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Aerial Skill Share: When the Blind Lead the Blind

Happy Thursday, Dear Danglers! OK – raise your hand if you’ve ever been to a circus skill share or taught an aerial peep a move. Yup – me too! Now, raise your hand if you’ve ever given someone a bad habit it took them six months to unlearn. The 75% of you who just lowered their hands? Not so fast. 

The Downside of Aerial Skill Sharing

Let me be super clear: I am not against skill shares AT ALL. I think it’s a great way to build community, get in some practice time, and learn some new variations or moves! Where it gets sticky (rosin-y?) is when I get a situation like this:

 Nebuchadnezzar, Moonstar, and Jane are my students. They begin training together in their free time.

 Jane: “Hey, Moonstar! How do you do that thing you just did? The one with the leg and the twirl and the booty-scoot?”

 Moonstar: “It’s easy! You just….”

 Next week in my class…

 Miss Laura: “Nebuchadnezzar! Jane! WHAT are you doing with your back knee?”

 Jane: “Oh – we learned this variation from Moonstar!”

 *Facepalm*. Well, those crazy kids also just picked up Moonstar’s bad habit of bending her back leg! Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Bad habits spread like viruses. Make sure you’re not picking up any bugs that we’ll spend the next 6 months exorcising out of you! 
  • Mentally Purell by getting to class often so your coach can dose you with some tough love if you need it.
  • Students are students for a reason. Keep in mind that this person may have exactly NO IDEA what they’re doing, or how to spot you! Play it super safe, or you could wind up with a concussion to go with your fancy new move.

The Win/Win of Aerial Skill Sharing

 Skill shares work best when students have a solid foundation of basic technique, and are working at an intermediate/advanced level. You can pick up some great variations, and collaborate to create sassy new moves! It can also be fantastic to have that extra set of eyes to tell you in real time when you’re softening your knees, sickling your feet, or doing that weird head-jerking thing you picked up from Nebuchadnezzar. 

 If you’re a beginner going to a skill share, don’t get so share-y. Take this opportunity to work on your form (have someone yell “FEET!” every time your toes go soft), or get really inspired by the cool stuff you’re seeing. Desperate for something new? Too bad. You have to walk before you flip! BUT, go ahead and make a note of things you want to learn – you’ll get there sooner than you think! Love and pull-ups, Laura

 

As always, if you like this post, share it on your blog, the F-books, Twitter, and wherever else you crazy kids are sharing things these days.

 

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1 comment on “Aerial Skill Share: When the Blind Lead the Blind”

  1. Chris Reply

    Great post! When it comes to skill share, I feel like there’s a thin line between learning form and exploring one’s creative urges when performing on the silks. When I began I felt like it was easy to confuse the two and I was afraid I would miss sight of getting the fundamentals down altogether. But, whats great about being around other students is that I get inspired, and when an instructor properly fixes or praises their performance then I make a mental note of it. If no instructor is around, then I make a mental note and keep going to classes or book a private to explore those inspiring moves. Or, if I really like what I see, I would instead ask the student how they learned that move or if there’s anyone they work with who is offering lessons.

    And Laura it’s so true. There were moves that I saw other people do that I eventually got to learn with an instructor within a few short weeks!

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