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Aliona began her adventure in Dressel Divers only a year ago, but she had been immersed in the wonderful world of diving since 2014. She started her journey with us doing an internship, to quickly become one of our best and most professional Dive Instructors, with more than 500 dives in her logbook. Today, we went to Bayahibe, to chat with Aliona. She told us more about her beginnings in scuba diving, her best underwater experiences and she also gave us some very interesting tips.
At what age did you start diving?
My first dive was in 2014 but before that even the thought of being under water was something that made me feel scared. Growing up in Belarus, which is a landlocked country, I never had any interest for water related activities, it was during a holiday to Maldives that I decided to confront my fears and did my first dive.
What is the most incredible dive you ever did?
By now, I’ve done over 500 dives but the one that left the biggest impression on me, was in the Maldives, the thing that made it so incredible was big stingrays.
At what point did you realice you wanted to be a Dive Instructor?
There wasn’t really one particular moment that I knew that I wanted to become an instructor. I think it has been a series of events that eventually inspired me to turn my hobby and passion for diving, into my profession. I love to travel and being a dive instructor will hopefully allow me to continue to work and live in beautiful places around the world.
Where and with whom did you do your instructor course?
I applied for an internship at Dressel Divers and was one of the lucky ones to be selected. Cris was my course director to whom I very grateful for teaching me.
What qualities do you think a Dive Instructor needs to be successful?
Being PADI dive instructor, means that he or she is not only qualified to be an instructor, but also has a lot of experience. I believe that confidence comes with experience and is a very important quality an instructor should have. As with any other adventure sport, there is some risk involved in scuba diving, in such situations it is necessary to be able to remain calm and take quick decisions. Regarding the teaching aspect, it’s really helpful to have some affinity with psychology to deliver information. What I mean with that is not everyone learns new things in the same way, some people need more encouragement while others may thrive by watching and copying.
What is the best advice you ever gave to students?
You can do it, think positive!
What is your most memorable moment with students?
I know how negative thoughts about ourselves can be crippling and sabotaging our happiness. So the most memorable moment was with a student who shared some of her personal insecurities and doubts with me. She was very worried whether she would be able to pass the course and felt particularly stressed about performing a mask removing and clearing exercise. Anyway, before the open water dive we sat down on the beach and had a friendly chat, it happened so that our talk not only helped her to relax and pass her exam but the best part was that she started to believe in herself again!
Why would you recommend Dressel Divers to the new students?
I’m doing my internship at Dressel divers in Bayahíbe in Dominican Republic, which has many beautiful dive sites, amazing beaches with turquoise waters. Dressel gives great opportunity for those willing to work and learn.
How long have you been in Dressel Divers?
I can’t believe it’s already one year. Times really flies when you are having fun.
What features and opportunites made you chose to work with this company in particular?
What appealed to me a lot is the fact that Dressel has so many centers in different places, also the combination of working and learning is really motivating to grow as a professional.
Which Dressel Divers dive center would you like to go next if the opportunity arises?
Montego Bay, Jamaica is definitely on the top of my list
What is the best advice you would give for someone who want to take up scuba diving?
Start with a Discover Scuba Diving program! And don’t forget take a friend with you!
What are your other hobbies? What do you do on your days off, here in Bayahibe?
My other hobbies are CrossFit and yoga, and on my day off I like to paint, read books or play guitar.