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Create Striking Transitions in Your Aerial Choreography (and find your personal style)

Many students learn aerial by acquainting with the fundamentals and then studying individual poses and skills. In aerial, it’s easy to get very focused on the tricks themselves–there are so many amazing things you can do on an apparatus! But eventually you start to wonder,

“How can I connect these two skills in an interesting and beautiful way?”

The in-between zone is full of opportunity, and often it remains underutilized. But those in-between moments are as important as the poses and tricks, in the same way that the pauses in the music are as important as the notes. 

Think of how you can bring richness to the pathways that thread the choreography together. What can happen in those moments in between the obvious tricks and poses?

It’s not helpful for me to tell you *what* to do between the poses – there are infinite possibilities and anyway I’d rather you develop that creative skill yourself! But I can encourage you to expand into that liminal space, note it, and be present in it, instead of just getting to your next dramatic position as efficiently as you can.

Your transition doesn’t even have to be a big movement. It could be a facial expression, a body posture change, or an interaction with your apparatus. Or perhaps you move through a series of logistical moves in a very fast, dynamic way! That works too. The important thing is that intention is brought to the moment. The transition may have enough identity that it even qualifies as a “trick” or pose. The lines do begin to blur, but the principle of connectedness is the same.

I love transitional moments because they give you an opportunity to think creatively, perhaps outside of exactly what has been taught to you. Artistry has a way of blossoming in transitional moments, as there are no exact rules or recommendations of how to use the space between the tricks. In my Technique, Transition, and Flow class, I have my students work on linking skills together, but I leave space for them to work out the details of how they will do so. This is how you can develop your own personal style in aerial arts. 

Watch your own choreography and look at what’s going on in between the poses. Is there intention? Artistry? Creativity? Or is it more about getting from point A to point B? How can you take ordinary-seeming moments and make them engaging to watch?

For a complete step-by-step guide to creating your own aerial arts choreography (any apparatus – aerial silks, aerial hoop, trapeze, corde lisse – you name it) check out Intro to Aerial Choreography. It’s a very detailed guide that walks you through creative and training assignments to bring your own original choreography to fruition.