DROPS – so bold and exhilarating! Why would you ever want to slow them down?
Oh, for the challenge, of course. And the body awareness. And the gratification. And the skill. Having the ability to slow down a drop as an aerialist is a fundamental skill that will make you better at drops overall. So how do you do it?
1. Know the Pathway
To move with control, you must first know where you’re going. Being familiar with the pathway of your star drop is crucial for executing a smooth and controlled descent. Practice your drop repeatedly to train your body to anticipate and follow the desired trajectory. Familiarity with the descent path not only enhances your control but also builds the confidence needed to execute the star drop with precision.
2. Identify the Pause Points
For tiered drops, understanding the “pause” points is key. These are moments in the drop where you can stop or at least slow down substantially before the next release. Take the time to analyze and become intimately familiar with these pause points. Identifying these strategic moments allows you to regain composure, adjust your positioning, and transition smoothly to the next phase of the drop.
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3. Master Body Positioning
When it comes to star drops, small nuances in body positioning can make all the difference. Learn the exact body positions required at each moment of the drop. Pay attention to details of your body parts relative to one another for a more controlled star drop. You may notice that a melty star is related to hip key and single coil roll-ups!
- Maximize your c-shape (side bend)
- Pike the bottom leg
4. Engage Your Muscles
Effective engagement of your core, legs, and back muscles is vital for resisting gravity and maintaining control during a star drop. Actively use your muscles to hold the desired body positions, and practice the engagement needed for clean drops. Building strength and muscle memory in these areas will not only slow down your descent but also contribute to the overall grace and elegance of your performance. Here is a c-shape exercise that helps you learn some of the engagement of a melty star.
5. Utilize Your Tail
Your silks can become a strategic support system. Keep tension on your tail and ensure correct placement to use it as a support against your body. This technique aids in maintaining the desired body position and pathway, acting as an additional layer of control throughout the drop.
Mastering the art of a star drop in aerial silks requires a combination of skill, practice, and attention to detail. By knowing your pathway, identifying pause points, mastering body positioning, engaging your muscles, and utilizing your tail, you can slow down your star drop with precision and create a performance that captivates and mesmerizes.
So how slow can you go?! Tag @wakefulascentaerial on Instagram so I can see!
P.S. If you strive for technical excellence in aerial silks, make sure you add your name to our list to receive a notification and special discount when we relaunch Aerial Silks Online (January 2024!). ASO is a video tutorial library with technique deep dives, training planning and lesson plan resources, and Silk Cipher – a framework for technique evaluation.