Mar. 21st, 2016

ladysprite: (steampunk)
I've been taking lessons in aerial silks for a year and a half now, give or take, and I am still as thoroughly in love with it as I was after my first class. And, while I find circus arts in general hugely appealing, I've never felt the draw of another apparatus... until now.

A little while ago I wound up taking a 'survey of circus' class, that let us students spend a day at a time trying out a bunch of new things, dabbling in acrobatics and jump rope and hula hooping and pole and a handful of other things, including Spanish Web.

Spanish Web, for those of you not familiar with it (which is probably everyone; I know I'd never heard of it), is an extremely variant form of aerial rope. There's one long, thick rope to climb, and a second short loop at the top. The performer puts their hand or foot through the loop, and someone at the base keeps the rope under tension, spinning at speeds varying from 'slow and luxuriant' to 'ludicrous.' By then hooking a hand or foot on the longer rope, the performer can make all sorts of beautiful shapes with their body.

While spinning around.
Hanging by their wrist or ankle, 20' off the ground.

We didn't get to do much other than climb up and gently spin once or twice during survey class, but it seemed like a lot of fun in theory, so when my circus school offered a 3-week mini-session on Spanish Web, I leaped at the chance to sign up.

I'm two weeks into the session now, and it's amazing. It's harder than silks - rope is stiff and harsh and rough and difficult to manipulate and no fun at all. And trying to remember to keep your shoulders engaged and your eyes fixed on your hand (or on nothing at all) and feet together and core tense while *also* trying to remember the steps of a given wrap or move while *also* spinning like a top is at least one or two more details than I'm used to having to focus on at a time, even now.

I'm all over bruises from my instep to my shins, and I've got a heck of a rope burn on my right ankle (from climbing down, of all things; I'm used to just being able to slide down the silks). My feet feel like I ran a half-marathon in stiletto heels. But I also got to spin like a music-box ballerina, and learn how to stand on a vertical rope with my body parallel to the floor. This is freaking magic.

One more class is all I get. But it's still amazing as all get-out.... and maybe if I ask nicely, they'll start offering private lessons to follow on.....


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