Friends Who Fly Together, Stay Together: Introducing a Friend to Aerial

Seeing is Believing

In early March I took two friends to see an enchanting fringe theatre show in London that billed itself as being an “immersive dark circus”. One of the friend’s is an aerialist herself (you can read about her here), but the second is not. My non-aerialist friend has experienced mass-market circus through the likes of Cirque du Soliel; but it is one thing to watch politely from the stalls and another thing entirely to sit almost beneath a woman as she tumbles with death-defying speed towards you, yards of silk twisting and untwisting around her body.

 Myself and my aerialist friend watched from the other side of the room as our friend gasped and gawked at the feats of strength, flexibility and artistry. It is fair to say this experience touched her, it is fair to say that this show touched all of us.

Finding a Class

The performances I saw in that show stayed with me for days afterwards. I thought about the lyra I own; unused in the shed. I thought about the costumes in which I need to squeeze ready for a summer spent performing at festivals. I thought about all the ways I was going to kickstart my exercise routine ready for Spring. And that’s when it happened, I jumped on Google and started searching for aerial hoop classes near me.

This was not an easy task. When I took up aerial hoop as a hobby last time, I was living in London. These days you can’t throw a stick without hitting an aerial circus teacher in the head in London, but now I live in a small market town in Buckinghamshire. Finding a class nearby took a lot of digging, but I found one. I invited my non-aerialist friend to come along with me and I am delighted to announce that she agreed!

Positives to Training as a Pair

I am utterly stoked to be training alongside my friend, and here are a few of the reasons why;
  • Motivation! There will be days when we have zero motivation to pull ourselves up on that hoop; whether that be because we’re tired, or sore, or both. Or maybe it’s raining, it is April in the UK after all.  But no worries; because that is what training with a friend is for; we can encourage each other to keep going!
  • We’ll both show up! Skipping a workout is a lot harder when you know you’ve got a pal waiting at the studio for you. When training with a friend your motivation extends beyond yourself. Therefore you are now obligated to maintain your exercise schedule for them too!
  • Encouragement! Training partners or training groups can play cheerleaders, boosting you along with words of encouragement which makes you exercise more than if you were on your own.
  • More fun, less work! Aerial class can be tough, especially if you are over tired or haven’t been super consistent with your conditioning. Going for that third attempt at a straddle or pike hold can seem daunting, or even impossible. Having a friend with which to empathise and encourage you between attempts can make a big difference to your motivation and ability to succeed. There’s also the jokes, witty quips, and banter which will prevent you from taking yourself too seriously.

 

The treasures and hazards of social media

We live in a world of Instagram, YouTube and facebook and you know what they say, “if it’s not on the gram, it didn’t happen”. Social media dominate our lives and outlets like Instagram are on the forefront of the circus community. Social media networking has so many great advantages. It is amazing to be able to connect with circus folks from all around the world, share knowledge and stay motivated, especially if you training by yourself in your little corner of the world. I have found the community to be amazing and supportive and there is a wealth of knowledge in regards to injury prevention and safety in aerial arts. However, it doesn’t come without problems – in particular plagiarism and safety.

But let’s start by discussing safety. Let me put it plain and simple: it is NOT safe to copy a move you saw on a social media platform. And most of you are probably thinking that you have done it before and you were fine. That might be true but that doesn’t mean that it will be fine next time. If you copy a move of Instagram or Youtube, there is no description of the things you don’t know that you should know. Sounds confusing but consider the last time you have learned a new drop in class. Many drops are taught as a progression, you might start by doing a half drop or getting the position right before you the whole thing so you know what to expect and what muscles to engage. You also have someone there checking your wraps or positions and tell you what to do (or not to do). Those things are important. For some tricks it might be okay, but others might not. You never know how difficult a trick really is, what you need to look out for, or how long someone has worked to perfect a move before posting it on social media.

Now to the issue of plagiarism. As circus artists, our body is our canvas and copying someone else’s moves is plagiarism and not okay. We all get inspired by other artists and that is fine (but if you do, make sure you give them credit and engage with the artist before posting your moves). Copying, however, is an entirely different story. In short: don’t do it. New transition, new tricks, or new shapes are very hard to create. It can take weeks or months to work these out and it’s frustrating of you see someone just ‘steal’ your work. And imagine what you can add to the community by creating your own work. Yes it is hard, yes it takes time and effort but it is also incredibly rewarding. I believe that everyone is capable of creating something new and interesting. Work to your strength, take your 3 favourite tricks and find a different entrances/exits and a new way to link them. It will be fun and rewarding once you get there and might give you a new appreciation for the creative process along the way.

