To Branch Out, or Not To Branch Out: Aerial Monogamy vs. Polyamory

All apparatus silhouettes“I’ve been taking lyra for a year now, and I’m kind of curious about silks- should I stick with lyra and keep getting better at it, or try something new, even though I’ll be a beginner again?”

“I’ve taken Intro to Verticals and Intro to Horizontals, and I love all of the apparatuses- do I need to pick just one?”

These are common discussions we hear at the Sky Candy Studio, and they are great questions to ask- is it better to commit to one apparatus and focus all your energy there, or to branch out and try many different apparatuses or disciplines?

Like any decision, there are many pros and cons to consider. It is true that the more time you spend with any single apparatus, the stronger and more skilled you will be on that apparatus. Some people feel a very strong connection to one apparatus, and if all you really want to do is rope, the best way to get really bad-ass at rope is to… well, do rope!

However, there can be many benefits to taking a break from your favorite apparatus. For one, every apparatus has its own demands on your body, and a specific set of muscles and body awareness that it builds- trying another apparatus can help you build a new set of muscles and skills (as well as a nice new set of callouses!), and can give overworked muscles a much-needed break. Additionally, skills you learn on one apparatus can help you better understand skills on another apparatus, so your break from pole to try silks might actually yield some great results in your pole practice. Plus, having familiarity with a variety of apparatuses can expand your creativity in your favorite apparatus- there’s nothing like learning a new skill on hammock, and realizing that you can do something similar on the trapeze!

And then there’s the question of switching disciplines entirely- it can be very beneficial to take a break from aerials to try handstands or ballet instead! Working an opposing set of muscles, or focusing on your coordination and articulation, can be a great break from aerial work, and will complement your aerial practice when you return!

At the end of the day, the decision of what disciplines to practice is a personal one- feel free to ask your fellow aerialists and teachers for advice, but always do what feels right for your body, and most importantly, follow your heart!

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