This week I'm excited to share a skill that I've been teaching in classes recently, I call it the Floating Russian.
It begins from a Russian climb, you slide your feet apart and suspend from one arm!
It's a great pose to strike mid-sequence and doesn't require the leg flexibility that many aerial skills do.
For exercises to help you get there and the step-by-step tutorial, see the video below!
Step 1: Mark the position on the floor. Reach one hand high on the silk. Stand in the dancer's 4th position with the silk draped behind you. Squeeze your inner thighs together. (4th position is toes pointing away from the body, one leg directly in front of the other, about a foot and a half apart.)
Step 2: Practice long arm hangs with one arm bent & one straight. From one climb up grab as high as you can on the silk, allow your shoulder blade to upwardly rotate. Place your opposite arm in front of your chest. Slowly release your feet. Try to hold for a couple of seconds when first learning working up to 10+ seconds. Aim for the majority of your weight in your top arm.
When that becomes accessible then work on a single-arm hang (don't worry, the full single arm hang isn't required to do Floating Russian!). And yes, please practice both sides :).
Step 3: Time for Floating Russian! Begin from a Russian Climb. Reach your right arm high if you're on a right-side climb. Place opposite arm in front of chest and grab the silk. Firmly flex your feet as you slide them apart into 4th position. Turn your torso away from the silk, squeeze your bum & upper thighs together to help stabilize you. Release bottom hand only if secure. To exit, re-grab silk with both hands, release feet and step on silk.
If your feet are sweaty it will make it difficult to slide them apart. You could try wiping your feet off with a towel right before you climb up. Or wearing socks could be an option although that'll make climbing more difficult!
The lower you are the less secure it feels due to there being less tension at the bottom of the silk. The higher up you are the more tension. With that said, please practice it low with both hands until you feel confident to practice it higher
Add a spin! After you're in Russian Climb, squat down and key over to the side. Grab the tail with one hand and give yourself a spin. Stand up and then proceed with Floating Russian!
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