So, stay safe and have fun creating.

Baby, it’s Cold Outside! – Aerial Training in Winter

 

The Beast from the East has hit the UK hard; bring subzero temperatures, foot upon foot of snow, and perilous journeys to the drafty warehouses and high ceilinged halls in which most of our aerial training takes place. Consequently, make sure you treat your body right during Winter training by considering the following…

The Warm Up Should be Exactly That

A good warm up increases your core body temperature and thus prepares your body for the Circus Joy you’re about to encounter. Are you sweating slightly? No? That means you are not warm enough. Drop and give me twenty!

Remember; it is not only your instructor or teacher’s job to get you warmed up and ready for training. Everyone’s body is different, and as a result what your teacher does in a warm up might not be completely what you need. This is especially true if it’s low temperatures.

Layers, Layers and More Layers

The trick to training in the cold is to make sure you layer up. Your clothes should be form fitting, and easy to take on and off as needed. Beware of loose fitting clothing that may hang over your head when you hang upside down, and poorly positioned zips that will potentially snag and ruin your equipment.

Clothes that are good for laying may include:

  • Tight/well fitting hats such a snug beanie,
  • Wide head bands that fit around the ears,
  • Tube scarf (sometimes called a neck gaiter),
  • Cotton leggings,
  • Back warmers (the fabric ones as worn by dancers, not electrically heated ones!),
  • Leg warms,
  • Arm warmers,
  • A pair of Aerial Boots,
  • Several pairs of socks/”grippy socks”,
  • Jogging bottoms,
  • Long sleeved t-shirts
  • Hoodless hoodies or other jumpers.

Chit-Chat? None of That!

Training in cold weather should be as efficient as you can make it; this is not like that beautiful day in August when you sat on your lyra, gossiping with your friends and sipping Lipton. You need to get in to class, get warmed up and getting moving. If you let yourself get cold, you’ll risk injuring yourself so save the chit-chat for after class.

Uhhh, Push It!

After paragraphs of me telling you to get on with it and get moving, you’re most likely ready to make like Salt ‘N’ Pepper and “push it real good”, but this is not that best approach… Yes; you want your muscle to be warm, but if today is the day you start learning the splits; you’re in for a nasty time. The cold weather, even after warming up and cooling down will only cause you to cease up. On those cold trainings days make sure you do your conditioning and then focus on nailing those moves you are already practicing, and save the new ones for a days you are uninhibited.

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Aerial Trapeze Boots in Hollywood : See Zendaya Our Aerial Boots in “The Greatest Showman” Trailer!

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The Greatest Showman Trailer is Finally out!!

Zendaya is looking awesome in our aerial trapeze boots!  Very excited to see the film.

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Interview with an Aerialist: Katheryn Brown

Katheryn “Kaz” Brown is a performer hailing from the UK’s good-old West Country. She has a background in Performance and in Education, but her real passion lies in the Circus Arts. Kaz has been lucky enough to have trained with and bonded with some of the top aerialists in Europe through her many visits to Circus Conventions. She attends Spinning@ (London’s largest social juggling meet up group) where she enjoys socialising and honing her craft. She has been the Assistant Director for Dread Falls Theatre for 3 years and recently performed an aerial hoop routine as part of Dread Falls’ historical promenade show; Until Death Do Us Part. She is a multiskilled performer, using aerial, fire and dance to amaze and captivate her audience.

How long have you been training/ studying aerial?
I have been training for around five years at what I would call a slow but steady pace.

You never went to “circus school”, is that correct? Where did you learn your aerial skills?
I have been a fan of aerial arts ever since I found the circus community in 2011, but it wasn’t until I moved into a house share with an enormous weeping willow in the garden that I decided to give it a try. I jumped right in and bought myself a hoop which I rigged up myself with the help of my muggle housemates and several metres of chain! Everything I’ve learned has been through skillshare sessions with friends, and of course Youtube! I have also spent time refining technique at The British Juggling Convention, they always have great aerial workshops (if you get up early enough to sign up)!

