Pole dancing instructor Gillian Hutton achieves 4 star approval.
Gillian Hutton is the principal instructor at Tempest Dance Studio in Durham, UK and she has worked hard towards her 4 star achievement. Gillian received her 2 references from fellow PDC Approved Instructors Aimee Lawson from Northern Pole Dance and Jane Cowell from Tempest Dance Studio.
Aimee Lawson's reference: "I am pleased to be able to support Gillian’s application for 4-star instructor status; she has taught for me at my school Northern Pole Dance in the past and was greatly missed by students and instructors alike when she left us to open her own studio.
Gillian is a fantastic teacher and has a quiet manner that swiftly gets the job done with the minimum amount of fuss. She is highly qualified and highly skilled and I have watched with pride as she has build her business up to such a level of high success. I am proud to be able to say she is a trusted Pole Friend and works very hard in her local area to build a reputable pole school."
Jane Cowell's reference: "I met Gillian Hutton in 2008 at my first ever pole dance lesson. Gillian, being such a kind and supportive teacher quickly put me at ease and my confidence rose with every new move she taught me. Gillian has the unique ability to remove ones insecurities so students never need to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable in her classes, no matter their ability- a trait which is amazing and highly desirable in a teacher. Before Gillian started teaching in early 2008, there was no pole scene in County Durham. Now there are pole classes in Durham several nights a week.
The majority of Durham’s pole dancers have a link to Gillian, having been taught by her at some point. She has also encouraged a few of her advanced students, including myself to become PDC approved instructors. Durham now has its own PDC approved studio opened by Gillian in 2011. The highest levels of professionalism, support and enjoyment are experienced in every single one of Gillian’s classes. Her excellent teaching ability is highlighted by the large number of her students who have acquired level 5 in their PDC grading. I highly recommend Gillian; she is a true asset to the Pole Community."
Take a look at Gillian's fabulous pole dancing CV, student testimonials and plans for the future.
Active IQ Level 2 Certificate in Instructing Fitness
Active IQ Level 2 Certificate in Exercise to Music
Active IQ Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training
The Training Room Certificate in Studio Cycling (Spinning)
The Training Room Certificate in Circuit Training
The Training Room Certificate in Sports Nutrition
The Training Room Certificate in Gym Based Boxing
JLN Pole Fitness Certification Beginners levels 1 & 2
Further Qualifications, Courses and Membership:
Pole Dance Community Approved Instructor (currently level 3*).
Pole Dance Community Approved Dance School.
Josephine Wise Academy of Arabic Dance (JWAAD) dance teacher foundation course.
First Aid at Work.
Member of the Register of Exercise Professionals - R0078178
Membership of Professional Bodies:
Pole Dance Community,
Register of Exercise Professionals,
Affiliate member of the JWAAD Teachers Association,
Register of Independent Professional Fitness Instructors,
Member of the British Wheel of Yoga.
Workshops, Courses & Masterclasses Attended:
Aerial Yoga at Purple Lotus, Carlisle,
Barre Work at The Barre, Newcastle,
Street dance with Dare 2 Dance, Durham ,
Poi with Sally Anderson at Tempest Dance Studio,
Belly Dance with Kay Taylor, Newcastle,
Burlesque at Dance City, Newcastle.
Aerial: corde lisse, silks, trapeze and hoop with Phoenix Aerial, Newcastle.
Regular 1-2-1 yoga tuition with Noel Sharpe.
Additional Training with PDC Pole Schools & Instructors:
Flexibility course with Aimee Lawson at Northern Pole Dance
Tri-Fly/Aerial Yoga workshop with Aimee Lawson at Northern Pole Dance.
"I had been teaching dance classes since 2005 at Studio12 Dance Studio when I began teaching pole fitness in 2008 at that studio. I was the first Pole dance teacher in County Durham and classes have been popular ever since!
I taught at various pole fitness studios in the region whilst completing a PhD at Durham University, including Studio12, City West Dance Studio and in 2010 I worked with Northern Pole Dance. In 2010 also began teaching my own independent classes at Deerness Leisure, Durham.
After graduating in 2011 I wanted to expand my pole and dance teaching. I opened my own studio - Tempest Dance Studio, in Durham City centre and classes have grown strongly.
