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How to Find Your Aerial Soul Mate

 

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Do you dream of dancing through the air with an amazing aerial partner? Performing high level switches, catches, poses and choreography to rapturous applause?

Trouble is… Every time you think you have found the Torvill to your Dean (or vice versa); she moves across the country, he can’t commit to the training, she books a once-in-a-lifetime-tour (yay?), he wants to train with (many) other people… you get the idea.

Here at Womack and Bowman, we have been fortunate enough to work together consistently for more than six years. We first met when Brett moved to LA from San Francisco and Rachel saw him performing (brilliantly, according to Rachel) on Rope one evening at a local theater. Instantly impressed, she loudly declared ‘I have to have him!’ much to the shock of the two elderly ladies seated next to her.

Fortunately she had been asked to recommend a male aerialist to work with her on a corporate gig the following week and the rest, as they say, is history.

However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. We both took solo contracts in the first few months of working together, to pay the bills while we researched our first Aerial Slks duo act. This made it harder to train daily and stay focused on what we were creating.

Once we had made the act though and shopped it around to various entertainment companies, we began performing it consistently, which meant more time training and improving together as a duo.

Check out one of our first Aerial Silks duo performances HERE:

It can be challenging to find (and keep) your ideal doubles partner.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when you are looking for your aerial soul mate:

Seek Out a Partner Who Shares Your Vision

Committing to forming a professional aerial duo is a serious task, be sure your partner to be is up to it.

Before you get too serious, interview your prospective partner and find out his/her aerial goals. It is important that you share a similar dream for the future.

Here are a few key questions to ask:

  • Do you intend to stay in … (insert your city name or town)?  If the answer is no, decide whether you might be willing to relocate for the partnership, if not and they are not willing to stay, move on. There are some aerial duo’s that do commute long distance, meeting up for performances and workshops, but this is often after years of establishing themselves as a duo and hundreds of hours spent training.
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years? HINT if the answer is anything close to; “On my couch with 6 kids watching Pixar movies in our PJ’s, having forgotten all about aerial…”  You probably want to keep looking.
  • Are you willing to turn down work that does not propel us forward as a duo e.g. Long term solo work that involves travel? There may be some personal, solo career sacrifices that have to be made if you are serious about your long-term success as a duo. Be sure that both yourself and your potential partner are willing to make these before you get too far into the partnership.

 

 The (near) Perfect Match

Whether you are looking for a same-sex aerial partner or the opposite there are some physical requirements that usually need to be met.

In most aerial partnerships (not all of course) one partner will need to be the ‘base’ and one the ‘flyer.’ For this to work one person will generally need to either be taller/physically stronger and the other smaller.

When seeking out this type of aerial partner keep in mind the role that you see yourself playing and look for your ‘opposite.’

There are also aerial duo’s that are more of a physical ‘match.’ Take for example Cirque Du Soleils Atherton twins (who are twin brothers IRL). This kind of duo, will still usually include various basing and flying components in their acts but will focus primarily on beautiful shapes and lines that compliment the symmetry of their bodies.

When seeking out this type of aerial partner, look for someone with a similar body type to yours, ideally with a complementary style of movement.

Your perfect aerial partner is out there, keep searching and stay open to new opportunities!

Have a fantastic rest of your week!

Much love,
Brett and Rachel

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