What other types of circus do you study? 
I started out with some poi when I was sixteen. I saw some at tiny field party and immediately thought, I have to try that. At that stage I really had no idea what I was doing, and YouTube was a mere pup of a thing which hardly anyone used for reference the way it’s used now.  When I finally moved to London and found Spinning@, my mind was blown by the number of props there are available to spin. Over the years I’ve toyed with poi, staff, contact ball, s-staff, and juggling, but the hoop is the one I feel the most affinity with, whether that’s an aerial or hula hoop.

You have a full-time job in a school, how do you balance your work life with your hobby? 
Errrrr…. I don’t?! It’s a continual struggle to remain motivated about your hobbies during term time, ask any teacher. In fact don’t. The average 4 year old asks 4000 questions a day, you do the maths, I’m too tired. I’m a teacher. Fortunately spinning a hoop or dangling from one takes a different part of my brain, and I see it as fun.  I find excuses to hoop in school. I have about eight of my own hoops at school, kept with the kids ones, and they are easily accessible at all times. If I’m outside with the kids, I’m hooping. And so are they! It’s great and really motivates me to keep going. I also run a circus club after school on Fridays. I’m usually pretty knackered by then but the kids are great and so enthusiastic that the hour disappears in no time. The rest of the teaching staff think I’m totally mental of course, but I just need to keep moving or I’ll grow roots.

In the holidays I can really focus and have the energy to try new stuff. I have done short courses in Contemporary Dance, trapeze and trampolining amongst other things.

How much time do you spend training?
It really depends on my energy levels. I no longer have a tree to hang my hoop, so mostly I use the hoops available at Spinning@, which is driving me crazy with a gigs to prepare for.

I am having a custom rig built to fit my tiny garden, so things are looking up. Having your own rig permanently installed makes it so much easier to train!

To be good at your chosen field, have you had to make any sacrifices? If so, what are/were those?
Obviously aerial isn’t the cheapest hobby, and if you’re committed it’s going to take a fair chunk from your salary. Unfortunately a really high level of skill is a full time job in itself. I would need to train religiously five times a week, which currently isn’t something I can afford or timetable!

What is your diet like? You must have eat healthily to keep strong and energised when you train in such a difficult field?
A good breakfast is where it all starts. Eating a healthy protein rich breakfast keeps you strong and focused. Recently I’ve been learning about the endocrine system, which is the underlying system which regulates all your other organs through the release of hormones. Sugar is the number one thing which messes with your endocrine system, so I’m trying to be aware of my sugar intake. I have to make sure I eat a good amount at lunch. Particularly at school I am too busy to focus on what I’m eating, and the staff room is stuffed with cake at time. So long as I’m full I can resist temptation of the sweet treats.

I am a firm believer in regular healthy snacks. I get hungry really quickly so I always try to have something  healthy on hand. The children at school have a snack break twice a day, and we are encouraged to eat a fruit or veg snack in the classroom with them.

What has been your proudest moment so far, in regards to ground based work, and aerial work?
Ever since I got involved with Dread Falls Theatre in 2012, I have been doing some really interesting ground breaking ground based stuff. There are many highlights in my time working with Victoria Snaith. Father Dagon the play was so great because it was a concept which I had helped to create.  Seeing it come to life and being able to perform in an immersive production was such a joy, being able to breathe life into new characters and really get to know what they are about.

In terms of aerial I have done several medium size gigs and performed in some wonderful places, but my personal highlight was flying 70 metres above a crowd suspended from a crane as part of the Wilderness Festival Spectacle in 2014. I really enjoyed being up there and would love to be that high in the air again. Maybe with my hoop?

Do you ever feel at risk when performing aerial?
I suppose from an outsiders point of view, aerial look incredibly dangerous and unstable, and it is. However, I would never get up on something that I wasn’t 100% comfortable with, and I think all aerialists would agree. Aerial is one of the most safety conscious disciplines. In fact fire tends to be the one that people get complacent with, I’ve seen some pretty dangerous fire breathers who have scared me more than any aerial performance, and several acquaintances have sustained nasty burns through poor practice.

