Last night I had the amazing opportunity to join my outstanding Aerial sisters at the Pippin Open House at the Broadway Theater in Green Bay. I was able to spend an hour and a half supporting and cheering on several of our instructors and students as we showcased the aerial arts of hoop and pole. Every 20 minutes or so we got to see sneak previews of the show Pippin, performed by the Birder Players. Instructors Kim and Olivia are part the the cast and Aerial Dance is a major show sponsor. With Aerial Dance Green Bay opening in September, this was a phenomenal way to share our love of flying with members of the community.
While waiting my turn to do a handful of spins and poses for the audience, I was talking with some of the other girls about not having a huge repertoire of moves ready to showcase. They gave me the advice to just start with a basic move and see where I could take it from there. My first turn at the pole I started with a Front Hook. That took me to a Front Hook with Flick, then a One Legged Front Hook, then a slide into a Back Hook which ended with a Vixen. I felt pretty proud that I was able to perform so many moves in a row, from memory, without hitting the ground.
The second turn I got on the pole I decided to try a sit sequence. I got into Shipshead and then Showgirl and blanked! I held it and did a full spin and thought “Bend one leg and that’s a Belle!” I sat up and did a Peter Pan and then Oona. I’d never tried a Sad Girl Drop outside of class but I wasn’t even halfway up the pole. I figured one foot slide was ok and would look cool. I had too much grip to move but the pose looked cool!
As I stood in line for round three, one of the girls said she couldn’t really think of many other moves to do. She was going to end up repeating all her stuff on the other side. I thought that was an excellent idea as I was also out of moves off the top of my head.
My third time on the pole they finally put on music in the background. It was much easier to dance and move with music! I was doing my Back Hook to Vixen and remembered a girl doing a Vixen with a straight leg for the Student Showcase. I thought, “I feel tight and secure enough to try that.” So I stuck out my leg. Yay! New Move! I was so excited that I was able to develop a basic move into something new!
I was completely clueless as to what to do my fourth time. I thought about my sit sequence and thought, “How much can I do from a stand?” Hopped on the pole and started climbing. Stand, Fairy Spin, Bon Voyage, Crucifix, Double Knee Fireman to descend, Ballerina, Upright V. I was SO excited by how many things I was able to string together!
While this performance was nothing near the Christmas Show and didn’t take the prep we put into the Student Showcase, I’m none the less grateful for this performance opportunity. I was challenged to grow myself in the moment. I was challenged to rely on my memory and instincts to create something unique. I was challenged to trust my training and practices to pull of old moves and try new ones. I was challenged to believe in myself.