1) What was your biggest fear when you started at MFA?
Honestly, my biggest fear when I came to my first class at MFA almost 2 years ago was whether I was wearing the right clothing! I had never really worked out before, and I didn't want to stand out. I wore leggings and a tank top, and I fit right in. It was only when I got on the silks that I realized my biggest obstacle would be the fact that I had never really worked out before. (I couldn't raise my arms more than a couple inches after that first class.) Thankfully, I soon realized that everyone else in my Silks 101 class was a beginner, too.
2) What encouraged you most to keep coming back?
Even though I was a little discouraged by my lack of physical fitness, I was inspired by all the strong, badass, and friendly women in my classes. I'd like to give a special shoutout to my long-time friend Sarah Champion, who encouraged me to keep coming and let me use her guest pass! This support made coming back to class each week so much easier. My favorite thing about the studio (besides the ceiling height) is the excellent instruction I've gotten from my teachers. I've been known to "go rogue" on a move, especially when I'm learning. Each teacher has been so patient with me, whether I'm on the silks, hammock, hoop, or pole. They have taught me safety and good form, and I'll be forever grateful for it!
3) What is your favorite class to take?
Maybe you wouldn't guess it from my Instagram posts, but my favorite apparatus is hoop. I won't lie, partially what I love about hoop is that there are tons of beautiful resting poses! I also think that hoop has taught me the most translatable skills for silks, hammock, and pole. Most importantly, I've been able to master enough moves in hoop to allow me to practice flow. Achieving a flow state in my practice has been my proudest accomplishment.
4) What trick has taken you the longest to perfect? Are you currently working on anything specific?
Technically, the "trick" that has taken me the longest to perfect is my basic climb in silks. It's one of the first moves that you learn as a beginner, but it's one of the easiest skills to overlook. I took my first silks class in August of 2015, and I finally performed this climb with good form in June of 2017. In the aerial room, I'm focusing on form and transitions more than learning new moves. I've been recording myself and looking for points of weakness such as throwing my head back when I invert, awkward hand poses, and sloppy feet (somewhere between pointed or flexed). I'm so new to the pole room, that most of my focus is learning how to be on a pole. Specifically, I've been working on mastering weird balance moves like the stargazer, skater, and "Hello boys."
5) What is your advice for new students?
FORM IS EVERYTHING. Seriously, if you take the time to learn a move the right way, you will save yourself from so much injury and frustration later. When practicing a move, ask a teacher to watch you and give you feedback. Take their advice to heart and practice often. One last thing: don't be afraid to try weird poses once you've gotten the move down. You probably won't like how most of them look, but you'll probably land on one or two that will become a part of your signature style.