Guest blog post: Ginger Snaps on big boobs and aerials!
Welcome to a series of blog posts about the different challenges and rewards posed by different body types in aerials! For our first post, we turn to our resident burlesque instructor Ginger Snaps for a discussion on the challenges faced by aerialists with, shall we say, more going on in the chest area… aka big boobs!
Everyone loves them, but when it comes to aerial dance they can present their own unique set of challenges! When you’re more well-endowed, basic things like entrances and grips suddenly have to be amended and worked around, and finding good aerial clothing that fits and supports properly feels like you’re Indiana Jones searching for the holy grail!
Personally, I’ve had a difficult time with any of the flexy moves in pike (hello boob squish!) as well as slow inversions. Shoulder stand? Sure! Because nothing says fun like drowning in your own cleavage! Headstands? Gotta push through that awkward moment of face full of chest and not breathing to get upright. It can be incredibly frustrating when it feels like your own body is inhibiting your aerial goals, especially when it’s something you have little to no control over.
So what do you do?!? Well there’s of course the first wave of big boobed defense; the sports bra! Now just any bra won’t do, but I also don’t want to spend 60 bucks on a mega bra that looks like a horse harness. I still want to wear cute sports bras that don’t feel like alien face-huggers gripping to my chest like they’re trying to take over! So for me I like to double up on moderately supportive sports bras. That way I still have some support while wearing a cute and less constricting piece. And if you’re looking to do a lot of inversions, go for a higher necked sports bra to keep the girls from escaping!
The great thing about aerials is the plethora of choreographic options and moves to choose from. The standard not working for you? Ask your teacher to explore alternatives with you and see what you can come up with. You may even stumble into some delightfully unique moves that really set apart your performance style! I’ve had to look into alternatives for parallel entrances (big boobs plus short arms plus funky hips means there’s no way that’s going to work for me!) and found a whole new set of transitions that better fit my body and are more unique and in my opinion, more fun! Personally, approaching things from a straddle as opposed to any piked positions makes for more room for the girls to maneuver around and makes my aerial life infinitely more attainable!
While ultimately these things can be frustrating, I still wouldn’t give up the girls! They look fabulous in costuming right side up or upside down, and make your fun aerial shapes that much more curvy and voluptuous! And then there’s the special tricks you find that really make you appreciate the despite all the trouble they stir up; hello upside down tassel twirling! ;)”