Andy’s Aerial Bootcamp Fan: Carrie Tutino
Here at Sky Candy, we know that while the tricks are fun, it’s the conditioning and strength training that will really get you soaring in your aerial practice. No one knows this better than Andy, our resident conditioning master- the mantra among our students and staff is “If you want to get really strong, take classes with Andy!”
Every Saturday, a handful of committed individuals join Andy for his drop-in Aerial Bootcamp, and no one has been as devoted as Andy’s biggest Bootcamp fan, Carrie Tutino. We sat down with Carrie recently to ask her about her aerial journey, and why she keeps coming back for Bootcamp.
Sky Candy: How long have you been doing aerials?
Carrie: I have been doing aerials for a total of 5 years. In LA, I worked for 2 different studios and performed frequently. In 2011, I suffered a knee injury that required two surgeries and about 2 years of no-apparatus recovery time. I still considered myself an aerialist during this time, I never stopped stretching or conditioning (and thank god for my triceps to get me up and down stairs for 6 months). I have been back on aerial equipment for a year and a half with Sky Candy, and I am still working hard to get back basic strength that I lost in my recovery time.
SC: What is your favorite thing about being an aerialist?
C: I love that I get to challenge myself every day. I’m constantly encouraged to venture out of my comfort zone. I also love the sense of community that exists within the industry. Non-aerialists will often ask me if it’s a competitive industry, or want to know how often cat fights break out and my answer typically disappoints them. Everyone I have ever met through this community is loving, supportive, and encouraging. I met most of my best friends in Austin inside the Sky Candy studio, in fact I can only think of one I met through work. After moving to a new city by myself with no family anywhere close, the family that I gained through Sky Candy is invaluable. I honestly don’t know what I would do without my Sky Candy family. Aside from that, it’s the only workout that keeps my short attention span *squirrel*, allows me to express my inner child, and stay in shape and healthy in a manner beneficial to my existing injuries.
SC: Why do you love coming to Andy’s Aerial Bootcamp every week?
C: Well, Andy is pretty amazing. He talks me off my ledges when I get frustrated, gives me a hug and tells me it will be alright, and then makes me do it again. For me, it’s perfectly balanced tough love. I also like the benefit of adding floor based conditioning classes to balance learning entrances, moves, and combinations in the series classes. I have come to Bootcamp consistently for a year and a half. 4 times I have been the only one to show up and I made it through the hour every time! The benefit of my consistency is Andy sees my progress every week, helps me target areas I am struggling with, or points out others where I am excelling. When I question if my skill level would be appropriate for a workshop or anything else, Andy can tell me for sure if I meet the requirements.
SC: What advice would you have for folks just starting their aerial journey?
C: The hardest part of aerials, for most people, is learning clean entrances, exits and pull-ups. These are the first things you will learn when entering this world. Don’t get discouraged, and don’t be surprised if learning mermaid in the trapeze is significantly easier for you than getting into it the first hundred times.
This is not a hobby you will get good at doing it once a week, if you want to really fly this needs to become a regular exercise. Also, don’t ever stop if it can be avoided. Take it from personal experience, training muscle memory is harder the second time around. Lastly, never forget that small progress is still progress; I have to remind myself of this constantly!
SC: What’s your favorite Bootcamp exercise?
C: Any and all the balances! Tail bone balances are a pretty consistent exercise done in Bootcamp and mine have gotten so much stronger. So have my front balance roll ups and my hollow body balances. Hard work paying off!