The beginning of September included a big weekend for Sky Candy! First, we welcomed our community to a preview of our brand new space with our inaugural First Flyday. Festivities included a potluck, open studio time, and fun extras like bodywork for those sore aerial muscles.
Then, we presented our very last Student Showcase in our Cesar Chavez space, delighting the audience with award-winning COTAC routines and brand new acts. And in between, we taught no fewer than 10 Try the Sky classes, most at full capacity. This means somewhere around 60 new students were recently introduced to the joy of circus arts. Whew!
If you’re one of our newer students, you might be wondering about the various opportunities we have to supplement your training. We hope you’ll take advantage of our incredible drop-in schedule. We’ve got conditioning classes galore, as well as dance and burlesque, handstands and acrobatics, flexibility, and so much more. Most of these classes are open to all levels (including total beginners) and any prerequisites are clearly listed when you sign up.
But there’s another training tool out there that some folks seem to find a bit elusive. We’d like to take a moment to clear up any confusion about Open Studio. Who’s it for? What’s it like? Am I ready? Here’s what you need to know for Open Studio Success!
Who Can Come to Open Studio?
Open Studio is designed for current, regular Sky Candy students. This is a place for our community members to review and perfect skills they’ve learned in Sky Candy classes. Are you currently in a Series class, reviewing fundamentals and learning new skills each week? Come on in and join us!
Only taken one Intro to Aerials class? It’s unlikely that you’ve absorbed and retained enough information to safely recreate those skills on your own without an instructor prompting you. Work in Open Studio is limited to things you already know well and can execute without cueing or spotting – which usually takes a few tries. Keep coming to class until you have a more solid foundation, then you can begin working on your own. If you’re still not sure whether you’re ready, ask your instructor!
What Happens in Open Studio?
Check in with the Open Studio host when you arrive and let them know which apparatus you plan to work on. Take yourself through a thorough warm-up (including enough cardio to break a light sweat). Your host will rig your apparatus for you and place it at the height you designate. Ask for any height adjustments as you need them. We do not allow students to make rigging changes.
Not sure what to work on? Start with the same conditioning drills your instructor challenges you with during class – shrugs, tuck-ups, pull-ups, and static holds. Then move on to the skills you’ve learned. (If your teacher provides a white board during class, you might want to take a photo of it to remind yourself of what you know.)
Go over each skill. On both sides. Try to string skills together into a sequence. See if you can do that sequence backwards or change up the order. If you find you have trouble remembering the details of what you’ve done in class, try keeping a notebook with cues or taking video of your instructor as they demo new moves. End your Open Studio session with a cool down and some stretching.
Finally, remember that you’re surrounded by other folks who are also passionate about circus arts. So, introduce yourself to your fellow students and take a look at what they’re working on. Maybe you’ll be inspired to try out a new apparatus next series or find someone to grab brunch with. While our primary goal during Open Studio is to train, it’s also a great opportunity to build community, a key element of the Sky Candy experience. Train hard and have fun!