Use the sign-up form to receive links to classes. Sliding scale. Can't spend money right now? I get it. Trade a testimonial for attendance.
Working toward your splits? Want to be as efficient as you can when you train? That's what this video is for. It belongs to a set of 5 aerial-specific videos in FIT4FLIGHT, but in response to demand, I am making it available for purchase on its own.
This video includes a thorough warmup, active flexibility techniques, and warm-down to make sure that you are safely approaching your splits. I also include instruction for training your square splits.
For many, the struggle for splits is not related to bendiness but rather nervous system blockages, technique, and strength. This routine will help you overcome those obstacles.
Here is the performance I did for Antisocial Cirque Social hosted by Fly Unfeathered. What a unique experience to perform for a an audience I could not see.
The song is "Seasons" by Azura. I had one day to come up with the choreography. I cut my tails of my silks one hour before the performance. My computer battery had 20 minutes of survival without being plugged in. It was drizzling while I performed. It wasn't perfect, but it was perfect.
The first few seconds are a bit choppy but it improves as the internet connection stabilizes. Enjoy.
I am pleased to be joining Fly Unfeathered in a virtual performance tonight. I will be performing aerial silks. The song I have chosen reflects this moment in time that is tenuous for all of us.
You can stream this donation-based show using this link: www.twitch.tv/flyunfeathered
With the world turned on its head and too many unknowns to take much action right now, it is time to draw inward. It is time to remember who you are outside of your finances, who you are outside of your job, who you are outside a seemingly logical world. It is time to reach inside your soul.
It is time to remember your dream. And if you believe that your dream is broken now, you need to look a little deeper. Perhaps your dream had problems, the way you conceived of it before. Perhaps it was incomplete. Perhaps it was not motivated by the right things. Maybe it required an interruption, a revision. You can't write it off, not entirely, not yet.
Things get to such a point of strain and struggle, that you begin to suspect that things must be preparing to renew, but we're struggling through the transition because we need to leave something behind, and embrace something new, and that's never smooth even if it's a good thing.
We need to know ourselves well enough to create freely--not with ulterior motives--and to express what's inside of us because it's worthy, and we're here together in a shattered world now. And the world is at an undefined moment, waiting to see, to find out what direction we are going to go next.
So as the structure of our world as we knew it reveals its shortcomings, its failings, its fundamental lack of wisdom, we enter a phase of deeper work. Of presence. Of not doing the things that are only the means to the economic end but engaging in whatever it is we believe is the end itself, whether love, or creativity, or divinity, or complete surrender. That, whatever it is that makes your soul wake up and stretch and leap with joy, is the point, and we must be inside of it for things to recover and for dreams to come to fruition.
And now is the time because we have a circumstance so serious that we are finally all paying attention.
I know it feels like the only problem in the world is the coronavirus. It's not. Every problem that was previously there is still there, only worse. Coronavirus is the backdrop of everything now, like war, like climate change, like mass extinction--except we weren't all paying attention to those latter ones, were we? And covid-19 forces a turn of the head, requires open eyes, and demands a long, uncomfortable contact that can't be broken quickly or easily.
We now know what it feels like to all be facing the same disaster. We need to transplant that feeling and realize that it has been like this for decades, perhaps centuries now, just subtler, less clearly urgent, less compelling. We have all been facing the same disaster all along, we just usually fail to sense it in daily life. A state of global emergency is not new--it is merely newly recognized, newly felt, newly disruptive to our daily lives.
This is the thaw, the undoing of something we falsely believed to be stable.
And now the whole human world is held together in attention. And in the meltwater of our failing ideals, it is time for us to strip off the industrial, capitalistic, conditioned layers of the manufactured self. It is time to plunge into icy water, into the dark night of the soul, and swim with the animals that have disappeared because of us, and find out who we are becoming, and who we want to become, lest we vanish too.
And now, we need to incorporate the advice Nikos Patedakis offered us, though most weren't listening: your dreams should be limited. Your dreams should not cause icebergs to break, should not trigger extinction, should not result in a mounting landfill, or a drought-induced fire, or breaches of justice and equality, or lead to contact between animals and people that should never ever be made, which is something we don't know much about, because we failed to listen more deeply to the earth. Because most of us don't even know how anymore, and we failed to ask those who do.
Coronavirus is here to say, this is not how things work. You need to learn to put a limit on yourself, because nature is responding faster now, and because of the selfish way you have built your world, she cannot rebalance the scales in a gentle way anymore.
Now, it is time to heal ourselves in the world in the ways that seem useless, the ways that seem ineffectual and trivial. Art, dance, sleep, remorse, forgiveness.
Now, it is time to ask the ones who know how to tend the earth. Learn, finally, how to make a sacred law.
Now, it is time to reach into the wellspring of artistic potential and make the world feel somehow like a gorgeous symphony, so that it is revealed that the tension and terror and grief of this particular moment belong to a beautiful whole. The only way for this moment to be redeemed is for it to wake us up. Who are you, underneath the fracturing identities? What is still whole? What is unbroken throughout crisis, illness, death?
The suffering of right now cannot and will not negate the boundless beauty that has been our lives, that has been this planet, whether we noticed or not. But our unwillingness to change will. We must trust that there is untold beauty yet to come, if we can learn to dream, with boundaries that support the conditions for not just ourselves, but for all of life, to flourish.
