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.

 

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