Cristina is an aerialist and aerial instructor of Beginner and Advanced Aerial Silks at Stiletto Fitness in Clearwater, Florida. We interviewed her for our aerial magazine, Aerial Times and have shared her insights below!
How did you get started in aerial arts?
My friend introduced me when she told me she did pole fitness. I tried one class and I was hooked! The studio I went to (Stiletto Fitness) also had aerial silks, so I gave those a try, too. To this day I still don't know what I like better - pole or silks!
Do you have any aerial training tips for coming back to aerial arts after baby or other extended breaks?
How did that affect you? I was completely devastated when I came back from maternity leave to find out that I lost SO MUCH upper body strength and could not invert anymore! Although I kept up with fitness activities until I gave birth, the amount of core and upper body strength I lost was not something I was prepared for. To overcome it, I practiced my heart out until I could easily invert again! I also looked to other aerialists to motivate me.
My biggest challenge was coming back from maternity leave (see next question). My second biggest challenge has been pushing through the "writer's block" for aerialists. Sometimes, I have zero motivation to learn new things and I find myself practicing the same things over and over. When I go through these phases, I look to other aerialists to "re-light" the fire, and I am soon back on my way.
What motivates you to keep practicing?
The feeling of accomplishment when I conquer a new move or drop! So exhilarating!
Has anyone had a notable impact on you and your circus journey?
What did they do and why? My students! I love to see them excel and conquer new things! Many of my students could barely get off the ground during their first class. To see them excel and progress warms my heart and inspires me to learn new things all the time.
Whether times are good or extremely challenging, many of us need a community to embrace -- even if our only way to connect has been virtual for much of 2020. Now that some aerial studios are allowed to start to open up again, many aerialists and aerial yogis will be breathing a sigh of relief as they anticipate getting back to the practice.