If you had to provide a training tip, or words of wisdom to our readers, what would it be?
Don’t practice alone.

This one has two sides.

Literal. Don’t practice alone. Don’t take yourself off into the middle of nowhere and train alone. That’s plain dumb. Have you ever seen a thirty year old woman dangling from a web of failed rigging from a tree on the outskirts of Wincanton? No, well count yourself lucky. Those dog walkers got a real show. Accidents do happen and you need a spotter, for physical and emotional support!

Metaphorical. Having a friendship network of like minded people is the most valuable teaching tool available. Circus arts are so on trend right now that more and more access to classes and groups is available.

Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
I’m at a bit of a crossroads in my life, within the next two years I will have my fall back career of teacher securely under my belt. I am hoping to spend more and more time in the arts world. My aim is to give back to community and humanity by promoting circus arts through teaching and performing.

gaiter guide aerial boots

It’s hip to be square: keeping your hips square, legs straight and toes pointed

Bad habits are easier to prevent than to break. “ – Benjamin Franklin

When doing aerial classes, chances are you will hear a nagging voice from somewhere in the room reminding you to straighten your legs, point your toes or to keep your hips square. It might seem like an annoying little detail that you want to ignore while you concentrate on what movement comes next because who cares how you look in training, right?

Well, yes and no. Sure, during training, aesthetics are less of an issue and you might want to concentrate on not falling off your apparatus first, but unfortunately bad habits are hard to break. Pointing your feet is just as much part of the trick as every other movement. Have you ever watched an act where someone didn’t keep their toes pointes? It breaks the line and all of the sudden you can see is feet despite the performer doing fabulous tricks. Most people find it hard to point their feet when they first start doing aerial acrobatics but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. And do it, right from the start. Get someone to remind you whenever you forget and try to think about your feet whatever you do. Eventually it will become second nature to you and you will start to point your toes automatically.  But it’s more than just a habit. Few people are born with ‘ballet feet’ and you need to make time to stretch them just as any other part of your body.

Same goes for straightening your legs. Most people are able to passively move their legs in the right position but struggle to hold them there. To stop your knees from sticking out, you need to routinely do leg straightening exercise to strengthen the muscles responsible for the movement. If you don’t have full range, talk to someone who is experienced with that kind of thing to assess the problem and  help you improve your lines without damaging your knees.

Keeping your hips square can be tough. When you are upside down you suddenly no longer know what’s left and right and how to move your leg into the right position. I can be really helpful to get someone to adjust your position so you know where to move your leg. If you don’t have anyone who can help you with that, you can video yourself but it might take a few tries to get the right spot.  Once you found it, repeat it at least three times so your body remembers the position.

Moral of the story is, most of the movements required in aerial arts are not natural and thus take a lot of work to achieve. The good news is though that hard work pays off and you will see improvement if you strengthen, stretch and practise regularly. Just make sure you ask for advise from experts so you do it safely.

Interview with an Aerialist: Phoebe Knight

Phoebe Knight talks to us about her transition from dancer to aerialist, her favorite circus skills, and her coffee addiction. 

You go to “circus school”, is that correct?
I started circus classes during my dance training, to learn something physically exciting and fun, without having to think about meaning. After a couple of years of taking evening classes every so often in flying trapeze, and then Chinese Pole, I decided to apply for the 16 week foundation course at The Hangar, Woolwich. Here we studied full time many different disciplines; trapeze, silks, hoop, rope, pole, flying, acro, acrobalance, performance and yoga. The course builds to a performance, where each student showcases an act. I specialised in Chinese Pole.

Is there a particular area of circus skills about which you are passionate?
Chinese Pole is definitely my main passion, but I am also very passionate about circus that is fun and accessible, yet is also trying to break performance boundaries. I think that’s where my dance training and critical eye comes in.

Did you find in your studies that you excelled in a certain area?
Due to my build, I definitely took more to basing than being thrown around. I also think that my background helps me with my body awareness, so improvising on equipment (once I had a good foundation of knowledge) came more naturally.

Previous to circus school you were a dancer, how did the transition from dancer to circus artist come about? Do you still dance?
I half mentioned this previously, but I was fed up of contemporary dance being so inaccessible and trying to mean something; I just wanted to have fun and something to take my mind off my studies. This is where flying trapeze came in. And during these classes I would watch the people on the Chinese Pole with such awe that I just had to give it a go. I sometimes dance, and it is something I would like to do more in the future. One day I wish for all my experiences to be able to gel alongside each other and enhance one another, so I will continue to dance when the time is right.

