Virtual ADF 2020 Workshop Descriptions
Abstract Break-Dance Shoulder Contortion – Marco Motta
In this workshop we will explore unique ranges of movement, deconstruct some predominant aesthetic ideas and learn how you can use your body to express yourself effectively with this new knowledge. This workshop will start with a shoulder stretch warmup and we will go over the benefits of having flexible shoulders to help prevent injuries. Then, we will explore front-bending contortion and the flexibility of the hips and knees. Lastly, we will go over the idea of abstract break dance and how to incorporate it into your style to help you create something original that you can use with your circus choreography.
The Theory of Beats – Alex Allan
Are you interested in developing a more dynamic style of movement in the air? This is the workshop for you! Dynamic technique is all about momentum and to harness momentum we need to find and follow the path of least resistance. In this online workshop, Alex will share with you his techniques, pathways and theory around the fundamental beats. Learning could be the beginning or continuation of your journey into dynamic verticals.
Students don’t need access to an apparatus to take this class. It will run like a lecture with Alex screen sharing his material as he explains the theory behind it all. Participants will have access to a recording of the class for a month after the course so that they can work through all of the material in their own time.
Yoga & Movement for Aerialists: Thoracic Spine Mobility & Shoulder Health – Yuki Tsuji
Thoracic spine mobility determines the health of other areas of the body such as shoulders, neck, low back etc. Whether you are an aerialist or not, having a supple thoracic spine can increase the strength of shoulders and also improve the quality of your breathing. In this all-levels workshop, we will explore the movements in the thoracic spine in all directions, focusing on shoulders, neck, arms, rib cage and chest. You can expect to do some yoga poses and some fun movements! This is a great workshop for those who feel tight/pain in the shoulders, neck and upper back and also those who want to increase the performance from your upper body more.
POSER: Navigating Imposter Syndrome and reclaiming your future as an artist while the world is burning – Rachel Strickland
Rachel Strickland coaches some of the juiciest tenants from the Audacity Project: an 8 week guided process to equip artists with the tools necessary to be working professionals. Effective scripts for navigating imposter syndrome. Utilizing your community into a supportive, sustainable resource. Exact scripts and tools for reaching out to scary important people. A clear, step-by-step process for gaining clarity on what you want to do, and who you want to do it for. Yes, even now. Even while the world is upside down. There is always something you can do to take possession of your path. I can’t wait to share some tools with you that you can use RIGHT NOW to begin reclaiming your future as an artist.
Sling Theory – Jenn Bruyer
A theory based guided lecture with demonstration. In this 90 minute virtual workshop, we will walk through 10 fundamental “skills” or “structures” that are the basis for aerial sling vocabulary and choreography. We will examine various executions of each skill and how they all relate together to form a fluid language of dance in the air. And we will break down more complex structures into individual pieces for a more holistic understanding of the apparatus. Note: this is not a technique class, rather, a discussion of how different wraps relate to one another in a wide variety of ways. No equipment is needed to participate, you can just sit, listen, take notes, and have your questions answered.
Creativity Toolbox – Nancy Smith
What do you need to keep the creative juices flowing now and always? This workshop gives you specific tools that you will continue using and refining for years! From what inspires you now to sourcing for new inspiration, and how to turn that into whatever creative project you might want to undertake (movement, visual art, song, etc). We’ll trigger all of our senses to wake up the brain and we’ll play with improv prompts, objects, writing, and more.
Hoop Dance Transitions – Staza Stone
Hoop Dance Transitions. This workshop focuses on smoothing out hoop transitions with one hoop. I will teach a series of moves and then connect them together into one smooth dance sequence the hooper can take with them!
Analyzing Wraps for Silks Theory – T Lawrence Simon
In this workshop, we are going to work on understanding how the silks wraps we do can be altered and investigated to produce different results. By looking at the actual topology of the wraps of skills, we can understand what is going to happen acrobatically to your body, and start to develop ideas on ways you can create changes and new versions of skills. Once you can start to “read” your wraps, creating new and unusual skills becomes much more approachable.
How to Build Your Own Training Program – Aaron Koz
In this workshop, we’ll dive into essential movement categories (straight arm, bent arm, pulling, pushing, horizontal, vertical, anterior and posterior chain strength) that are key to maintaining well-rounded aerial/circus fitness, how to balance intensity and rest (because we all want to train the boredom away), and how to use the tools available to you in your own home during this quarantime. You’ll walk away from this workshop with the tools to write a program for making gains (know where to focus your effort), not overtraining, and the knowledge of how to gain strength even in skills you can’t practice right now!
T and the Totally Thorough Act Creation Workbook – T Lawrence Simon
I came to circus from a life long career in theater. Through my background in both acting, design, and directing for theater, and then a deep love for the creation of circus acts, I have developed many strategies and helpful methods for creating an act from nothing all the way through to post-show critique and reflection. In this workshop I will walk you through my process and workbook (which you get a copy of with the workshop), and hopefully, you will leave with an inspired yet approachable process to try using for your next act creation.
Yoga & movement for Aerialists: Pelvis, Low Back & Hip Flexors – Yuki Tsuji
The pelvis is the connector of the lower body and the upper body. There are so many important muscles, tendons and ligaments attached to your pelvis that build your foundation below and above. In this all-levels workshop, we will build the awareness of our pelvis and make connections with our low back, hip flexors, abdomen, and legs using the yoga poses and functional movements. We will work on the range of motion in the hip joints and stretching of our legs/low back. This is a great workshop for those who have low back pain, hip pain/tightness, knee pain, overall leg stiffness and also those who want to increase the balance and strength of the lower body in general. You will need a yoga mat, a strap, a couple of blocks and a blanket.
