Our Aerial Extravaganza is coming up and it’s time to start thinking if you want to perform in a routine this year. It’s been a long standing nightmare for many – being on stage with people staring at you and judging you (at least that’s what we assume they are doing). Why is this something we would subject ourselves to in real life? I’ll tell you why. You are a STAR and you deserve to shine.

Joining Aerial Dance was a brave step for anyone who walked through those doors. You were making yourself vulnerable by starting a unique fitness program and opening yourself up to judgement and criticism from those who don’t understand the aerial arts. And if you’ve stuck with it I think it’s pretty safe to say that your passion for this sport was sparked just like mine was.

When I first started at the studio I didn’t realize what a production the Christmas Show is (and it’s grown so much since I started even!). When spots started to open up for Christmas show I had this nagging voice that told me “oh you’re not a dancer” or “you’re just in intermediate, no one will want to watch what you can do” or any other variation of “you’re not good enough.” Finally I told that voice to sit down and shut up and I signed up for my first Christmas Show.

I’ve loved performing since high school. I started theatre my freshman year and was a big drama nerd from that point forward. But it didn’t start out that way. I used to be so shy I couldn’t even work up the courage to order food for myself from a fast food place. It was too much interaction and having to say words to people. But that crazy decision to put myself out there and audition for my first play freshman year opened up a whole new me. One that loves to strike up conversations with strangers, who loves to be extra and wear costumes and make-up, one that doesn’t care if I look ridiculous dancing because it just makes me happy to dance.

It’s not very often that we get such a large platform to share our passions with family and friends. Most studios around the country only offer performance opportunities within their studio. Not Aerial Dance – we have a huge production with a custom truss system, killer sound and lighting, and a huge space to invite HUNDREDS of people.

There is nothing like standing on that stage in the dark and feeling those lights come on as your music starts. You create such a bond with the other dancers in your routine and all of the other show performers. My favorite part other than actually being on the stage is feeling all of the electricity backstage as everyone is getting ready to perform. The nerves, the mental run downs of all of your counts and tricks, helping each other do make up, and making sure costumes aren’t falling out of place or tags sticking out.

And you should ignore all of those same voices that are telling you what my voice told me. Aerial Dance is nothing but a supportive community. No one is there to judge you, they’re there to cheer on their performer just like your family and friends are there to cheer you on. You have worked hard in your aerial journey (no matter what point you’re at) and you deserve to show off something that you love and are passionate about! You’ll never know if there is a born performer hiding there under all of your fears and anxiety unless you take your chance to shine!