How much time do you spend training? Do you train outside of the school time?
Unfortunately I do not train as much as I wish; paying my rent gets in the way. But I am working to change this. Over the summer I am taking part in an internship with Chaplins Circus, where I shall be training, performing and learning all the technical aspects, all summer long.

To be good at your chosen field, have you had to make any sacrifices? If so, what are/were those?
I don’t believe so. But then again this is something I’m taking time to build up. Over the years the sacrifices will grow, but I don’t believe them to be sudden. Just gradual growing away from things and focusing more on where I want to be and what steps need to happen to get there. Starting circus has definitely had it’s challenges, but it has also challenged me to be kinder to myself and others, physically and mentally.

What is your diet like? You must have eat healthily to keep strong and energized when you train in such a difficult field.
I’m a vegan, and I definitely find that when I’m training a lot, I have to be conscious of how I’m fueling my body, be that with iron and protein supplements and making sure to eat enough and drink plenty of water. One thing I really enjoy about training is that you can feel that the fuel you have fed yourself is being turned in to energy. But of course it’s important to treat yourself too. And my coffee addiction probably isn’t that helpful…

What has been your proudest moment so far, in regards to ground based work, and aerial work?
Definitely the showcase at the end of the foundation course. The course was so intense and the performance was a culmination of years of hard work and personal challenges. Having never performed solo in front of an audience before made the performance even that much more daunting, but hearing the audience react during the act, and the cheer at the end, was such an overwhelmingly emotional and happy moment. That’s another thing I love about circus. The audience are involved; you receive instant feedback through their reaction, and you are with them, rather than just being watched by them.

Do you ever feel at risk during a performance?
I haven’t yet, but that’s because I have always been cautious with safety; double checking and always keeping an eye out for any risks. And Its good to listen to your body. If you know you are really tired when training (like, your body is telling you ‘no’ tired) then you need to listen to it. Same goes for the monthly cycle; it all affects your awareness and to stay safe you need to listen to what your body is telling you.

If you had to provide a training tip, or words of wisdom to our readers, what would it be?
To not compare yourself to others. Everybody is a different body with different experiences. You shouldn’t expect to be at the same level as someone else, or pick things up at the same speed, or be good at the same things. All you need to concentrate on is yourself, and you will see the improvement within yourself. And to be proud of the effort, the accomplishments are just the icing on the cake.

Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
Living in a movable self built home, performing, teaching and rigging, with a beautiful community of people. Somewhere sunny.

There was an Old Lady who Lived in a Hoop: Beginning Aerial as an Adult

It is no secret to anyone that the younger you are, the easier it is to learn new skills; language for example. I once taught a kid who spoke five languages. Five. Most of my students could barely speak one! The younger you start, the easier it is, and the same can be said for circus skills. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try though. I didn’t discover my love of aerial circus until I was almost thirty.

“Almost thirty?” you say, “That’s not old at all!” And ordinarily I would agree with you, but for me, coming into aerial at this age has been a rewarding but challenging experience.

My First Class
Unless you are lucky enough to start training as a child through a company such as Circomedia or AirCraft Circus, coming into aerial circus at a later age can be daunting. My first class was filled with men and women much younger than myself. They may not have had previous aerial experience but they were younger, fitter, more athletic and more active than I was. What was I doing?

My first aerial hoop class was a nightmare. We were taught, like most students, how to get ourselves onto the hoop through a move called a Pike Mount. I was the only person in the class who couldn’t do it. I was taught a second way to get into the hoop and I still couldn’t do it. Eventually I invented my own move that I like to call “The Monkey”, where I just sort of grabbed onto the side and scrambled for dear life until I was in Double Hox and could pull myself up. I was horribly embarrassed and felt like a complete failure, I kept apologising to my instructor, and this is where I learnt my first lesson: “You are too concerned about the destination; it’s the journey that’s important.” My instructor was right; I was so concerned with nailing that first move that it was ruining the experience for me.  I wanted to be the best in the class. I wanted to make the most progress. I wanted to play the underdog in a movie about my life: small town girl realises her dream of making it big in the circus world. Most importantly, I wanted it to happen overnight and that’s not how aerial circus works.

