Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Acrobatic fun at Firefly

You could say that when Andrew and I get into something we really go whole-hog. When we took the intro to aerials in May, we loved it right away from the first class. I went so far as to ask our instructor at the end of the class when the next level would be starting up--I liked it that much. We took a stretching class in July. There were a bunch we were interested in, but being a wannabe writer and a PhD student means that we can't be out of our home every night of the week or we'll never get our work done. We also started going to the drop in sessions after the end of our intro class. We were by far the least skilled at the drop ins, but whatever, we wanted to practice the skills we'd learned so that we wouldn't be completely rusty be the start of our next class. So, when we were at one of the drop in sessions we heard about the special classes being held in September by a guest instructor. One week, 3 different classes. Which ones to take?

I think one of the reasons I love skating is the 'human powered flying' that can be achieved in jumping (I've always been a much better jumper than a spinner). Therefore, I knew right away I wanted to take the 3-night acrobatics course. The other classes sounded nifty too (Chinese pole--not stripper/pole dancing, and duo trapeze), but I wanted to do tumbling, handstands, etc. I think I send in my request to sign up about five minutes after we received the official announcement email (go smartphones with email alert). Classes were scheduled for 2 hour blocks in the evenings (M/W/F), the week of September 12th.

There were nine of us in class in total (several seemed to be signed up for the other courses as well) all with varying skill levels, although I think Andrew and I were the newest to Firefly. We worked a lot of handstands on the first day, plus back arches, and worked on assisted back walk overs. I know we also got some cartwheels in, although I don't remember what else. It was a pretty tiring class, but fun. The instructor, Chris Taylor, was very good. He teaches in Toronto, and is also a circus performer. He was very positive and energetic and was good at breaking things down so we could understand  how to do (or attempt) to do the moves. Our second and third days were in fact, quite similar, although we got to go in a harness and attempt back tucks.

By the third day I was tired.We'd been physicially active every day of the week and Andrew's stomach seemed to be quite unsettled, causing him to miss half of the class. A couple of people got to try back tucks without the harness (I was a bit disappointed that I wasn't one of them, but again, I was pretty tired by that point anyway). Andrew and I got shown a new balance/lift move (we had done a couple on the second day when we were just practicing the various things we'd been taught), but again, my arms were really tired and I couldn't get myself into the right position to achieve the lift. We've heard that Chris might be back in the winter, so we'll almost definitely sign up for more classes and hopefully I can work on my handstands and back arches until then.



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