The fluidity program at Body & Pole is designed to complement your technical apparatus training. Even early in your development as a pole dancer or aerialist, fluidity classes provide an opportunity to connect your tricks, leveraging dance transitions and musicality, and giving you the opportunity to emulate performance.
We spoke with Sam Marsh, aerial instructor extraordinaire, and a primary instructor for hammock fluidity, to find out more about this awesome class!
BP: Hi Sam! Thanks for taking the time to talk with us. Tell us, what started your journey as an aerialist?
My journey started not too long ago actually. Way back, when I was in college studying Acting/theatre arts. I had seen some aerial performances that were actually quite bad and thought to myself “I could do that better!” But sadly lack of resources and no studios around, it wasn’t until a couple years later in 2014 that I took my first NYC aerial class! I was so weak and bad and horrible but immediately fell in love. That summer I accidentally walked by Body & Pole and saw the unlimited Summer School Membership and decided to go for it! Not too long after that I became a work-study, and mid work-study I became lucky to begin teaching children. Eventually I started performing here and there, and I quickly realized that the original idea I had in college of what I would be doing for my career was transformed. The circus swept me away!
BP: What classes do you teach here at Body & Pole?
I teach all aerial apparatus, aerial hoop, aerial fabric, & hammock (INTROs & Level 1s). As well as HAMMOCK FLUIDITY!
BP: Hammock Fluidity is one of the most unique aerial classes on the schedule. Can you tell us more about it? What’s one of your favorite things about it?
The class is unique in that in addition to learning what we learn in our leveled classes, the biggest skill we focus on is FLUIDITY. It’s not about the final pose, or getting through the sequence, but rather it’s the importance of the FLOW, DANCE & JOURNEY. The class provides the opportunity to take the skills, form, and technique from your training in leveled classes, and teaches you how to take tricks & sequences and turn them into a movement exploration and journey — a performance.
The class let’s you practice setting your movement free —allowing the music to take you over, and to live in those little moments and transitions we normally skim past. My favorite part about this class is watching my students take the skills/flows I teach them, and make them their own! I give them the outline and they write a detailed, enchanting story!! It’s inspiring to me. And I learn a lot from them.
BP: Why are fluidity classes important?
After we gain the knowledge, strength, and skills to be safe in the air, for many of us we become so strict in our own movement. Of course, the goal of perfecting form and technique is a MUST — something that all practicing aerial students should strive for. This provides us with a solid foundation to be safe and strong while in the air. However, as we get stronger, gain knowledge, have a true understanding and awareness of our bodies (especially in the air), and have conditioned and built that foundational strength to support ourselves, it becomes time to start turning all of those skills, flips, and tricks into your own style!
This class is an incubator for your movement. You have the freedom to explore and create and use your body in a way that feels unique and true to you. You don’t get this in usual leveled classes. This is the class that transforms you from student to dancer! And this is a hard skill to master. But I am always so blown away and inspired by the quality of movement and freedom my students always bring to their “flowments” and freestyles. AND What’s extra amazing about hammock is that it’s a beautiful blend of all apparatus (Silks, Lyra, even a bit of Pole). So come spin and become a flying unicorn goddess with me!
BP: What level should I be at to try hammock fluidity for the first time?
If you’re on the aerial side of things you want to be a comfortable Level 1 student. As in, you have been in Level 1 for a nice chunk of time, and have a general understanding of your body in the air, and of course being upside down! Must be able to invert from the ground.
If you’re on the pole dance side of things, we recommend being a comfortable level 2 student! While the hammock is quite different from the pole in many ways, they actually compliment each other is a really cool way. And it is wonderful to see pole skills translated onto the hammock, using certain wraps and holds in similar shapes and skills as on the pole. Must be able to invert from the ground (chopper).
BP: Thanks again for talking with us, we can’t wait to see what you have planned for next week’s class!