What is your favourite Apparatus?
Lyra. I have fallen in love with aerial dance. I love dancing and this has become such a natural next step for me. Once I started I was hooked. Learning Lyra challenges me every day. It’s been amazing watching my muscles change and adapt, watching how one week I couldn’t do something and the next week I could, watching muscle memory and neuroplasticity in action. When before I couldn’t remember a dance routine, it is slowly becoming more natural, so all the neurotransmitters and synapses are slowly but surely developing.
How long have you been dancing in the Lyra?
I’ve been doing Lyra for about 5 months now.
Did you ever feel nervous when you first started Lyra?
I felt terribly nervous starting out. I didn’t think I would ever be able to do it. It was hard and I didn’t have the strength in my back and arms. I felt pretty low and scared starting out as the aerial dancers I have seen online and at studio’s look so amazing and talented and I had no experience at all.
How does Lyra make you feel?
Lyra makes me feel happy. I feel so much joy being up there and learning more and more moves. Dancing makes all the bullshit disappear and for a time it’s just pure concentration, adaptation, choreography, learning, concentrating, performing, and pointing those damned toes. It’s frustrating, it’s challenging and it’s inspiring. Lyra makes me feel alive, fit, healthy, beautiful and strong.
Who is the Lyra Artist that inspires you the most?
Irina Akimova. This September I went to see Cirque de Soleil Kooza at the Entertainment Quarter. Irina came out in blazing glory, her stylized hair, makeup and wardrobe was insane, however when she performed her lyra, aerial routine, I lost my mind. The G force she must have endured was massive, she had no safety, she spun and twisted, and hung on upside down by her feet. Irina moved in the air as though it was the most normal thing to do in the world, however with my tiny experience I knew that in that performance she was working harder than anyone ever has. I had to look her up once I got home, and what makes her even more inspiring is she is a mom and a human who works hard at aerial and dance and spends time with her family. Her instagram account is more representative of a mom who likes dance and circus, as well as this amazing performer that she is. I’m truly inspired by her.
What advice would you give someone who wanted to give Lyra a try, but was a little nervous?
I was so shy that I never ever pursued a career or any form of dance ever in my life. I have always loved it so much but was insecure and lacked the confidence. You always see the good, amazing, talented people online and I knew I wasn’t like that. Then one day I realized that I love dance so much and I must do something with all those dreams. I would dream about performing all the time. I suppose you get to an age where you stop giving a damn and you just try. I was so afraid to fail or not be good enough. Now I know I was the only one in the way. My advice to everyone who dreams of performing is to start. Start anywhere and anyway you can. Join a dance class and always remember, you wont be good at it at first. No-one is ever good at things in the beginning. Be okay with that. If you can be okay with not being good at something, the learning part is easier. We’re so hard on ourselves for not being beautiful enough, talented enough, strong enough, anything enough. It’s sad we’re like that but we are. Be strong and have courage, and try out. Don’t be afraid, and don’t be intimidated by those further advanced than you. Just make it about you and focus on your own development and it’ll be the best thing you ever did for yourself.
Has Lyra changed the way you view yourself?
Lyra is changing my view of myself in so many ways. Joining Sky Sirens is changing everything in such a positive way. I’ve met some amazing wonderful people who are going through ups and downs in life like everyone else. It’s like therapy hanging out at the studio with everyone who are all so unique to each other. So many people from so many different journeys in life. I love that it is helping me with my anxiety and makes me feel happy when I have been feeling low. Life has it’s challenges and aerial dance is a perfect way for me to deal with all of them. I get to dress up and feel beautiful, I get to push myself and challenge my brain and body, I get to work out and build muscles and strength while having fun. It’s made me more confident, happy, is helping build my self-esteem which has been low all my life. It’s making me more body positive. In this journey of life, self-love is hard to find, and needs hard work. I’m putting in the yards and finding a new found self-respect and self-esteem. Life gets so many people down about themselves. Through dance, you can get yourself out of that negative thinking. Slowly but surely you can. Lyra is a great place to start. Just do it. It’s life-changing.