Have you felt the change in the air? Yup, Christmas Show season has kicked off and you know what that means – doubles tricks!! 

I love that I have been working on so many doubles tricks lately – pole with Lynn, hoop with Paula and Acro with my husband Arnie.  I am grooving on all of the hard work, retries, and laughs to successfully achieve some super cool shapes that I could not do alone. 

Every aerial apparatus is inherently difficult. Then you add another person onto the same apparatus and it becomes even harder. This is when you realize you are an apparatus hog and need to scooch over.  Sometimes adding another person can make a trick easier but you will always need to reassess where to put your limbs and become comfortable climbing all over another person. I recommend starting your doubles relationship with a hug since you will essentially do this in the air… while spinning. 

As you move up into intermediate and advanced doubles tricks, one person will be the base to support the trick and one person will be the flyer. Inherently more communication and commitment is going to be required to execute these tricks. When I am the flyer, I can get super self-conscious. Even though Lynn and physics have me all day, I sometimes feel like I am going to rip Lynn’s arm off. In a hoop trick, if I do not fully lean back, Paula will not get the counterweight to lock her in and then the move feels less secure. I can do a cartwheel by myself, but when I’d supposed to cartwheel on Arnie, it turns into a hot mess. I don’t know how to drop my head or kick my leg. I get scared and do not want to commit in all of these situations. Ironically, when I am the base, I’m like “give it to me”!

I need to get out of my head and commit! I need to trust myself and my partner. I need to commit in order to put less strain on my partner. And if we execute safely and properly, physics will be on our side. Practicing a lot, with padding and spots also helps provide more confidence. That’s the cool thing about doubles, giving is truly receiving. And by doing so, you are building a trusting relationship. Team work really does make the dream (of that move) work!

Communicate, communicate, communicate! Tell your partner when things are going well and feel good. Have safe words for when you are not comfortable in a trick (i.e. down, done, off). Through talking, Lynn and I figured out how I could stop consistently crushing her hand with my thigh. Communicate on how your bodies are feeling and be aware of overuse as the Christmas show approaches. Sometimes marking the routine with you partner and saying when tricks should happen is a great way to rest the body while still helping the routine marinate in your bones. 

As always, only do tricks your instructors have taught you. Safety is the number one priority; therefore, you must properly learn entrances, exits and any other important cues in order to be successful and safe in a move.

In summary…
The move is nothing without both of you.
Your partner needs you! 
Take videos and pictures. It the best way to deconstruct what you are doing. Watching your improvement is always rewarding. 
Have fun!