Words of Wisdom from a Wise Old(ish!) Woman
Once I stopped comparing myself to others and focused on my own abilities, I was able to enjoy the journey. So here I am, imparting words of wisdom for you in the way my instructor did for me:

– Conditioning! You’ll never get any better at aerial without conditioning. You can warm up and cool down as much as you like, but unless you train alongside learning tricks, it’s all a waste. My instructor got me to do A LOT of pull ups inside the hoop because I had a very weak upper body.

– Talking of weak upper bodies; whilst you train those parts of you that need work, learn moves that play to your strength. Got a strong core? Got strong legs? Brilliant! Use them!

– Your hands will hurt. Your hands will get callused, but resist the urge to wear gloves. Own those calluses, they mean you’re getting stronger.

The most difficult moves will never earn the biggest applause. The moves that earn the biggest applause are the ones that look the fanciest. Learn to give yourself “inner applause”; i.e. remind yourself of how far you’ve come.

Surprise yourself: what happens when you step out of your comfort zone

“If you want something in your life you’ve never had, you’ll have to do something, you’ve never done.” JD Houston

I recently went to a summer circus program for professional and pre-professional circus performers.
All the trainers were well educated; most of them went through the circus school in Montreal and had performed with companies like Cirque de Soleil, 7 fingers and the Cirque Éloize.

As you can probably imagine, I was equal parts excited and nervous. Especially when I saw the other students, many of whom impress me with their skills on Instagram every day.

How could I possibly measure up? After a morning of technical training in small groups, everyone came together for a creativity workshop. I had no idea what to expect but the sly smiles on the trainers face promised an interesting afternoon. And let me tell you, I was not disappointed.

For the very first exercise we were asked to walk across the room, one by one, and do something unexpected. Surprise yourselves, they told us. At first, I was utterly confused (and terrified) by the concept and it showed in my performance.

I had to repeat the exercise 3 times before the trainer was satisfied that I did indeed surprise myself. Luckily, I had little time to be mortified by this experience as we had already moved on to the next exercise.

Improvisation of course. Be animals, make noises, drop to the floor, keep moving, take it to 10... We continued improvising this way on a daily basis and even created entire performances around the weird yet amazing things we came up with during the sessions.

I am not going to deny that it continued to be challenging for me but by the end of the course I was not just getting used to the idea, I even started enjoying it.

It really made me think outside the box, find new pathways and movements I didn’t even know I could do. Now I love spending time on my trapeze and setting myself challenges that push me out of my comfort zone and help me add a little creative twist to well-rehearsed tricks.

So here is a challenge for you: put on some music and get on to your apparatus, whatever it may be, using a different number of contact points every time. Start with 5 points of contact, then 4, 3, 2, 1 and again in reverse order. Sounds challenging?

Well, it is but it is also a lot of fun and who knows, you might just surprise yourself.

Easy Peasy Lemon Trapeze-y: My Flying Trapeze Lesson with Gorilla Circus

I pass through Regent’s Park frequently, especially in the summer.

The smells, the sounds and the sights of the park are a delightful reminder of how pleasant the overly crowded capital can be. On this day however, something had changed; something was different.

Where there usually sat couples kissing, and children playing frisbee, instead there were people nonchalantly flying through the air as if it was the most normal thing to happen on a Sunday morning in a London park.

I edged closer, afraid that one of them might not make it into the hands of their partner. As I approached the fence I saw a large sign that said, “Flying Trapeze Classes – book now at: www.gorillacircus.com”. Thirty minutes later I’m booking two tickets for me and a friend for the following weekend.

When I arrived for my lesson I was greeted by the Gorilla Circus team. The class was split into beginners who signed up for the one-day class, and intermediates who signed up to an ongoing course.

Although we all used the same equipment we didn’t mingle all that much with the intermediates, but I did get to see their work and boy howdy, if I could achieve a fragment of what they were doing, I would be very pleased with myself.

For beginners, the aim of the class was to master some basics that would enable us to swing out on the trapeze and perform a somersault before landing in the net. Next we were instructed on how to swing out on the trapeze, hook our knees over the bar, and have an instructor on a second trapeze catch us.

