By Katherine Epstein

I went to see a Cirque du Soleil show this week and it was incredible. I’ve seen a few of their shows, but this weekend was my first time attending an opening show, and for the first time, I could tell that some of the artists made mistakes. So could the people next to me. 

I can’t imagine the pressure of being on stage in that capacity. Who wouldn’t let their nerves get to them? What do you do when you’re in front of an audience and something weird or unexpected happens?!

At first I thought I could tell because I am constantly around aerialists, some who perform circus arts for a living. But that wasn’t the giveaway. While most of us will never be professional performers, there is a lesson in watching the best of the best make mistakes that we can use in our everyday practice. 

Here are a few ways to bounce back and use slip ups to your advantage:

Learn how to mess up

At Inspire Aerial Arts, many of the multi-level classes are taught with a “choose your own adventure” principle. After all, aerial sequences can be yours and yours alone. When you are trying a move and miss it, see where you go naturally. As long as your exploration is safe and within your skill level, there is no “wrong” move or mess up. 

Communicate through body language

Body language is universal and guides all of our interactions. The way we sit, stand and move can be a powerful way to connect with others. So if you mess up, don’t forget about your body language and stay calm. Use subtle movements to visually distract the audience away from your “mistake.”

Control facial expressions

If you screw up in front of an audience, the natural reaction is to have a sudden look of shock and panic on your face. Try to smile! Even if they catch on that you weren’t supposed to do something, they will appreciate the enthusiasm.

Expect the unexpected

No performance is going to be perfect. Sometimes even our apparatus have a mind of their own and don’t cooperate in the moment. Go into each situation with an open mind, but train yourself to handle things as they come.

Adventure awaits! To learn more about each class, read our class descriptions to choose which way to fly. Then visit our class schedule for times for class and open practice, which now has designated hours for teens and youth only. For inquiries about private lessons, call Kimberly at (404) 465-4139.

For more tips, tricks and advice about aerial arts, click here to read our other blogs.

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