Have your New Year’s resolutions led you to our Austin aerial studio? Whether you’re looking to get stronger, try something new, conquer your fears, or fulfill your childhood dream of joining the circus, our faculty and staff are ready to welcome you in with open arms. We’ve put together a couple of things we wish we’d known when we were just starting out. Read on to get the inside scoop on what to expect as you start your circus training!
We want you around for the long haul, so we’re always looking out for your safety. Make sure you come to the studio well-hydrated. A light snack shortly beforehand is recommended to keep your blood sugar steady, but a heavy meal might make turning upside down uncomfortable. Intoxicants of any kind are strictly forbidden! If you’re ever feeling not quite right during class (dizzy, in pain, etc.), tell your instructor and take a break. Continuing to push through when you’re injured could exacerbate the problem and sideline your training for weeks. And remember, never train alone and never train without a mat. Even our instructors and professional performers use mats for most of their training and sometimes in performance as well. Don’t take unnecessary risks!
Don’t compare yourself to others
Even in an intro level class, we have students from a wide variety of backgrounds and abilities. You never know if the person next to you has had decades of ballet training or is a champion rock climber. Find the joy in your own journey and celebrate every victory you make along the way. Don’t worry if you’ve just mastered a basic climb while your neighbor is already working on their first inversion. Progress is progress!
Drill those basics!
We understand the desire to learn trick after trick after trick. Everything is new and exciting, and you want to get as many skills under your belt as quickly as possible. As hard as you worked for that first inversion, by your twentieth, it’s bound to start feeling a little blah. But don’t stop practicing a basic skill just because you’ve learned something flashier. Climbs, inversions, beats and other foundational skills can and should continue to be part of your regular regimen. Keep perfecting them until the day you hand in your circus card.
Cross-Training Counts and Rest Days Are Real
As tempting as it is to spend every day in the studio, you need variety! Other physical activities complement your circus training perfectly. Get in some cardio to boost your stamina for longer aerial sequences. Take a dance class to improve your fluidity (and learn to point your toes!). Try a handstands class to work on your pushing strength (as opposed to all that pulling) or drop in on a flexibility class to lengthen those muscles and put more advanced skills within your reach. And make sure you are taking at least one rest day a week (more if you need them!). Overtraining is one of the leading causes of injury.
You may have come to our Austin aerial studio for a wide variety of reasons, but we bet one of them was finding a workout you enjoy. We’re not gonna sugarcoat it: circus is hard. It can be painful, especially in the beginning. It’s normal to feel frustrated and want to give up. When things get tough, remember, you’re doing this because, even though it’s hard, it’s also a blast. For most of us, this is the most fun we’ve ever had, and we love sharing it with you. Those bruises are going to fade, you’re going to nail that impossible trick, and the reward is going to be better than you could have imagined. We believe in you.