All right, so you’ve made it to the aerial studio on time and ready to go. What’s next? Let’s take a look at your behavior in class and how (in addition to making your instructor’s life difficult) you might be sabotaging your own training. For circus class conduct that will win you gold stars and get you great training results, keep reading!
Make Like a Scout
Come to class prepared! Make sure you’re ready for whatever your instructor chooses to challenge you with. That means arriving well-hydrated, with your (non-glass) water bottle, so you can continue to replenish fluids during class. Ideally, you’ve eaten something recently, so you’re not in danger of low blood sugar fuzzing up your brain and body, but you haven’t just downed a rich, four-course meal that will leave you feeling lethargic and possibly nauseated. And of course, there’s no alcohol or other substances in your body that could jeopardize your safety.
Dress to Impress
Another important part of preparation? Your clothes! Most aerial studios provide guidelines on what to wear — if you’re new to the studio or to a particular apparatus, we recommend sticking to the dress code! It’s there primarily for your safety and comfort, and to ensure your success. For example, silk burn on bare legs is no fun, so we recommend pants in silks class. Pole, on the other hand, demands bare skin for stickiness; you’ll have a hard time executing climbs and other skills without shorts. Once you understand the reasons for the dress code and determine your own level of comfort, you might (with studio permission) make some adjustments. For example, even though it’s recommended that backs of knees be covered in trapeze class, some students are more comfortable in shorts and don’t mind (or feel) any extra discomfort. There’s no safety issue here, so it should be fine.
Keep It Classy!
A few things to think about when you’re in class: first of all, this is your time, so use it wisely. Warmup, conditioning, and cool down are important parts of class that prevent injuries and increase strength and flexibility (helping you nail that big important skill you’ve been drooling over). Don’t skimp on them. Pay attention to your instructor, even when the lyra class across the studio is learning some super cool distracting spinny thing. Don’t attempt to teach or correct your fellow students — that’s your instructor’s job. It’s confusing enough when you’re upside down and backwards; only one voice should be telling you what to do next. Stay present, even when it’s not your turn on the apparatus — there’s much to be learned from watching how other students execute a skill, and a big part of class is celebrating each other’s accomplishments. Be there for your classmates when they nail something new, and commiserate with them when none of you is able to do the thing . . . yet. And remember, some days are not your day. It’s totally fine (and expected) that you’ll have an off day, be tired, be cranky, etc. Try not to take it out on yourself (or your instructor), but don’t stress too much if you’re not all sweetness and light 100% of the time. We’ve all been there, and we’ll all be there again — it’s part of the circus journey!
We’ll talk more about how to deal with training highs and lows in future posts. In the meantime, we hope the guidelines above will be helpful to you as you make your way through your first (or fifteenth or fiftieth) circus class. Come prepared, dress for the skill you want, and keep your eyes on the prize. See you in class!