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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The One With The Triumphant Return

I know I have been remiss in my blogging duties over the last several months and I hope to remedy that soon. While this does not excuse my absence I can offer you an explanation for my disappearance. In May I was approached about an aerial competition being held in Texas and encouraged to apply. Since I am the type of person who is driven by tangible goals I decided to enter the amateur silks division and general lyra division (since there is no amateur division for lyra). With 5 months of silks and 3 months of lyra under my belt I knew I was going to have to buckle down to create an application. I dedicated most of my energies to choreographing and refining a routines on both apparatus for submission in July.

Training is mostly unglamorous views from the apparatus
The process was a very private affair aside from the people who I trained with. I remember reading once that the best way to not accomplish something is to tell people about it. Telling people about what you are going to do triggers the same reward centers in your brain as doing. If I started talking to people about my new goals that might feel good enough and I would never accomplish the task. An equally compelling reason to keep my aspirations to myself was the very real possibility that I might apply and not be selected as a finalist despite my best efforts. Either way I was afraid to tell anyone about what I was working on other than in passing mentions as to where I was spending my time or why I was unavailable.
To my surprise I did make it into the 8 finalists in the amateur silks division which became a whole new focus starting in July. A fresh routine had to be choreographed and I needed to be stage ready by October. Being able to stay in the air and perform a three minute routine with some degree of control was my baseline for the application piece but for the competition I needed not only control but some degree of grace and musicality. I learned a lot in only a few months about moving with intent and the difference between DOING and PERFORMING a routine. While the competition aspect of this whole experience was not compelling for me the notion of performance and the difference between a student of an art form and a performer has changed how I approach the silks or any apparatus.

Photos from Miss Texas Pole Star 2013 performance
Without making one monstrous post about everything that has happened along the way I was thinking about breaking this into a series of blogs about the experience and what might have been nice to know along the way as a fledgling aerialist. This time though I promise not to leave you hanging as long between posts *pun intended*

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