The people I’m learning aerial from don’t just teach – they also perform professionally, mostly at corporate events. They also have a performance mentorship program through which their students can perform professionally with them. You’re allowed to join that program once you’ve performed in a showcase, but there’s a requirement that for at least your first event you can only be a ground performer.
So I’m leaning poi!
Now, what are poi, you ask? This:
Though of course, I’m not lighting mine on fire.
Interestingly enough, I actually already owned some poi. When I was younger my family took a trip to Hawaii, where we saw poi spinners at the Polynesian Cultural Center, because the practice originated with the Maori people in New Zealand. We were all so impressed that we bought a performance video and my sister and I bought our own poi. Conveniently, my dad brought them to me in the fall when we brought some of my other things. So I was already set to go!
I’m obviously still at a very beginning level, and I’m a long way off from either performing or lighting them on fire because I still hit myself pretty often, but it’s a pretty fun thing to learn. And since I haven’t yet been able to pick an apparatus and therefore have some pretty diverse skills, it’s cool to add a ground skill to my repertoire as well!
I’m mostly learning from YouTube videos, and I don’t practice as much as I should because I don’t always remember that it’s an option, but I did spend several hours practicing in my hotel in St. Louis. On literally one thing. But it’s one thing that I can now do, at least semi-consistently, so it was totally worth it.