Hi SFAA gang! Emily here, if you couldn’t already tell that from the exclamation marks! We are halfway through the summer break already. Hope you are all having a wonderful time and missing us lots! Let me fill you in on what your instructors have been up to over the summer! Read on below to find out more!
Hedge End Carnival
Zorena, Sarah and I set up camp on one of the hottest days in the middle of the summer heatwave at the Hedge End Carnival... We were fashionably the last to arrive, amongst scout groups, trinket-sellers and of course a classic win-a-mini stand! We wasted no time getting started, haphazardly trying to erect a gazebo, put suncream on, down our coffees and lay out leaflets all at once!
Throughout the afternoon Zorena and Sarah demonstrated some kickass pole moves, showed people how to do a couple of basic spins and posed beautifully for the camera! Meanwhile I had put so much suncream on that I was a one-woman pole destroyer, oiling up the pole so it was nice and slippy whenever I went anywhere near! Oops! Banned from touching the pole I was relegated to the position of leaflet girl!
We had lots of people come over and see what we were all about, including one gent that got up from his mobility scooter to have a spin! He was a little puffed out by the time the girls had finished showing him the ropes, but hey, aren’t we all?
Overall we had a lovely day in the sunshine, getting some lovely strange tan lines from our pole gear!
Ben Brown Workshop
Zorena and a couple of the advanced hoop students (myself included!) had the opportunity to travel to London for a workshop with the amazing Ben Brown. If you don’t follow him on Instagram already then it’s well worth checking him out! @benbrowncirque - His style is very unique, lots of bendy shapes and loads of dynamic tricks.
All ready for our road trip we set off, with some classic Sophie Bowers commentary about the areas of London that we were driving through and a fun Christmas soundtrack provided by Caroline! We arrived at My Aerial Home just in time for a coffee (a SFAA necessity) before starting the workshop.
The studio was lovely, with a sweet little coffee shop waiting area, a wee puppy mascot and lots of lovely high hoops and trapezes. Perfect! We dropped, rolled, pushed and pulled our way through a variety of advanced moves and combos until we could do no more! Expect a little punishment to trickle it’s way back down to our hoop squad…
Our most recent and longest running road trip can’t really be classed as a road trip... Since it was literally round the corner at The Point in Eastleigh. The EADF is an annual aerial dance festival run by Gravity & Levity that we are ridiculously lucky to have so near to home. Zorena attended last year solo, but this year she had to put up with my company!
The EADF isn’t like anything I have ever done before. As well as learning amazing new aerial apparatus we were also coached on how to breathe, where to look, how to create an atmosphere, entering and exiting the stage as well as some intense massage techniques. There was a lot more physical contact than I was expecting! Anyone who has ever tried to hug me knows how rigid and awkward I am… Imagine my surprise on the first day to be full-body-massaged by several strangers! Honestly though, by day 5 I was just going with it! We had heaps of fun and adventures, met some lovely new friends and connected with lots of people in the aerial community.
Zorena, Eleanor (one of Zorena’s regular university attendees and all round aerial enthusiast) and myself were signed up for dance trapeze, cocoon & massage, with the boss doing cyr wheel on top of all that too! The week flew by, as is always the case when you are enjoying yourself. We worked hard, played hard, made eye contact with lots of people, danced, rolled, dropped and generally caused the usual havoc! The instructors and teaching assistants were all incredible, engaging and adorable.
At the weekend, as a final farewell to our week at the EADF, Zorena and I took part in a couple of one-off workshops. We were joined in counterbalance fabric by Sharon, our lovely pole instructor that heads up the Eastleigh side of SFAA, and by Lexi, one of our most advanced hoop and pole students for double cloud swing with the amazing Saar Rombout (again, check out her Instagram for some amazing aerial).
Upcoming SFAA potential road trips include Bristol Pole Championships where Zorena is a judge, Once Upon A Pole, a collaborative pole performance from studios all over the country that you may have seen or heard us rehearsing for and obviously Solent Pole & Aerial Hoop Competition! If you want to come along to any of the events or help out at Solent let us know and keep an eye on the SFAA students Facebook page! Don’t forget we also have a whole day of workshops planned on SUNDAY the 2nd of September! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your place!
If you spot any workshops, performances or events that you are interested in, message us and we will make it happen!
We hope you are enjoying the summer break, we have so many ideas brewing for when term resumes… Y’all better be ready to WERK!