When I started at Aerial Dance, it was all about pole. Now, you can try three other aerial arts and take a number of fitness classes. As Aerial Dance began to expand, the word “cross-train” became  a part of the instructors’ vocabulary, and we were suggested to take some of these new classes. I wasn’t convinced that cross-training would me any good. I’ve since changed my mind,
What changed?
Progress. I’ve always progressed a little slower than the rest of my classmates when new moves were introduced. I expected the same when I came back from my pole hiatus. I’m astounded by the progress I’ve made in the short time I’ve been back at Aerial Dance. There are moves that I wasn’t able to get before I left (with two years under my belt) that I can FINALLY get now. This is mostly because I’ve gained more…
Breanna - Embrace
Strength. Some of the reason that these moves are easier is because I’m growing stronger. The higher you get in pole and the aerial arts, the more strength you need. Instead of spinning upright with all limbs touching the pole, you’re spinning upside down with one or two limbs in contact, preparing for a transition. It takes a lot of things, but one of the most crucial is strength.  Aerial Conditioning and Fabric Fit are two fitness classes I’ve taken that have helped, but I attribute a lot of my new-found strength to my Hoop training.  Poles are relatively stationary, but those hoops are all over the place. They swing and spin, forcing me to used different muscles and focus on my….
Body Awareness. This skill is so important, no matter what level you’re at. If you don’t know where your body is at any given time in any move, you are more likely to hurt yourself. It can just be a matter of inches (or less!) that can save you from pain or injury. I’m used to knowing where my body is around a pole, but I am creating a whole new level of awareness through my cross-training in Hoop. When your hoop is spinning and you need to pull off a move without falling out to the crash-pad, you’re forced to be very aware of where your limbs are at any given time.
If you still believe that cross-training in your aerial arts is a waste of time, I beg you to reconsider. You’ll likely see some of the same results I did, and  perhaps even more! I have a affinity for Hoop, but I have yet to try Silks or Fabric. Take a chance and check out one of these classes–you might be surprised by what you like!