Welcome to the second part of ‘Meet our instructors’. This month I’m talking to Emily who regularly teaches the beginners and advanced aerial hoop classes at the studio.
Emily is renowned for her dynamic and daring teaching style. She really pushes her students to their limits and helps them overcome their fears so let’s find out a bit more about her…

So Emily, how long have you been teaching aerial hoop?
I’ve been teaching aerial hoop for around 2 years now (I think).

Tell me what other skills you have?
That’s so broad! I did my degree in neuroscience and then gave it all up to teach pole and aerial. I’ve also recently started running and properly training handstands and hand balancing. Outside of super active stuff, I’m not sure if I have any skills…is eating a skill?

What do you love most about aerial hoop?
I love the flips and drops and dynamic tricks – anything dramatic is my favourite style of hoop.

What’s the funniest fail you’ve had to date?
Unfortunately, I don’t have any funny hoop fails beyond accidental stripping during rolls.
However, I’ve had many hilarious fails with my pole doubles partner Zoey where I’ve been dropped, kicked and much worse!

What advice would you give to aerialists just starting out?
Absolutely give it a go and try to stick with it for at least 4 weeks. It’s harder than it looks but once you get over that initial hurdle, it’s one of the most fun and addictive things you can do!

What are the most common struggles that your students have and what advice do you give for them to overcome them?
The biggest struggle I’ve seen teaching, and this seems to be getting worse, is self-confidence. Many people are perfectly capable of moves/sequences/skills but once they are inside their own head and in that ‘I can’t’ mindset, then they will unlikely be able to do it.
My best advice is to be kind to yourself and give yourself the advice you would give a best friend, If your friend was struggling, would you tell them they are rubbish and useless and should quit? No, so why give yourself those thoughts.

Tell us something we might not know about you?
My middle name is Kjersti, and it’s unlikely you will be able to pronounce it haha.

Your dog Aero is a firm favourite with all the students, what’s the funniest/embarrassing thing he’s done in the studio?
Honestly, he’s never done anything bad in studios. Maybe humping the odd person when he used to get over-excited.
However, out of the studio is a different story. We met a 9-week old labrador puppy in the park last month. It was beautiful and clean and soft and fluffy… then Aero proceeded to wee on its head – I’ve genuinely never been so mortified in my entire life!

How did you get into aerial?
I started pole at uni and then got into acro at a mini circus school in Harehills. From there the world of circus and aerial opened itself up to me.

What’s your favourite go-to snack?
It absolutely depends on the day. Chocolate if I’m being unhealthy and protein bars if I’m trying to be healthy. Also coffee…it might be strange to label it as a snack but that’s definitely how I treat it.

Who’s your hero?
It would absolutely depend on the context. I have many different heroes for many different aspects of my life. Bendy Kate is ultimately my pole and movement hero. She is absolute goals and constant inspiration.

Why do you enjoy teaching at LAA?
I really like teaching other people I am forever inspired by my students and I feel like they give me the push to push myself with my aerial training.

What was your first discipline?
My first discipline was pole, and will probably always stay my first love.
Before pole, I had never trained so I basically started from nothing with absolutely no body awareness and built it up from there. Acro was my second biggest love but I don’t train that so much these days. And hoop followed shortly after.

I also spoke to some of Emily’s regular students and this is what they said…

Hannah

“I’ve done aerial hoop for 4 years now and Emily is amazing at adapting any move to a version that was accessible, not just to me, but to everyone in the class. She always takes time to circulate, spot and offers advice to all participants. Plus, she takes a great photo! (And let’s face it; deep down, we’re all really here so our Instagram feeds look good!) Leeds Aerial Arts is a place of positivity, encouragement and above all, really powerful shoulders!”

Leanne

“Emily’s advanced classes are challenging but I always come away with a huge sense of achievement. She has a great style of teaching, always seems to know when to offer more assistance and her strength & conditioning. Her well-planned routines have made such a difference to both my aerial progression and general fitness.”

If you fancy training with Emily and giving yourself a challenge, you can book your place here.

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