So last week, we covered how to deal with the Dreaded Aerial Popeye. This week, we’re tackling how to get through your aerial act without gasping for air, barfing, crying, wetting your pants, or collapsing (the last four were worst case scenarios… I hope). Suit up, peeps – it’s time for The Laura Witwer Aerial Smackdown!
So I’ve Wet My Pants… Now What?
Just pray no one posts it on YouTube, friend. In the meantime, here are some tips for what to do the next time you find yourself in the air and headed towards Exhaustion-ville.
- BREATHE!!!! I’ll betcha $10 you’ve been holding your breath.
- Come down immediately if you feel dizzy or unable to continue safely.
- Find a resting position and hang out for a minute (trust me – the audience has no idea what’s really happening). Continue when you’ve stopped gasping like a guppie on a countertop.
- Go to Plan B. If you’re performing a new piece, or dealing with a challenging situation (a cold, altitude, etc.), it helps to have a “Plan B” version of your act in your back pocket. This may include swapping risky or difficult moves for ones you’re extremely comfortable with, or adding in more resting holds if you feel it’s necessary.
Don’t Settle For Depends – Preventing Aerial Exhaustion
- BREATHE!!!! I’ll say it again! In rehearsal, identify times when you’re holding your breath and correct it.
- Build rest time into your act. Not only does this allow you to breathe and reorient yourself, but it gives the audience a moment to really SEE what you’re doing. Remember: what feels like resting forever to you is very quick to an audience!
- Take into account environmental or situational factors that may affect your stamina: altitude (BIG ONE), dry climate, lack of sleep or rest thanks to travel arrangements, illness or injury, an intense show schedule, etc. and do what needs to be done to compensate. PLAN AHEAD!
- Drink heavily. I mean – stay hydrated! Geez, you people…
- Make sure you’re getting your cardio in outside of class. Cardio = healthy lungs and ticker!
- Train train train practice practice practice and come to class, dammit!
That’s it in a nutshell, peeps! It’s a process, both in class and when you’re working on a piece. And keep in mind that any time you begin working on something new, it’s gonna wear your butt out until your body gets used to it. Enjoy building your stamina, and don’t barf in my class. Love and pull-ups, Laura
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