I started a pole society at Durham University in 2011. The society now has 75 members, all of whom attend pole fitness classes at Tempest Dance Studio. The Durham University Pole Dance Society (DUPDS) promotes pole dance as a form of exercise and expressive performance art giving members to opportunity to take part in performances, community shows and competitions.
I regularly teach men who all enjoy and are challenged by the classes.
Most recently at Tempest I have began to host master classes with guest teachers, which have proven to very popular.
Coming up we have Master classes with Pippa Caesar (4*PDC instructor), flexibility master class with Aimee (4*PDC instructor), Anatomy for Dancers course and more!
I introduced photo shoots for my students with a professional portrait photographer. The photo shoots allow my students at any level to showcase their progress to friends and family and have proven to be massively inspirational to students that have low confidence.
Due to demand in the last 3 months I have begun a teacher training and development course at Tempest Dance Studio which will allow new teachers with different skills to operate here at my studio and give my students a more rounded experience. Having gained their level 5 AAP gradings and completed a first aid course run by the studio Jane is now a level 3* PDC instructor and Bekki and Elinor are undergoing the PDC application process.
Tempest Dance Studio also holds popular, weekly classes of belly dance and burlesque."
Student's pole dancing success:
Tempest Dance students have competed at competitions including:
Elizabeth Jade Competition,
Northern Pole Princess 2010 and 2011
"Many of them enter for person goals and achievement and it is always a proud moment when any of my students has the courage to take to the stage."
Recent placings include:
Pole Princess 2011 Advanced 2nd place
Pole Princess 2011 Advanced 3rd place
Pole Showcase 2012 - "The Pole Gems team trained at Tempest Dance studio and took to the stage with an amazing spy themed routine. Tricks included doubles such as see-saw, circle, scissor hang and trapeze, triples including layered ‘V’s and a triples move created for the showcase that we called “firework”. The team also had the widest range of ages in the showcase - from 27 to 64 years old."
Continuing Professional Development:
"So far this year (2012) I have successfully obtained my JLN Pole Fitness Certification Beginners levels 1 & 2, I have also completed REPS CPD assessments in the following areas":
Body Image: instrument or ornament
Menopause and physical activity
Low Back Pain
Healthy Eating guidelines
"I have also attended a training day for dance teachers which covered dance and disability, health and safety and marketing, run by the JWAAD Teachers Association. This course in particular was very educational with regard to inclusion - I work hard to make sure there is no discrimination with regard to gender, religion and disability in my studio.
I am currently studying with KT Coates for my Tri-Fly Fitness certification.
I am also studying for several Holistic Therapy qualifications including: Holistic Pain Management, Stress Management, Meditation and Holistic Skin Care."
Professional Pole Appearances:
"I perform regularly and have danced at clubs and events across the North East such as The House of the Golden Lotus, Durham Live Lounge and Loveshack.
I have performed at many charity shows raising money for a variety of causes including “Just Because” “Dorothy's Well” and “Maggies Trust”.
These performances are often themed which makes them great fun!
I have also appeared in the music video for rock band Falling Red and their single ‘Come on Down’ which shows the sexier side of pole."
Sponsorship (gained or provided):
Tempest Dance Studio sponsors the Durham University Pole Dance Society.
Tempest Dance Studio is the regional sponsor for the International Club Bellydance Tour featuring the Bellydance Superstars.
Pole Dancing Promotions Involvement:
"I am actively involved in promoting pole dance though social networking - I ‘tweet’ regularly, often re-tweeting for pole schools and the PDC. I positively promote pole through Facebook and I also Blog on dance and pole issues - for example the AAP scheme.
I encourage all my students to take part in the wider pole community and as such we support events run by other fabulous pole schools such as JLN and Northern Pole Dance - taking part in master classes, competitions and workshops.
I have worked hard to bring pole into the mainstream dance world to to change the perceptions of other dancers by organising shows where pole appears alongside other dance genres. This has seen pole feature alongside styles such as street dance, belly dance, clog dancing, Irish dancing and burlesque - showcasing it as a performance style that is elegant, strong and beautiful and not something that has to be segregated."
In 2011-2012 Tempest Dance Studio supported the Newcastle Soroptomists as they raised money for Maggie's Centre to bring a Maggie's Cancer Caring Centre to the North East. Events have included:
A Night of Absolute Dance Show
Charity Event at Namaste and City West Business Park.
