Student spotlight

Monday, May 27, 2013 2:08 PM

Recently, I wrote about the fact that we are losing some students due to out of state moves. This Spotlight focuses on Christine, yet another one reluctantly saying goodbye. Christine is one of those students who has come so far in the time she has been here. She should be so proud of the skills and strength she has developed. We sure are going to miss her!!

1. How long have you been with Air Born and what made you start taking classes?

I have been with Air Born Aerials for 2 years this June. I actually won a trial class in a raffle. Unfortunately it took me 2 years to actually try a class, but once I did I was completely hooked. I love it. It was definitely fate that I won that class. Best raffle prize I’ve ever won.


2. What is your favorite apparatus to work on and why?

My favorite apparatus varies each day/week. When I first started I always wanted to do silks because you can''t beat it for strength and conditioning. If you want to grow your aerial skills quickly, train on silks. Right now I love the loops since I''m working on a piece for our upcoming show. I love that I can perform a variety of tricks on the loops using it like a hammock or splitting the loops for more variety. Preparing a performance piece on an apparatus that you might not be completely comfortable with gives you a new appreciation for that particular apparatus. I was never a huge fan of trapeze until our Christmas show. Working on and performing the piece really made me appreciate the trapeze and we became friends.

(This may  be the best answer I’ve ever gotten, to this question! Thanks Christine, for making that point! On another note, I have learned that not many aerial schools have loops. I acquired these on a whim, while at NECCA, and they have since become an AB student favorite. I’m so proud that we can offer such unique circus arts!)


3. Is there an apparatus or skill you would like to learn that we don''t currently have at AB?

We have such a huge variety of apparatus at Air Born Aerials that I feel incredibly lucky to be able to learn such a wide variety of tricks and skills on so many different apparatus. If I were to pick something new, it would be the cube. Looks crazy and fun.


4. What do your family and friends think about you taking classes and even performing?

I think most are amazed at what we do in class and some think I''m a little crazy. But I know that everyone can see how much I love it and the strength and confidence I''ve gained from taking class and performing. My kids and my husband love that I do aerials and are always excited to see what new tricks or poses I''ve learned. I love that they are so proud of me.


5.What suggestions do you have for students who are just starting or who feel that they are at a frustrating standstill?

Just keep coming every week. There will be good days and frustrating days. You will be amazed at what you can do if you give yourself the chance. Can''t climb? Neither could I. Can''t invert? Neither could I. Afraid of heights? I had no idea I was until I found myself up the silks hanging upside down by just my hands. Think you''re too old? Come anyway. Keep coming! Every class you will get a little better and soon you''ll be doing tricks you saw others doing when you first started that you never thought you would ever do. Just keep coming.

(Great suggestion! For this same type of advice, but from an instructor stand point, revisit the Mastery blog!)

6. What ONE exercise would you recommend for students who are just starting or who want to get better?

I don''t know if it''s because I started aerials in my 40s, but I struggle with grip strength. Get a grip strength exerciser and use it in your car, at your computer, any chance you get. Climb the silks. The weighted climb really helps with grip strength. And of course pull ups. Pulls up will help you with all your skills. Sorry, I can never pick just one.                                                                ( I promise, I don’t pay these students to say pull ups in this answer! )

7. You have done a few performances now in student shows, which one was your favorite and why?

The Christmas show was my favorite so far. I performed on the trapeze and I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and performed tricks that were scary for me and more difficult. I am really proud of that performance.

( She should be proud of that one, it was great! And yes, there were many hours of me trying to convince Christine she could do a certain things. She built up her confidence and did an amazing job! )

8. Do you have any experience in any other form of exercise or dance that you feel helped you with aerials?

I did P90X for a while and I think that helped with strength. Yoga certainly helped with flexibility. But nothing beats aerials for strength and flexibility combined.

9. Sadly, you are leaving us soon, to move out of state. Is there anything you really really want to do in class or a show before you go?

Everything! I''ve been trying to fit in as many classes as possible before I leave. I am going to miss everyone so much. I am finally filling in my notebook too. Wish I had started that on day one. Use your notebooks!

The tricks I would love to get before I move are the 2 1/2 star drop on tissue, hand stand on loops, and a roll on trapeze. There, I said it out loud, now I''m committed.

I would also love to learn about rigging.

And I always thought it would be fun to do a doubles piece with my youngest daughter before she’s taller than me.

( You know how I am ALWAYS telling you people to use notebooks? This is where I would do my ‘told you so’ dance!  Also, that’s a lot of things to accomplish, I think you should stay another year so we can work on it. Blackmail, anyone? :))


10. You should be so proud of yourself and what you have accomplished with AB in your time here. Is there anything else we should know about Christine?

I am going to miss everyone at Air Born Aerials so much. We have the best instructors and students. Everyone is so supportive and encouraging. I love the uniqueness and the challenge of aerials. It came along at a time when I was struggling with growing older. It showed me that I can still do anything I set my mind to and to never give up. Aerials is something I am extremely proud of. I love wearing my Air Born shirts and, like AnneMarie, it is always fun to bring up when talking to other adults. It is an unexpected skill and makes for great conversation, not to mention great Facebook pics. I know I’m always beaming every time I talk about our class and what we do every week. Can’t you all move to Ohio with me?

( Uuuggh!! You guys are killing me with all of your dedication, hard work, kind words and then leaving me!!! )