? I started pole dancing because my ex used to do it and she'd always be doing urban pole at the park. I thought it was fun and looked awesome to be able to do things like that, along with it being good for fitness. Did you do any other dancing/fitness before starting pole/aerial? I'd never done any dancing at all before I started pole and the only other fitness that I used to do was the odd bit of running and a bit of cycling too. How long have you been taking part in classes at Tempest? One of the oldest photos that I have, that was taken at Tempest, was dated the 4th October 2014. I'm not too sure if that was my first class or second, but it was definitely the end of September/October in 2014 that I started to take classes. What has kept you interested in pole/aerial? For me, it was the fact that no matter...
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STUDENT SPOTLIGHT – JULIE

Julie has been at student at Tempest for 6 months and has fully immersed herself into #TeamTempest life. Why did you decide to start pole/aerial? I'd contemplated doing pole for ages before I took the plunge. I'd heard it was a great way of keeping fit and developing core strength. I did a google search and found Tempest and summoned up the courage to give it a try. I'll never forget how apprehensive I was before that first class; I didn't know anyone and I was worried that everyone would be better than me. I need never have worried - it might sound dramatic but was a life changing moment for me Did you do any other dancing/fitness before starting pole/aerial?  I do quite a few other fitness activities - weights, running, spinning, circuits etc. However I always thought I was far too clumsy to do anything dance related. I've surprised myself and found that when my feet are off the ground I'm more...
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