Raffles and dance performances.
The President of the Newcastle Soroptomists recently wrote with the great news; “thank you all for your support in reaching the £3,000 target for the Maggie's Centre at the Freeman Hospital which we have now managed to exceed” M. Stewart
The cheque was presented to the Maggie’s Centre on the 22nd March 2012.
On Bank Holiday Monday (9th April 2012) dancers form the studio took part in a charity fashion show raising money for St Cuthbert’ Hospice.
We also support students who are doing sponsored events - the most recent is Sarah Jane who is about to do a Tyne Bridge Zip Wire!
“Big thank you to Gillian and the Tempest girls for all my donations this week :-) only £22 short of my target” SJ
Publicity and Media attention gained:
Gillian Hutton has been the subject of regular editorial features in her local press where she avidly promotes fitness pole dancing and its benefits. On application Gillian submitted a number of newspaper articles to the PDC (Pole Dance Community).
AAP Membership involvement:
"I have actively supported the AAP scheme which has been received in a really positive way by the students at the studio. So far I have had 24 successful gradings - ranging from dancers such as Mary (age 61) achieving her level 1 in 2011 and her level 2 in 2012. Other dancers such as Bekki gained their level 5 grading and eagerly await the new 8 level scheme!
Everyone who applies for their passport is so excited when it arrives - they love the red passport and they find the CD-ROM very motivational.
I have graded at level 5 and have a current AAP.
Pole Dancing Goals & Aspirations:
"I love teaching and performing and I intend to do more, Tempest Dance Studio has already become bigger and better I will be continuing this magical journey with the help and support of the Tempest Dancers!
There is a Hopi Indian saying - "To watch us dance is to hear our hearts speak."
I hope that through my dance work that everyone can share what their hearts want to say."
Tempest Dance Student Testimonials:
“Gillian, I just wanted to say thanks for the dance lesson. You are an incredibly skilled teacher. I'd like to send many of the educational, music, driving, and dance teachers in the states to you, so you could educate them in how to properly teach. You explain every process so clearly, and recognize when someone is struggling. My hats off to you!
Thank you again.”
“I feel that not only am I stronger and fitter but have gained so much confidence that whatever Gillian teaches, I am ready and willing to have a go at. Gillian teaches in such an enthusiastic and fun way that you cant help but be addicted.....and Sunday mornings will never ....ever...be the same!!!!”
“I began taking pole dancing classes with Gillian about a year ago. I decided to take it up, because it was a challenge and because someone told me that it was good exercise. I am an unlikely pole dancer, I am in my sixties, and although I am reasonably fit, I was quite overweight. I was useless at first, I couldn’t even get my feet off the ground, I had no upper body strength, and the moves completely defeated me. I admit that I was ready to give up, but I do hate anything beating me.
Gillian has been a tower of strength, and an inspiration. She has been extremely patient, and never pushed me beyond my limits. I have now passed my level 2 PDC AAP grading, and am working towards my level 3. Although it is never going to be a career choice, I have mastered many moves, and surprised myself many times over. I have lost weight and my shape has completely changed, I have a waist for the first time in years! I owe my whole journey to Gillian, and I absolutely love my lessons. She has also given me advice about exercising, and things I can work at at home. Thanks Gillian.”
“Tempest dance studio is a hidden gem in Durham, and Gillian is a brilliant instructor. If it wasn't for her encouragement and instruction I doubt I would have managed to achieve my PDC Grading or come as far as I have.
The studio is a brilliant space and everyone who goes to the classes is supportive and encouraging, even if you don't know anybody, within an hours session you'll feel like a part of a somewhat crazy family.
I started pole because I wanted to try something different - and of all the random activities I've tried this is one I stick with. Every week is a new challenge and that's what stops it becoming just another boring fitness class. I'd recommend Gillian and Tempest dance studio for anybody who wants to "give it a try" I'll guarantee after session 1 you'll be hooked and looking for ceiling space to fit a pole at home!”
The PDC (Pole Dance Community) would like to congratulate Gillian Hutton on her 4 star pole dancing instructor achievement and her continuing positive contribution to the industry.
Thanks to Graeme Watson Photography for the images used in this article.