February is the month of Love! Aerial Dance is asking you to not only show love to others, but to remember to love yourself!!! I was able to show myself some love by participating in the Hand Balancing Workshop taught by Elizabeth Blanchard. To say that I was a little star struck would be a lie. I was so star struck and focused that I forgot to take pictures during the workshop! I only took one picture of her and I at the end.
Elizabeth is one of my pole and aerial idols! She is an absolutely amazing athlete! Elizabeth is a strong and determined woman who achieves her goals. I would give just about anything to see her perform, so being able to learn from her was more than I could have ever asked for!
Before the workshop, I was very nervous to work with Elizabeth, but as we got started, I was able to relax. Elizabeth is very much a person just like you and I. Her personality is very kind, caring, and she is hilarious! She is able to share stories about her success and failures to help us grown and learn. Sometimes we forget that Pole Stars started out like anyone of us on our aerial journey! Plus she is extra amazing for wearing Batman socks!
Handstands or Hand Balancing is a dream that many aerialist share. Elizabeth was able to help me think of Hand Balancing in a different way. She compared Hand Balancing to starting a new apparatus. Do you remember the first time you touched a pole, hoop, hammock, or silk? You weren’t a master from the start. You were timid, unsure, and afraid. It took time to build strength and trust in your abilities. Those feelings are the very same feelings when working on Hand Balancing. Your hands are just another apparatus! You had to work to become comfortable with pole. hoop. silks. or hammock. So you must work to become comfortable balancing on your hands!By changing my thinking just that tiny bit about my hands, it made Hand Balancing a little less intimidating! I am always open to try a new apparatus.
Throughout the workshop Elizabeth stressed the importance of strengthening and engaging the Psoas (so-as) muscle. When the Psoas (so-as) is engaged your pelvis is tucked and your rip cage is closed. Tucking the pelvis and closing the rib cage helps create your hallow hold position. A hallow body position helps you to create balance while in a handstand rather than “finding your balance”. The idea of creating balance, rather than finding it, shifted my thinking about handstand EVEN MORE!. Learning the techniques to create balance ensures that you will be successful in a Hand Balance, rather than relying on the luck of the placement of your body to balance.
At the end of the workshop none of us walked away being experts in Hand Balancing, but Elizabeth helped us to create an action plan to improve! She suggested that we work on Hand Balancing at our own level for 10 minutes twice a week. That is only 20 minutes a week. This 20 minutes could be done in your home or at the studio. I know that many students attend 1 or more classes a week at the studio. Fitting in Hand Balance work is possible, if you make it a goal!
Many of the conditioning techniques and tools we learned from Elizabeth our instructors work on with us. This workshop was very beneficial for the fact that Elizabeth was hands on with helping adjust your body to feel correct positioning. She also taught us how to elongate our wrists after compacting them while Hand Balancing. This was a god send for tired wrists at the end of the workshop. I would highly recommend taking a workshop taught by Elizabeth. It was amazing and super fun!!!!! My muscles are very sore from all my hard work!
Until Next Time