Quite a few people have talked and shared about participating in both or either show and the absolute amazingness that comes of that.  One topic I do not recall anyone writing about but that has really resonated with me this year is show practices.  For the last few shows I can remember, there are optional show practices that you or your group can sign up for and the Appleton aerial studio is turned into a mock stage.  Whoever is at show practice for that time takes turns practicing with the music.  And while you are waiting between your turns, you join the rest of the waiting aerialists and you cheer and support whoever is doing their run through. 

I have seen literal blood, sweat, and tears put into rehearsing for a show. And yet, the amount of unwavering support is what stands out to me. Everyone hoots and hollers and cheers.  When someone misses a move or forgets what they are doing, all they hear from onlookers is encouragement. When someone cries at the end of their run through because, well who knows, aerial is emotional, all they hear from onlookers is support and love.  

Given the shows bring together all levels of aerialists and members from both locations, prior to show practices, many aerialists have never interacted with each other. I will be fully transparent and say, I have sat in practice and cheered and supported other aerialists who I have no idea what their name was.  Nor did it matter.  What mattered is they walked through the doors of the studio and they were giving it all that they could to prepare to go on stage and perform.

Over the weeks I have witnessed people develop, change, polish, and continue to work on their routines. I have seen masterpieces come together.  I have seen and been the welcome recipient of advice and suggestions to choreography. I have watched as confidence has grown in each of the performers. I have listened to and loved hearing instructors psych up and support the students. 

Ultimately, as I reflect, show practice is its own version of Aerial Dance magic in which I feel ever privileged to be able to experience. By no means is it the magic of the show itself, but it holds its own, very important, piece of magic.  Show practice is love, laughter, bonding, comradery, and sisterhood to anyone who shows up.  If you have ever questioned being in the show, do it, be a part of the magic.