This might sound a little intimidating for a one-day class but I can assure you that the instructors knew exactly how to get the best out of the students. Every one of us mastered the somersault, and many of us managed the hand-grab.

At the beginning of the session our instructor explained that although the stunts may look difficult, what we would be learning today was actually pretty easy.

He explained that gravity does most of the work for us, and there are times during the swing where our bodies become weightless. It is at those points we maneuvre from one position to another.

Internally I guffawed at this, I had recently completed a short course in aerial hoop and by no stretch of the imagination was I weightless during any of that experience. Of course, I also wasn’t swinging through the air during aerial hoop.

Somehow I was repeatedly picked first during my session with Gorilla Circus, not that I minded, but that’s a lot of pressure to put on a girl! I remember climbing the tall, thin ladder to the platform; my palms were clammy, my knees were shaky, and my mouth dried up.

At the top of the platform an attractive young man could sense my fear, and made sure I stayed calm. As instructed I stood on the edge of the platform, holding the trapeze, toes feeling the summer breeze, knees bent and waiting for the all important, “HUP!”

And like that, I did it. No fear, no pain, no strain. Just pure unadulterated joy.

If you’d like to find out more about Gorilla Circus’ Flying Trapeze Classes, visit www.gorillacircus.com

aerial blogger job

Aerialist Writing Job / Aerial Bloggers : Aerial Boots Needs You!

aerialist writing job

Aerialist Writing Job


We would like 10 articles authored (original material).

It can be one a week or all together and can be anything related to the aerial arts.

In return for this we will be giving our authors a pair of short training boots in their choice of colour!

I have been asked a few questions that could probably do with being put on here so these are a few things to note:

There is no deadlines per-se, I am hoping I can work with the authors on their own flexible time frames. I’d say no more than 2 weeks without an article though ideally I would like 1 per week.

I would like articles to spark the interest of aerialists – so they keep reading and it will give the site a more personal edge i think.

Topics really can be anything to with aerial art so maybe you could do different aerial moves you have been learning or would like to learn?

Possible ideas for routines and/ or costumes (i like this idea because i want to get in to making costumes now aerial boots is my full time job).

Maybe you are going to learn something new and could do a series of posts depicting your journey through the new endeavour?

You can review aerial videos or routines not overly critically of course as we want to encourage people of all abilities, but maybe you have seen a routine you want to share etc. ?

I am not sure, but those are just some ideas off the top of my head –  but you can think outside the box with it and do like how aerial effects fitness levels, how it can improve depression etc?

The main reason that i am not writing these articles myself is because i am not an aerialist – I just design and sew ???? and love watching aerialists.

 

I want the passion for it to shine through in articles though and i didn’t want to bluff or kid my customers  so i thought i would employ real aerialists to do the articles.


Authors will be signed up to my website and will be able to write and edit their own posts as they see fit, I will just need to approve the first one and then you will be good to go.

I hope that I can find a few who might want to do it regularly after they have done their 10 articles, but this will be discussed after the original contract.

If you could write the start of a draft article maybe 200 words – that would be great, so I may see your writing style and have something to look at whilst deciding who would be the best fit for our site.

 

 

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sponsoring uk aerial championships

Sponsoring UK Aerial Championships

uk aerial championshipsSponsoring the UK Aerial Championships

 

 

sponsoring uk aerial championships

We are pleased to announce that we are going to be a sponsor of the 2017 UK Aerial Championships.

 

We will be attending the Midlands auditions with our boots and we also hope to be at the final in Lincolnshire.

 

As well as trophies and eternal kudos the overall winners will also receive a custom pair of our boots. Vouchers are also being given out to the regional winners.

 

There are a number of auditions across the country so find the one closest to you and give it a whirl! What have you got to lose?


 

The categories are as follows:

 

  • Amateur hoop
  • Amateur silks
  • Open amateur

 

  • Instructor hoop
  • Instructor silks
  • Open instructor

 

  • Professional performer hoop
  • Professional performer silks
  • Open professional.

 

  • Open youths
  • Youth Lyra
  • Youth silks

 

  • Open amateur doubles (youth and amateur competitors only)
  • Open professional doubles (instructor and performer categories only)

sponsoring uk aerial championships

There are locations to enter all over the country, and some great prizes a

nd trophies to be won.

