This blog follows Dance Wire’s Founder/Director Emily Running in her adventures taking new dance classes all over Portland.
Have you heard? Strong is the new pretty. It's true. And aerialists are STRONG (and pretty because of it, if you ask me). Like all dancers, aerialists like to make things look easy, but don't be fooled, a lot of work goes in to making dangling by your ankles while spinning like the Tasmanian Devil look easy.
But, we all start somewhere and training with Jack Stocklynn is an excellent place to both start and advance. Jack effortlessly offers a comfortable, playful and imaginative environment from the moment you walk in the door. In this class we started off with a warm-up, but not a boring or formal warm-up, rather one that incorporates going around the circle saying your name and your preferred pronoun, then going around again naming your favorite bird and why it's your favorite, then comparing the shapes we are making to animals or objects. Sneaky distractions like these magically help you forget you are doing push ups or stretching your splits!
After getting our muscles stronger and more pliable we move to the trapeze for some strength training. The great news about this is that it's incremental so you don't have to be able to do, for example, A PULL-UP to begin. You build up to that over time. Turning up-side-down and even just hanging out up-side-down are things we practice during this section of class. Jack demonstrates the technique giving you tips on which muscle groups to use and how to progress.
Dance companies rehearse. Sports teams practice. In aerial class, we train, which is a good way to look at it, because no one is naturally born being able to do these things. Everyone must train.