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Keeping Your Balls in the Air: A Guide for Aerialists with External Genitalia

Do you have balls? Do they wobble to and fro? Do some aerial apparatuses and techniques
make you fear for your apparatus at the expense of your technique? If you’re worried about
your external genitalia staying safe while practicing and performing aerials, this post is for you.

Underwear in the Air

The right underwear are your first line of defense. There is endless debate amongst male
aerialists as to what’s best. Folks who have experience in the dance world tend to prefer dance
belts as their base layer solution. Others prefer to wear briefs that are on the snug side to keep
everything in place. There are also specialized options such as the Andrew Christian Show-It
line, which are made to be like a push-up bra for your dangly bits. The intent might be for looks,
but these undies really do keep your balls in place, and tucked away from things that want to crush
them. If you’re in Austin, we strongly recommend checking out Package Menswear for your
specialized underwear needs.

Embrace the Leggings

Some folks begin their aerial journey with us and have concerns about wearing leggings or
unitards, but a close fitting layer between your undergarments and the apparatus will help to
keep everything in its right place. Not only will looser fitting layers potentially cause
uncomfortable slippage, but they may also get tangled in the apparatus, leading to discomfort
in more ways than one! Your inner thighs are far too close to your inner peace to leave them
bare, and if you have body hair you wish to keep, consider leggings the most effective anti-
depilatory.

Proceed with Caution: Strategies for Success

Now that you’ve donned your best underoos and pantaloons, and you know exactly where your
berries belong, it’s time for tactical engagement. Your instructor asks you to “roll around,
holding the lyra between your legs” or “pass the pole of the silks from your left side to right side” and your spidey-sense says, “there’s something crucial in the way!” Hold on to your britches. If you find
yourself in a situation where you are being asked to do a skill that involves crossing the groin
area, think about slowly lowering into that position, or pivoting your crotch around the pole.
Whether you’re having trouble *ahem* adjusting to the skill, or are afraid to think about where
to start, consider talking with your instructor about it. They may have balls, they may not, but
they will probably have advice as to how to best deal with your genitalia in certain maneuvers.

Your Body, Your Rules

Some things are just more uncomfortable on some bodies than others, and you always get to choose if you do a particular skill or not. Remember that whenever an instructor asks you to do a skill, you can always say “no” or “not today.”

Have more questions or concerns about these issues? Feel free to ask any of our instructors or our friendly front desk staff, and they will connect you with an experienced aerialist with external genitalia who can provide tips and tricks. Happy flying, folks!

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Spotlight on: Trapeze

Trapeze at Sky Candy

Trapeze- synonymous with circus, it’s one of the most popular aerial apparatuses we teach at Sky Candy. Composed of a metal bar attached to two ropes suspended from the ceiling, the trapeze is an instant favorite among our new students, many of whom remark that the sensation of sitting on the bar recalls childhood memories of carefree sessions on the swing set, or daring maneuvers on the monkey bars. While many folks are most familiar with the Flying Trapeze, or its relative the Swinging Trapeze, Sky Candy’s trapeze disciplines of choice are the static trapeze, single-point trapeze, and duo trapeze.

Static Trapeze

Unlike the flying and swinging trapeze, the static trapeze does not move, and the trapeze artist executes maneuvers under the bar and in the ropes.

Single Point Trapeze

Exactly what it sounds like, a single point trapeze is hung from just one point, so that the ropes form a triangle rather than a rectangle. This apparatus is popular with aerialists who like to spin, and is often called Dance Trapeze, because of the smooth, flowing choreography made possible by the single point rigging configuration.

Duo Trapeze 

This challenging discipline involves executing partner maneuvers on the trapeze, often, but not always, with the aerialists assuming the roles of “base” and “flyer”.

Unfortunately, we do not currently have the coaching capacity or space to offer swinging trapeze or flying trapeze- but you can check out our neighbors at Circus of Hope if you fancy going for a swing on the flying trapeze!

History of the Trapeze

According to circus lore, the trapeze was first invented in the mid 1800’s by Jules Leotard (who is also the namesake the iconic piece of clothing beloved by aerialists the world over). As a teenager, Leotard started experimenting with swinging maneuvers over his family’s swimming pool, and in 1859 performed the first recorded trapeze routine at the Cirque Napoleon. Over time, the trapeze has evolved into many different related apparatuses, including the flying trapeze, swinging trapeze, static trapeze, dance or single point trapeze, duo trapeze, and Washington trapeze (also known as head trapeze, as the aerialist performs headstands while swinging on the weighted bar).

Over time, aerialists throughout the world have embraced this appealing apparatus, expanding the range of skills and achieving some truly impressive feats.

Anatomy of the Trapeze

A trapeze bar is made of hollow steel, providing a stable base for a multitude of skills. The ropes can be made of nylon, cotton, or, most coveted among trapeze artists, cotton with a core of steel. The attachment point between ropes and bar is usually padded, for the added comfort of the trapeze artist.

While trapeze is not as dependent on custom sizing as the lyra/aerial hoop, aerialists often have preferences about their bar width, rope material and length, and type of tape or padding, so will often have their own bars custom-made for them

Your First Trapeze Class

Intrigued by the trapeze? You can start your trapeze journey today at Sky Candy! Just sign up for our beginner-friendly Intro to Aerials class, and you’ll get to “meet” the trapeze, along with its pals the silks, lyra, and hammock. Make sure to wear clothing that covers the backs of your knees- the trapeze’s metal bar doesn’t feel terribly comfortable on bare skin! If you’re truly smitten, you can continue your journey with Intro to Trapeze and Lyra, a four-week beginner-friendly Series class that will introduce you to the basics on our “horizontal” or bar apparatuses, and from there you can launch into Trapeze 1, and beyond! Happy flying!

