Back in August, one of our instructors Maisie, and long time client Hannah took part in Cloud Aerial Arts pole and aerial competition. The whole day was dedicated to polers and aerialists from studios across the UK sharing and showing off their awesome creativity, strength and skills. For Hannah and Maisie, this was their first-time competing and in true LAA fashion, they both placed in their categories.  Amazing! – We knew they would! I caught up with them to find out more about their performances and how they found the whole experience. Hannah
Tell me about your experience with your first aerial competition. “Terrifying! But also wonderful. I loved the prep, choreography, choosing music, and choosing a costume. On the day the nerves really hit but luckily all the competitors were lovely. What I hadn’t considered was how long the day would be with so many acts but the standard was so high and the routines so good that in the end, it flew by. It was such a positive atmosphere, made even better by the fact there were some friendly LAA faces in the audience.” What made you want to compete? “Having done aerial for 4 years I felt like I needed to ‘do’ something with it. I loved to dance and perform when I was younger and I missed it. This was a chance to perform but also prove to myself how far I’ve come.” How did you come up with your routine? “A lot of it was dictated by the music. There were some key parts of my song choice that leant themselves to big, dynamic movements and then others that needed something more flowing. I also thought about moves I enjoy doing and know that I can do confidently.” How did you feel training for it? “I enjoyed the training – 3 minutes doesn’t sound like a lot but rarely in class are we completely active on the hoop for that long without a break. The judges are looking for stamina and for big moves, all the way through, not just at the beginning when you’re still full of energy.” How did you feel on the day? “So nervous! I knew my routine inside out but once there’s an audience there and you have to think about performing as well as remembering the routine, your brain melts.” Where did you place in your category and how did you feel? “So, I came second in my category….out of three! Haha! But I’ll take that. To not come absolute bottom in my category was the dream and I managed that.” Will you be doing another one? “Ideally yes. I got some great feedback from the judges and luckily, the critique I’d given myself matched with their comments. I’d definitely like to try and work on my feedback but I think it’ll be a while before I’m confident enough with my skills for round 2.” Maisie
Tell me about your experience “I had an awesome time, I was so nervous before but everything went pretty well in the end. I had loads of fun getting creative choreographing a routine and making a costume beforehand. And I got the opportunity to meet and watch loads of other aerialists perform on the day which was really inspiring.” What made you want to compete? “I’d been thinking of doing a competition for a while, thinking it would be a good way to push myself to train harder and get a bit out of my comfort zone. But having never performed hoop before or ever competed just the thought of it made me pretty nervous, but when I saw the local(ish) competition advertised I thought it was a good a place to start as any! “ How did you come up with your routine? “I wanted to tell a bit of a story so I started by thinking of a few themes I liked and one theme stuck in my head, so I thought I’d run with that. I wanted to tell a story about how it’s easy to get caught up in work and earning money and “adulting”, which kinda sucks, but it’s important not to fill your time with things you think you should be doing and instead to find what you actually love doing and do much more of that. For me obviously that’s aerial and coaching, and I’m lucky I can do that as a job! “ How did you feel training for it? “It was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster I’m not going to lie. I had loads of ideas for transitions and moves I wanted to include, but 90% of the time they didn’t work or I didn’t feel like they fit the story I wanted to tell. I set myself a deadline of the end of July to make a routine so I had most of August to practice but I put the pro in procrastination so that didn’t happen :’) Saying that I totally loved the creative side to choreographing, and it made me put a lot more thought into straight legs and pointy toes that I had before so that’s pretty good. It was awesome to have a goal to aim for and It was actually a nice change learning stuff just for my own training rather than for teaching.” How did you feel on the day? “I have never been so nervous in my life :’) I had quite a while to wait before I was on which didn’t help too much, and it was super weird because loads of people I knew were there. Initially, I thought that would make me more nervous but I’m actually glad there were so many friendly faces in the crowd! But I kind of forgot about being nervous on the hoop, and I just really enjoyed performing and everything went pretty well so yeah, I actually had a really good time!” Where did you place and how did you feel? “My initial aim was just to turn up and perform a routine I was happy with without falling to my death in front of a large crowd. In the end not only did I survive, but I came third in the ‘Advanced’ category which is pretty nuts because I was up against some awesome aerialists. I was really happy and a tad shocked that I had placed, and it definitely made me more confident in my ability!” Will you be doing another one? “Yeah, I’d definitely like to do another one! It was great fun, and I met some new aerialists and saw some brilliant performances which is always cool. Next time ill try and procrastinate a little less and give myself more than a week to learn a routine, and hopefully, I’ll be a little less nervous :’).”