All competitors will receive a months subscription to www.aerialdancing.com as well as a 10% coupon to spend in our own boutique.

 


AUDITION VENUES

 

Lincolnshire Audition – 4th April

North East Auditions – 18th March

Norwish – 2nd April

North West – 7th April

South Auditions – 23rd April

Luton Auditions – 30th April

Scotland Auditions – 8th May

Midlands Auditions – 14th May

North Wales Auditions – 28th May

 

More information on venues, how to get there and times etc can be found on the UK Aerial Performance Championship’s Website.

http://ukaerialperformance.co.uk/venues.html


 

Go Here To Enter

  http://ukaerialperformance.co.uk/enter.html


 

 

 

Check out “Lincolnshire Aerial Championship 2014” from Rebecca Doig on Vimeo.   The video is available for your viewing pleasure at https://vimeo.com/105338974

 

 

We are excited to be sponsoring the UK aerial championships and wish the best of luck to all who enter!

 

 

 

 

2016 Ending Soon…

2016 Comes to an End! Speeeech! – Well okay then!

It has been a crazy 2016 for Aerial Boots!

This post is a little goodbye to 2016 and a tip of the hat to 2017 – which is set up to be another busy year full of beautiful boots!

Here are some of our favourites from the year!

 

Black Friday …..  Was interesting!   We didn’t fully appreciate how many orders we were going to get!

We are still fulfilling them now, but amazing to get an overview of so many different aerialists’ feet! Thank you all for being so kind and bearing with us!

They were mostly custom sized so it gave us a real insight into the shapes and sizes of the average aerialist which is great information, although, that being said am not sure we will be partaking in the Black Friday Madness next year!!

In other news – We have come up with an awesome new denim design that we have been working very hard on!

They are finally becoming more of a match for our leather gaiters.  The new boots are lined and have PVC inserts in the foot and ankle area for extra protection.

We have found that aerial boots made out of solely PVC / PU leather do not give the same level of flexibility or comfort as leather boots. The new denim design are the closest yet 🙂 and they look very cute as well, always a bonus.

In 2017 we have plans to bring in some matching arm gaiters – They should be on sale by the spring so keep an eye out for that!

We have had some amazing jobs and clients this year, our gaiters are going to be popping up in 2017 in a few places – keep your eyes peeled for us at performances and even cinema in 2017! we wish all our customers and friends a great end to this year and –

We wish all our customers and friends a great end to 2016 &

A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  from All of Us at The Aerial Boots Team!

Danielle, Kerine, Nina and Andrea xxxx

aerial boot giveaway

Aerial Boot Giveaway

Aerial Boot Giveaway

Aerial Boot Giveaway – Aerialboots.com Share and Subscribe to enter!

aerial boot giveaway

 

All you have to do to enter is Subscribe to our mailing list (This is easiest because often sharers are missed if settings are not public) and Share (facebook), Share (Twitter), Shar….er, Pin on Pinterest.

The Aerialist will receive the full length “Queen of Hearts Gaiters” Pictured above, with a carry case. If they will not fit (they are between a medium and large) Then I will make you some that do.

Winner will be picked and contacted a week after competition ends on the 15th of September!

 

Good Luck!

 

 


Competition Winner!

aerial boot giveaway

Congratulations to Louise Byers who is going to be receiving the Queen of Hearts Gaiters!

Lyra Show Boots : New Stockists

lyra show boots, official just bobbing along stockist

Lyra Show Boots : New Stockists

We are pleased to announce that we are the official stockists for Just Bobbing Along’s Lyra Show Boots & Aerial Gaiters.

All of our aerial trapeze boots are handmade with quality materials.

We now offer a range of vegan friendly options as well as leather and suede boots.

Trapeze gaiters are excellent for trapeze bar, lyra, aerial silks and other activities such as ropes and chains.

There are a selection of size, length and material options for the ready made aerial boots.

If you would like gaiters made to your own specifications then there is a custom made option to choose.

Instructions of how to provide measurements are included.

There is a longer handling time with custom gaiters but we aim to have custom orders shipped within 2 weeks of ordering. We also have three different size options of ready made trapeze gaiters which can be dispatched within the week.