Hello again Coaches.
I want to continue the conversation about the culture we create in our studios and gyms.
Last week we talked about ‘Tricks’ vs ‘Elements’.
This week I want to talk about….the drop.
If you run a silks program you know that students are obsessed with the drop. They can barely climb, can’t straddle up yet, and start asking when they get to learn drops. It’s tough as a coach to hold the line of form, technique, strength and safety when the drop is ever looming and feels like the be all and end all of aerial silks accomplishments. Not to mention there are places out there who are not taking the same care in preparation and student safety that we are!
This is where the rubber meets the road.
This is where you set the standard for your facility and where you make your mark.
This is where you have to decide to take the long road. The road to being a remarkable facility known for student safety and awesome coaching.
Drops are an earned element.
Drops are advanced elements.
Drops come when students are capable of controlled preparation.
Drops come when students can follow my number one rule in silks:
“At any point during the preparation and execution of the element I should be able to call STOP, and you have the strength and control to back out of it the way you went in.”
We use this rule to ensure that students can, at a low height, safely and with complete control and consistency get prepared and reverse that preparation over and over again.
If you have a ‘drops are the be all and end all’ culture already in your training space it’s going to be a tougher road to reverse this, but it’s not impossible and it’s worth the work. If you are just starting your programming, you can control the narrative now.
I promise you it is possible to have a program that is not drop focused. I have a Youth Silks Advanced Skills class. These students have been training aerial silks with me for over 5 years and we were just then beginning to explore the world of drops. I thought it was time to add a Drops Class for this focus so that our regular Advanced Skills class could continue to work on non-drop elements. Two registrants! That’s it! TWO! I built a program where the students understand that drops are not everything, and to them, they are not necessary for beautiful aerial silks mastery! It is possible!
I am by no means saying that we should not be teaching drops to our students. What I am saying is that we need to create a culture where the students see the drops as just one more element they have and not the entire reason for training silks. A drop is not better than a split element, or an inversion element. They all carry the same weight. They all carry the same beauty if executed with precision and control.
I believe that circus is a performance art at its core, and so form and control matter.
I believe that every element built into a performance is there to serve the story we are tying to tell.
I believe that elements like drops should create a sharp intake of “Wow, that’s amazing” breath and not a craggy intake of “ I’m afraid for the performers safety” breath.
Join me next week as we get further into the audience experience and how our Tricks vs Elements and the culture we create in our spaces translates to creation and the performance experience.