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Find Your Flow: the aerialist’s guide to graceful movement

These tips can help you to find and refine your flow as an aerialist.

In aerial arts, learning to flow and refining your flow can be a deeply rewarding process. Flow brings us into a closer connection with the apparatus. It can help cultivate our intuition in our movement.

With enough study and practice, you can unlock this wonderful aspect of aerial arts, and realize how GOOD it feels!

Any aerialist can steadily develop grace and fluidity in the air…so let’s look at a few concrete ways you can begin to find your flow and embody grace in the air.

Staying Centered for a Clean Spin:

A spin can immediately create gracefulness in your aerial movement. The key to a clean spin lies in your ability to stay centered under your rigging while you initiate it. Make sure you are perfectly lined up under your rigging, and stay under your rigging as you generate the spin. You can always lift your feet from the ground to test if you are centered – if you swing, you are not centered!

A clean spin not only enhances the visual appeal of your performance but can actually help you feel more connected to your apparatuses, and in some cases, it even makes skills easier.

Direction of spin: You want to spin in the direction that lines up with the direction of most of your movements. If you are hooking right, you want to be spinning counterclockwise (leading with the left leg).

Minimize Hand Grabs for Simplified Transitions:

Have you ever heard of Occam’s Razor? The simplest solution is the correct solution. While artistry thrives with intentional elaboration and accents, extra movements that are unintentional can detract from the flow. Excessive hand grabs are one of the most common ways of adding movement. This not only has the potential to distract the audience but can also interrupt the seamlessness of your movement. Take the time to explore how few hand placements you truly need, allowing your body position to guide your motion as much as possible. This minimalistic approach not only makes your transitions more efficient, but also looks better.

Mastering Transitions: The Art of Connection

Transitioning from one point to another is an art in itself. Delve into the intricacies of your transitions, repeatedly practicing the linkage between points A and B. Familiarizing yourself with these movements not only instills confidence but also allows you to feel the flow in your body, allowing your sense of touch and intuition to play a bigger role in your movement. In the SilkCipher, a framework for technique analysis, we give special attention to the moments breaking down the before, during, and after a transition (this framework lives inside of Aerial Silks Online).

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Intentionality in Movement:

Crafting beautiful moments within the flow requires intentionality, and intentionality requires control. First, make sure you are always cultivating strength through drills and training so that you can slow down in any movement you want. Slow down your movements, notice how you place your hands (try closing one finger around at a time), and consider pausing at strategic moments during your spin. This intentional approach not only showcases your control and connectedness with the apparatus but also adds an artistic layer to your performance.

Exploring the In-Between:

The special magic you see aerialists weaving often happens in the moments between poses. Explore the in-between spaces, using them as opportunities for embellishment and personalization. Find out how you can expand upon a transition, so that it is not so directly Point A to Point B.

These moments are where your unique expression can really begin to arise, contributing to a style of performance that is distinctly yours. Experiment with different movements, angles, and gestures to create a narrative that resonates with your artistic vision.

Finding your flow goes beyond the technicalities; it’s about integrating with your apparatus and beginning to feel into it, deepening your connection and truly becoming one moving entity. Practical tips are great, but sometimes all you need to do is put on some music, and allow yourself to find your way into flow and grace.