They Did It Again

The end of session recital struck again this weekend, and the 30+ students I teach descended at once.  I spent the first 3 hours of my day coordinating last minute rehearsals, trying to stretch and warm up a few dozen excited and nervous girls, and answering a million mundane questions.  And then the room filled with parents, grandparents and friends, and the girls lined up eagerly to perform and cheer on their friends, suddenly quiet as the magnitude of the day struck them.

I tried to upload a video yesterday from my phone, but technology did not cooperate with me – so this is what you get today.

The girls I teach are so much fun.  They are committed to learning, interested in every aspect of aerial arts, and constantly surprise me.  I love watching them figure it out, watch them finally nail that trick they’ve been working on for weeks and see their faces light up when they realize they did it.  I’ve been telling them over and over again that the knowledge is in them, the execution will be perfected, it takes time and most importantly, the ability to relax.  When we get to the recital, they don’t think they’ve got any of it, and then they surprise themselves.

I’ve been bragging about them quite a bit since yesterday, playing the videos every chance I get and telling the story of each of these girls.  This one couldn’t do this trick and it made her cry, but look – she did it perfectly!  And this one – it took a long time to build up that strength, but she got there.  Or this one hated the fabrics, but rocks the trapeze!  I love them all and they all stand out for me – their strengths and weaknesses, their favorite moves, their attitude and endurance.  It’s taken some skill getting to know who I can be stern with, who needs a bit more encouragement, and when to crack down and when to give up on the cracking down and throw in a silly exercise to loosen the sour faces.

This video clip is Ellette and another student (They are inseparable for the most part).  They picked the apparatus, and we experimented with height.  And then they choreographed a good deal of it on their own.  When they got stuck, I jumped in with tips, exercises, new tricks, endurance training, and the one day we were all stumped, I sat down with them and watched videos and looked at pictures and brainstormed as a trio.  Seeing them perform it in the end was a huge sigh of relief.  It turned out beautifully.  I can’t wait to see how they continue to develop as artists!

Clear for Take-Off

After two months of being grounded due to a strained shoulder, and 6 weeks of physical therapy, my PT gave me the all-clear to resume my normal aerial activities.  She even urged me to start doing what I would normally, and try hanging from just the injured shoulder and pushing myself back to my normal range of flexibility – which I had been avoiding out of fear of further injury.

Two months on the ground has been the worst feeling for me.  I started doing aerial arts four years ago as a way to work out, gain strength and flexibility, and meet people in this crazy circus world.  It quickly turned into a passion that kept me fit and flexible, but also introduced me to so many more people than I was anticipating, and people that have become dear friends, and opportunities to perform and teach and grow.  The creativity and inspiration I feel when I am hanging twenty feet in the air is intoxicating, and being able to share my passion with others, and nurture it in them, help them, and watch them fly on their own, is one of the happiest experiences I’ve ever had.

Last night, I was at the gym and I was flying.


It was wonderful to know that I was strong enough for it again, although my level of endurance has been reduced from the two months of inactivity.  By the end of class I was splayed out on the floor, exhilarated and exhausted by the workout.


I was born to fly.


And now I’m doing it again.  There was no pain last night, and none this morning, and I’ve been drinking herbal tea to ease my joints instead of popping pain killers as I had been doing previously.


I still don’t have my full range of motion, and supporting my body weight feels a bit uneasy, but I’m healing, and that’s what matters.

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