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TIPS FROM AN ACROBAT WITH 42 YEARS EXPERIENCE!!!

We got some amazing tips from Wybren to share with you!


One of the valuable things of our previous trip is that we get the opportunity to learn from amazing teachers that we meet at the festivals. 


This is how we get new insights that make such a positive impact to our practice.


And those cues and tips let us breakthrough some acro struggles that we have been experiencing.



So get your notebook out, save this email and share it with your acro friends, because we've summarized some of the most valuable training tips so far!


At the Finnacro festival we had great conversations with Wybren about acro. 


Wybren has 42 years of experience in Acrobatics and is a teacher at CODARTS a circus school in the Netherlands.


Plus he travels to many acroyoga festivals and events and is a renowned teacher internationally. 


He shared valuable insights about these three acro questions:



How to approach and solve imbalances in hand to hands? 


This question came from our struggle of experiencing some imbalance in our regular standing hand to hand. 



His main advice was two things: 


First of all try and fix/eliminate it as much as possible.


And secondly, to do so, identify who is mainly causing the imbalance by trying standing reverse hand to hand. 


If the imbalance is occurring on the same side, both in regular and reverse hand to hand, then it's probably the base causing it.


If the imbalance is the opposite side from the regular hand to hand, then it's probably the flyer who has the imbalance.  


This sounded so logical and obvious when he shared it, but we never thought of it this way and are super keen to try this and figure out what is the case for us!



How to practice popping to foot to foot safely without spotters?


We've only practiced this skill with spotters and it seems so dodgy to take the spotters away since it falls so quickly and possibly in all directions. 


Luckily Wybren said 'I have a great exercise for you! Let's take two crashmats and I'll show you'.


He explained the best exit strategy: in the case of the base only catching one foot in the icarian pop from throne to foot to foot, both base and flyer should bend the leg that has one foot in contact.


This way the base lowers the height and the flyer takes away the downward pressure making them able to lower and softly fall/land on or besides the base or crashmats. 


And of course we put that theory in action!


With the help of Wybren spotting, we on purpose practiced this exit strategy and noticed how much faster we both needed to be in reacting!


Most time Wybren's feedback was that we should have bent our legs way sooner. 


Good to know and keep practicing, so we can take this skill out of spots soon!



Why is our mono foot to hand not working?


We've repeatedly practiced, have had tips and advice from several teachers and have changed our grip and approach a couple of times but our mono foot to hands are still a struggle...


We shared this with Wybren in the car when we were on our way home the night after the festival, and he offered to do some mono f2h when we arrived. 


And there we were; we arrive at 11pm at our host's place, when Wybren puts his bags down, lays down on the mattress in the living room, extends his arms up in the air and says 'ok let's go Laura let's do some foot to hands!'. 


And just to clarify, doing mono foot to hands on a bed is like 10 times harder!


But I step into his hands and with ease I find myself in an extended mono foot to hand; say whaaat!



So it's almost midnight as we figure out four of the main points that are making a big difference:


- The base should give enough pressure up and in with the big thumb muscle in the arch of the foot of the flyer. (The opposite tip for in hand to hand of opening the palm, you need to squeeze and push a bit up and in to the arch instead)


- Our grip should be a bit more towards my heel and a bit flatter (compared to our current grip that is more towards the ball of my foot and steeper).


- The pressure should be evenly distributed through the flyers foot.


- In extended mono foot to hands or hand to hands the balance point should be slightly to the outside, away from the bases midline. This ensures the base can squeeze in and balance/activate with the pec muscles and not the deltoids (which are much smaller and weaker and need to engage if the balance is more towards the midline). 


I quote Wybren when he said 'in mono foot to hand it's mostly the base who is the issue, as most flyers can stand fine on one leg'. Haha :)



I can't express how appreciative we are of these tips.


Having help and coaching from experienced, knowledgable and skilled people is so valuable and it's definitely something we want to invest in going forwards. 


Because we're so inspired and motivated to keep growing our practice!


Wybren's 42 years of experience is a source that can't be denied. 


At 60 years old he still works as a coach and at this festival he was solo teaching 3 workshops a day (6 hours a day).  


He even guided one group of 4 beginners to their first ever 3 high out of lines and solo spotted by himself - a pretty crazy feat!


And on top of that he's an awesome Dutchie! 



We hope that by sharing these tips we pass on what Wybren taught us with so much genuine kindness and passion for acro. 


Let us know if you try out some of the tips and how they worked for you!



Ciao,


Laura



Acrospirit

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