When we made this film, we didn't know what was coming. But we knew that trouble was already afoot. When we made this film, we didn't know we would eventually share it in hopes of lifting so many sunken spirits, of pointing to our human potential, and of gesturing toward the shared crisis that has been with us all along and asking what are we going to do about this?
We didn't know that we would ask you to dream a dream, a proper dream. A dream that belongs not only to us, but also to the birds and the whales and the insects and the water...a dream that belongs to the earth.
We end with a question: what are you going to do about this?
This is not strictly related to aerialists, but we're just people, and now we're all in the same boat. So I'm expanding the scope of my blog and delivering another part of myself that I think is more useful right now.
At this moment people are experiencing varying degrees of isolation, loneliness, fear, boredom, frustration.
And I'm sorry.
It certainly sucks.
It is time to consider the difference between isolation and solitude.
We can generally accept that isolation is not chosen, but solitude is.
Isolation leads to negative emotions, narrow thinking, self-pity.
Solitude leads to intimacy with a range of emotions, reflection, self-knowledge.
We didn't choose to be alone at this time because we wanted to. However, you can transform a period of isolation into a period of solitude.
By laying claim to it. By owning and shaping it. If you are SICK, you have a different task, and that is to rest and ride it out.
But if you have health and energy, you have an opportunity to transform your present experience.
We're not used to being alone, and we're liable to blow it by staying overly connected on our phones and computers. I strongly support online interaction right now, but space it out. Interrupt it periodically with time to go inward. It will do marvelous things for you.
In addition to damaging and ending lives, COVID-19 is shutting down cities and businesses. It will cause setbacks, crises, bankruptcies, and so on, and will hit small businesses and entrepreneurs especially hard.
It can also disrupt your aerial training. Your studio may temporarily close, and it may even permanently close. Or, you may opt to stay home from class to avoid spreading contagions.
So what do you do? First recognize that the above facts are interwoven.
I'm writing this article for two purposes:
1. To ask aerialists to continue to support their studios even if you do not attend class.
2. Help aerialists continue to learn (silks) and/or maintain strength and flexibility at home (all aerial apparatuses).
How to support your studio
1. If classes are still running at your studio but you have chosen not to attend, if you can afford to, continue to pay. If your income has not been affected by coronavirus, you can help keep your studio afloat while you wait things out. If your studio is temporarily closing, offer to continue to pay and urge your classmates to do so as well. You want there to be a studio ready for you when it's time to go back. Even a week of losses can be devastating for small businesses.
If the studio does close, reach out to your teachers to check in and let them know you are hoping things turn out okay. They will appreciate it and if they are anything like me they'll shed a tear, too.
How to support yourself
2. There are ways for you to continue to develop as an aerialist without leaving your home.
Thank you for reading. I hope your aerial studio bounces back as we get control of the virus.
What do you look like when you invert? Are you squeezed in tight or more L-shaped?
In the finished position of an inversion, the arms are straight. At some point along the process of a bent-arm inversion, they transition from bent to straight.
Most aerialists (based on my observations) transition about halfway through--the L-shape. The moment you straighten your arms dictates the shape of your inversion.
The pancake shape requires more strength, control, and flexibility. The L-shape uses more momentum (unless you are releasing with incredible awareness and control).
I am not prepared to suggest that the L-shape is *wrong* per-se, but I do think that the compressed inversion more consistently represents strength, flexibility, and attention to detail.
Both can be done with total control and intention, but most of the time the L-shape is a result of an underutilized core and not fully being aware of what you're doing.
As an aerialist, you want to train the compressed version on a regular basis to develop control, awareness, strength, and flexibility in your inversion. You do not always have to invert in this exact way, but it's good to be able to.
I posted a video on my Instagram account @wakefulascentaerial illustrating the difference between L and pancake. Soon I'll be posting some drills for developing your pancake inversion so be sure to follow if you want to catch those. I also have a workout dedicated to this type of inversion in Fit4Flight, a series of aerial-specific workouts you can do at home without equipment.
Be mindful of the way you move, and ask questions about everything! This is how we learn as aerialists.
AT LAST: a roadmap to guide you STEP BY STEP to the next level. Whether you've just started aerial or are going on year 5, this workbook will be a game-changer as far as clarity, strategy, and RESULTS.
The workbook explains physical and mental preparation for training, how to choose the right goals for you, and how to make it REALLY happen. Over the past year, I have used this method to dial in skills I used to find scary, intimidating, and simply HARD.
I'm at it again, and I don't want to keep it to myself anymore. After just two weeks following this workbook, this happened.
The workbook includes 10 assignments to complete over 90 days, with re-route options if you get ahead or fall behind.
And one more thing (this is important)...every single dollar this workbook earns is going straight to...
OUR NEW AERIAL SPACE IN BISHOP CA.
We have an exciting opportunity ahead but IT WILL NOT HAPPEN if we don't get the funding help we need. We need every little bit of help to put in the floors and rigging we need. We're a small town that didn't even have a DANCE studio until a few months ago.
You can help our journey by supporting your own. Purchase your workbook today. Your support means the world to us, seriously.