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EAST Featured Artists at Sky Candy

EAST Featured Artists at Sky Candy

Sky Candy has been participating in EAST (East Austin Studio Tour) since 2010. We’ve
performed at our friends’ art spaces, hosted our own student showcases, collaborated with
visual artists to create circus and aerial themed art, and more!

Don’t know what the East Austin Studio Tour is? East Austin Studio Tour (EAST) is a free, annual,
self-guided art event spanning two weekends in November. EAST provides opportunities for the
public to meet the artists and artisans of Austin in their creative spaces. The 2017 tour includes
505 participants, with 241 Artist Studios, 66 Galleries, 155 Temporary Exhibitions, 26
Happenings, 10 Libraries, and 7 Schools. This website serves as an overview of tour stops and a
schedule of events. It is intended to help tour-goers choose their own unique EAST experiences.

Sky Candy is stop #303! You can find a complete list of studios participating in the tour here.

This year, EAST runs the weekends of November 11-12th and 18-19th. EAST is one of our favorite
Austin events and we’re excited for what we have in store this year, including student
showcases on Saturday November 11th and 18th and Try-the- Sky Intro to Aerials Classes each day
of both weekends.

This year we’re also hosting some artists who are near and dear to our hearts at our studio!

The Arc of the Capital Area

The Arc is a non-profit that provides services for people with intellectual and
developmental disabilities (I/DD), including art classes. A couple of months ago, we
partnered with the Arc to have their art students develop a series of paintings evoking
whimsical circus imagery. We’ve got a display of their works available for sale inside our
student in our lounge area.

Students of the Arc earn a commission from selling their art work, which is great for
building their self-confidence and helping them achieve increased self-reliance by having
their own income. This project also helps promote a truly inclusive art community in
Austin, which includes featuring the unique artistic perspective of people with I/DD.
Come by the studio and see these sweet works for yourself! If you’d like to purchase
something, please ask our helpful Front Desk staff for assistance.

Adam Rodriguez

Adam Rodriguez is a visual artist and performer based in Austin, TX. He’s a company
member of La Fenice, Austin’s own award-winning Commedia dell’Arte performance
group. He also happens to be the uncle of one of our youth students!

Adam will be featuring his comic book style watercolor works including pieces from my
Watership Down Series, Fantasy Art Series, and the Monsters in Literature series, as well
as some of his acrylic on canvas pieces, which are a mix of the frightening and the
fantastic.

Adam believes that creativity is only limited by one’s capacity to imagine. He has created
a whole other universe and filled it with frightening and beautiful things.

Adam will be available to answer questions about his work throughout both weekends
of EAST.

You can check out more of Adam’s work and support him via his Patreon here.

We look forward to seeing you at EAST!

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Find your poling place

Here at Sky Candy, we’re into community engagement.  This comes in many forms, from
actively working to always make sure our space feels accessible and inclusive to new students
to presenting a wide range of bodies on stage in our performances to raising funds for
organizations we believe in, including SAFE AlliancePlanned Parenthood of Greater Texas,
and Austin Pets Alive. We work daily to support the causes we believe in!

Civic engagement is a major part of this as well. Travis County has 726,770 registered voters,
but only 5.5% (just 39,806 voters) came out during the 14-day early voting period that ended
last Friday. Election Day is tomorrow – Tuesday, November 7 th and we hope this post will help
you find your way to your polling place!

Not sure where to vote, what you need to vote, or what’s on the ballot? Check out this
overview of what’s happening!

Where to Vote
Travis County Election Day Polling Locations (PDF)
Travis County Election Day Polling Locations (Google Maps)

Places Near Sky Candy:
 Govalle Elementary School, 3601 Govalle Ave (Precinct 426, 444)
 Allan Elementary School, 4900 Gonzales St (Precinct 427)
 Pan AM Recreation Center, 2100 E 3rd St (Precinct 439)
 Carver Library, 1161 Angelina St ( Precinct 124)
 Sims Elementary, 1203 Springdale Rd (Precinct 129)

The polls are open 7am – 7pm on Tuesday, November 7th and we encourage you to find time
before work or class to swing by your nearest polling place and vote!

Travis County voters may vote at any precinct polling place in Travis County, so you do not have
to go to the one in the precinct you live in!

What to Bring When You Vote
Voter ID: Voters who do not have photo ID may vote after signing a Reasonable Impediment
Declaration and providing a supporting documentation. Visit www.traviscountyclerk.org for a
list of acceptable forms of ID and documentation.
You can find more information on this upcoming election at votetravis.com.

What’s On The Ballot
Find Sample Ballots Here

Two bonds are up for vote this fall, one from Travis County and one from the Austin
Independent School District. The county’s consists of two propositions, totaling $184.9 million,
that splits roughly even ($93.4 million and $91.5 million) between transportation improvements
(proposition A) and various park and conservation easement plans (prop. B). AISD’s brings $1
billion in facility improvement, new schools, and other amenities to the ballots. Voter info can
be found below, along with our stories on the two bonds.

In additional to the two bonds above, there are also seven propositions on the ballot.
 Proposition 1 (Allow partial tax exemption for disabled veterans)
 Proposition 2 (Amend law governing home equity loans)
 Proposition 3 (Create term limits for appointed boards)
 Proposition 4 (Delay court decisions on constitutionality)
 Proposition 5 (Expand “charitable raffles” for sports teams):
 Proposition 6 (Allow tax exemption for survivors of first responders)
 Proposition 7 (Enable “savings lotteries” at credit unions)

Too busy to do in-depth research on all of these topics? Check out these resources for voter’s
guides and endorsements:
League of Women Voters of Texas
Austin Chronicle Endorsements
Austin American-Statesman Editorial Board Opinion