As an aerial artist, you probably have dreams of performing… maybe its sharing the stage with a famed pop-star while you rock your aerial routine to a hit song. Or maybe you’d love to see yourself shimmying up the silk on a perfume commercial. Ever dreamed of gracing the Cirque du Soleil stage? Perhaps you’re eager to perform in your studio’s Holiday showcase, or you’d simply like to achieve that one, perfect sequence, that you post on IG to feel ridiculously proud of yourself.
Whatever your aerial calling is you bet your lil’ booty that those dreams will be far-fetched, if you skimp on proper training and allow bad habits to creep in.
If you've ever taken a class with Jill she won't hesitate to call you out on bad habits. The first step to breaking any habit is awareness.
1. Using way too much momentum to invert You feel so accomplished in the moment but if momentum is the only way your booty can successfully arrive over your head, then your future self might become frustrated. As challenging as it is, work toward a slow and controlled invert. Momentum can come later with skills that actually call for it.
2. Jumping down from the fabric or apparatus - Just don’t do it, pretty please! Even if you’re low to the floor get in the habit of wrapping your feet in a climb and stepping down with control. It may seem like a minor detail but it’s absolutely not. Injuries happen all the time from lazy aerialists plopping down from the air. Imagine there is a litter of puppies underneath you, don’t smash the puppies!
3. Hiding in the bathroom to skip conditioning -
We feel ya… who wants to show their 'struggle bus' in front of a group of people? Not me! But if you shy away from conditioning (pull-ups, skin the cats, meat-hooks, pike lifts etc.) your aerial goals will only be further away. We’re all in it together, even Jill would rather hide in the bathroom than do conditioning but she shows up. Progress is not built on insecurities & excuses.
4. Eager Beaver -
You’ve been training for 2 months and you’re already learning double star… put on the breaks! Sorry to break it to ya, the foundation is the most important part of an aerialists training. Jill says, if you cannot do an aligned hollow body (dish) position and perform a clean inversion in the air, you’re not even close to being ready for drops. It’s necessary to develop the proper core strength, upper body strength, control and alignment prior to executing high-level skills, especially drops! It’s so easy to want to skip over the basics and do all the fun n' fancy stuff. When Jill began aerial nearly 12 years ago, there was no Instagram, no YouTube videos and virtually no resources to learn from. She had to physically get her butt into a class. She spent the first 4 years of her training working on the same 20-30 skills! The power is in the foundation, my friends!
5. Feet! -
Oh those darn feet. I know, you’re doing your best just to stay afloat in the air and remember what comes next… feet are the last thing many think about. Guys n’ gals, it’s time you paid fee-ttention! Engaging your feet not only looks professional, it helps to engage your leg muscles which in return keeps you stable, controlled and results in beautiful and elongated lines. Pointing is the norm but it’s perfectly ok to opt to flex if your choreography calls for it. Just no floppy fish or sickled feet… promise??
How ya feelin? Guilty.....? If so, don't fret, take action. Choose one of these habits in your next aerial class and make it your focus until it's gone. Before long you'll be flying with the best of 'em!
You want to know the best way to ensure you move past these bad habits? Aerial TV. Download our app and take Jill with you anywhere as your personal coach.