A second time around... or third or fourth or fifth...
There will come a time for every aerialist, whether it’s the first beginner session or an advanced class where you will need to start repeating sessions. Depending on your previous experience with dance/sports, and your fitness level, this time may come sooner or later than others. Learning a new apparatus can be really challenging, and it takes a lot of time for you body and brain to adapt to the new movements as well as your strength and flexibility.
If you are repeating a session, it can be tempting to just go through the motions of the movements you already know how to do waiting to work on the ones that you don’t. Here are a few tips to get the most out of a session that you’re repeating.
Bad Side - Ok, we hate to use the terminology of ‘bad side’. There are terms like less dominant, less great side, etc. But let’s be real, usually we have a side that is a little less than fantastic than the other. When you repeat a session, if you are feeling pretty confident with a move, practice that move once on the good side, and then spend the rest of the time in class working on your less than fantastic side. This is going to ensure class is still challenging, challenge your brain, and make your body more balanced, and make you a more well rounded aerialist. This includes working on grips you’re not as comfortable with (e.g. the Chopper - if you feel comfortable on both sides, make sure you work on all three grips - regular, baseball, and cup grip)
Conditioning - Use the class to get stronger! If you have movements you’re comfortable with, take the time to use more control going in and out of moves. This will increase your strength faster when you are focusing on using control. For example, always exiting your movements with slow control and straight lines coming out of the hoop or cube, or focusing in spinning longer to increase grip strength with pole.
Flexibility - Focus on that flexibility! If you feel comfortable in a move, sit in it longer or use active flexibility to stretch to that move’s full range of motion. Not only will this improve your flexibility, but will increase your stamina sitting in moves and will make your moves look so much better in the long run being able to sit in them for longer.
Clean Up Those Microbends - A microbend is when your limbs aren’t really bend and aren’t really straight. When the bend is in a limb and it’s not intentional. If you are comfortable with a move, think of perfect execution. Don’t allow microbends at any point in the move, and this is so much easier said than done. Not only will this increase your strength and flexibility, your moves will look substantially better.
In my opinion, repeating a session is more challenging than taking it the first time around. Since you understand the concept of the moves, it takes it to a whole different place of where the move can go. You learn how moves work for your body, how to properly get in and out of it, and requires a lot of discipline to stay focused when things aren’t sparkly and exciting like the first time.
I have repeated many sessions many times over my pole experience, and I always get something different out of it each time. Use it as an opportunity to mature as an aerialist and see your body to it’s full potential.
Sparkles & Stilettos,