Thursday’s endeavor had me feeling slightly on edge all week – I was about to step into a studio where I had no idea what to expect! I signed up for Buffalo Aerial Dance’s Sampler Class, and upon entering the studio, my three main fears were as follows: 1. I’m not reallllllly all that flexible (something I tell myself I will work on, and I really need to put my money where my mouth is on this one), 2. Will I strong enough to even lift my own body weight? 3. PLEASE DON’T FALL. Let me tell you, when I took a deep breath, and cast my fears aside, I jumped right in, and left craving more!
Tonight’s Sampler Class was an introduction to the Aerial Silks and the Trapeze. The Aerial Silks are a special fabric that one can hang on to, using special foot locking techniques and total body strength to perform acrobatics. The Trapeze is just as you would picture – a bar hanging by two ropes, that is free to swing through the air. Before we got to try out the fun stuff, we began the class with a warm-up.
The warm-up, like any warm-up to a physical activity – was extremely crucial to preparing our bodies for the Aerial Silks and the Trapeze. There is a lot of flexibility required to work on these apparatuses and it would be unsafe to get right into things without getting our hearts pumping and our blood flowing. We moved through a series of yoga poses/Vinyasa and then sat in a split circle for our final stretch before the adventure began!
There were six students in the class (the class is capped at a 10 student maximum) and we were paired off. My partner and I began on the Trapeze. We worked with instructor, Erica Cope (who is the owner of Buffalo Aerial Dance), where we worked on basic moves from holding ourselves up on the Trapeze bar – similar to a pull-up, and sitting up on the trapeze bar, to a few more complex moves such as the birds nest and the star! All the while, Erica was there to watch our technique, give us pointers, and make sure we were performing the moves safely and correctly.
Next, we rotated to the Aerial Silks. Here we worked with Larry Acker, aka Larris, on learning the basic techniques of locking our foot in the silk, and pulling ourselves up into the air! A few students had some more experience with the Aerial Silks, and Larris showed them some new tricks, while the rest of us worked on getting down the proper technique.
The last portion of the class was dedicated to conditioning and stretching. As Erica and Larris explained, if you do not condition yourself properly, you will not be able to advance your skills. It is important to maintain your strength as you progress on the Aerial Silks and the Trapeze. The conditioning portion for today focused mainly on our core. However, Erica explained that the conditioning exercises would change from class to class.
I truly surprised myself as to what I was capable of on the Trapeze and the Aerial Silks. Those three fears I shared with you in the beginning – they’re no longer (except that I really do need to work on stretching and flexibility). Erica and Larris provided a fabulous introduction to the work of Buffalo Aerial Dance and I will absolutely go back in the future!