MYTHBUSTING: Hypermobility and Circus – Jen Crane
Hypermobility is more common in circus arts than almost every other sport and artform, and it comes with its fair share of stereotypes and misconceptions. This workshop will discuss the spectrum of hypermobility disorders in an easily digestible manner. We will also discuss the common myths surrounding hypermobility, and separate truth from #fakenews. Finally, we will discuss the implications of hypermobility on circus arts, from both a student and coaching perspective, to better equip our community with the knowledge and tools needed to meet circus goals without injury.
Movement Quality – Jenn Bruyer
This class is designed to expand your aerial practice while you are grounded. In this 90 minute class, we will explore various qualities of movement on the floor. I will share my own personal research on movement quality as well as information from several widely accepted systems for creating different qualities in dance and other movement based practices. No dance experience is required, but we will utilize some very fundamental dance-like vocabulary to give our work structure and learn a short sequence to create a framework with which to explore. This virtual workshop is perfect for anyone with questions about how to expand their stylistic vocabulary or gain a better sense of control of their body on or off of the equipment. Ex: What do I do with my arms?!? How can I look like I have more control?!? How do I finish my lines?!? What can I do to create my own “style”?
Collaboration & Company Building – Terry Crane & Nina Gershonowitz
In this 90 minute workshop, we’ll talk about building a physical performance company in the US. Diverse topics to be covered may include: choosing collaborators, company structure, division of labor, show creation, collaboration, group process, conflict resolution, and production. The aim of this workshop is to give participants information on how to create and maintain a company that makes quality ensemble work in an environment of fun and bravery. Everyone who attends this workshop should be prepared to navigate the inherent weirdness of the videoconferencing medium. My intent is to hold space for all participants to share experiences and ask questions, as well as share tools that have worked for me
Int. Cyr Wheel Theory – Joe St. Louis
Students who have an understanding of the “basic step” will learn tools for mastering more advanced skills such as spirals, one legged coin spin, turns and twist, jump to support and my specialty “hanging waltz variations and research”. Intermediate students will also be able to spend time working specific areas of their interest in addition to complex wheel manipulations. We will also work on act development as we explore individuals backgrounds.
C-Shaping (for straps/rope/fabric) – Aaron Koz
This class will cover multi-apparatus training drills and programming to help students gain a greater understanding of c-shaping fundamentals as well as how to train the active flexibility and strength required to do so. Drills and concepts will be covered on hammock/sling/rope/straps/fabric. C-shaping pathways will be broken down into different movement categories to help allow you to assess where you may need to increase your proprioception/pathway, strength, or flexibility. Skills covered will be back balances, back flags, waist roll-ups (slow and dynamic), and the four fundamental C-positions.
Cirque Psych: Resilience in Strange Times – Janelle (Dinosaurs) Peters
Circus Artists have always been adaptable, resilient, and collaborative – but the last few months have put many of us to the test! This workshop breaks down some of the challenges COVID-19, quarantine, and major social upheaval have presented to individual circus humans. We explore strategies and tools for staying healthy, sane, and engaged. Using metaphors and examples that will be familiar from circus training, therapist and circus artist, Janelle Peters, facilitates a conversation about individual and community well-being. Participants will leave the workshop with a personalized “resilience menu” to help guide them in navigating these interesting times.
Belay for Days – Rain Anya
The endless possibilities of Belay…come join Rain Anya for a look into the background and theory behind belay. How do the different variations relate to one another, what is different, and what is the same about them? We will look at the 2 different belay types, and reveal an effective testing method that will help you to analyze any belay that comes your way. Bring video examples of your favorite belays for a group exercise at the end.
Improv it Out – Teo Spencer
We’ve all been cooped up. Let’s clean the rust off our improv skills and look to wear ourselves out while jamming out. We’ll explore emotional range, timing, and repetition. We’ll start with a mobilization and isolation warm up and push ourselves from there. We’ll also take time to watch each other and give feedback.
OH, the Nerve – Jen Crane
Most of us have heard the phrase “nerve tension” circulating throughout various aerial and flexibility spaces- but what does it ACTUALLY mean? What *is* nerve tension, and how do we differentiate it from muscle tension? This workshop will cover all things NERVE TENSION that are related to.aerial srts and flexibilitiy: What IS nerve tension? How do we determine if nerve tension is limiting strength or flexibility?How do.we address nerve tension to optimize strength and flexibility gains? We will apply these concepts to both upper and lower body nerve tension, covering the sciatic, femoral, median, and ulnar nerves specifically. Students will come away with not only a practical understanding of what nerve tension is, but also have actionable steps and drills for how to immediately apply these concepts to their practice.
Flexy Flyers – Janelle (Dinosaurs) Peters
Let’s get bendy! Learn how to soften into a stretch and gain flexibility without fighting yourself! In this workshop students will learn ground based, dynamic and deep stretches they can incorporate into their own training, and will gain a deeper understanding of the physiological relaxation response that allows for deeper stretches. This workshop is especially designed for aerialists and will provide step-wise progression for students seeking to maintain healthy shoulder mobility and who wish to increase mobility in their hips and spines. This workshop is appropriate for aerialists of all levels.
Build your Balance (Beg/Int Handstands) – Cosmo Dudley
Beginners: How to take your handstand off the wall and find reliable kick ups and holds. Intermediate: How to create consistency in your freestanding handstand and introducing several shapes