Falling into Progress

Today was Day 3 of the European Aerial Dance Festival, hosted by Gravity & Levity, at The Point in Eastleigh. My Day 3 of being a student, not a teacher…

The video shows Tina sitting in red fabric falling backwards, returning to sitting ready to fall again. She is smiling!

Years ago I taught at the EADF. Then I stopped coming. This year, my 50th Birthday year, I thought I’d return as a participant.

I was nervous at first. How will it feel not to be with the teachers; to be a potential nameless face amongst many? Will I be one of the oldest? Should I change my story? Should I really be here?

I chose my classes carefully. Having taught Airhedz Aerial Yoga for five years now, I was curious to try someone else’s. Lee Clayden offered Ana Prada’s Vayu version; that would be a good warm-up and research into what Aerial Yoga means to other practitioners. Lee also offered a Gyrotonic movement class. I had no clue what that was, but thought it might be useful for Aerial Yoga too.

My only true aerial class was therefore Advanced/Experienced Aerial Fabric. I may have been dangling for quarter of a century, but the aerial vocabulary has progressed exponentially over that time, and spending most of my time now teaching, and not doing, I had no idea what level I should attend. The timing worked well for me so Advanced it was…

Danilo De Campos Pacheco is the teacher. Another had been named originally, but being taught by someone I didn’t know would always be beneficial. I sought to be pushed outside my comfort zone, just enough so as not to be damaged!

Concluding Day 3 I have shifted from anxiety to humility; from writing ‘FEELING INEPT’ in my journal, to taking the offerings with generosity, coping with them the best way I can. Today, the shifts from Lee, ‘focusing on the sit bones’, ‘finding space’, ‘releasing the abs’ and much more somehow clicked. I walked taller; I felt lighter. Would that transfer to Danilo’s long-arm relaxed straddles? Yes! I still have a long way to go, but progress has been made.

I am glad I swallowed my unwitting pride. I am glad I have turned 50. I am grateful that Lindsey has continued to provide CPD opportunities for the likes of me. There are still two days to go. Feeling bruisedly, painfully, lighter, I feel able to take them as the gifts that they are.

Happy Dangling!

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