Acroyoga brings some really amazing things into the world. A lot of fun, challenging, beautiful or even outrageous tricks have been created and shared through mutual work, knowledge and use of strengths.
For example, the security of having super-confident, good-leveraged bases combined with brave, body-aware flyers has allowed for the creation of whips which are high-speed, high-trust affairs. Check them out at Acropedia.
Powerful basing with super light and tight flying allows for progression to a different level such as the amazingly terrifying standing mono needle from Kelly Thayer and Scott Cooper.
“Somebody said it couldn’t be done But he with a chuckle replied That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he he would be one Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried. So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin On his face. If he worried he hid it. He started to sing as he tackled the thing That couldn’t be done, and he did it! ” -Edgar Albert Guest When I envisioned this pose years ago, I heard a lot of doubt from people, but here is proof of concept for standing, long arm mono super free shoulder stand (needle) Thanks to @acroant for trusting me up high! Thanks to @ivithebatmanivi for the picture
Physical attributes are not the only factors, however. Creativity, uber-calibration, high level technique, and hyper-optimized communication make innovative and accessible moves as well. For example, Jill and Heidi from Acroyoga Montreal don’t have significant physical advantages over each other but they constantly come up with challenging and beautiful creations.
Jason, Chelsey, Sam and Raquel of the Yogaslackers combined their skills from their practice of slacklining, to create a unique concept in acro dubbed “slackro” or “duo balance”.
Lux has created something with most any acrobat he has extensively worked with as either base or flyer. Talk about co-work!
As members of the More Than Dreaming community, we like to explore all the faces of acro. In its current state, it is primarily physical. And students primary goal is to nail the next trick from a list that is becoming tiresomely generic. (hand to hand, ninja star, crazy long washing machine, anyone?)
While it is essential to develop a list of skills, the point of co-working with other people is just as important. Therefore, I would like to share a method (or challenge if you prefer) that will highlight the unique connections we can make thru acro. And that is what I like to call a Signature Move.
A Signature Move is a move created using skills particular to a partnership. As shown by the above examples, it’s creations like these that have grown and will continue to grow and evolve acro. It moves people from the mindset of “This is what we should do next” to “let’s see what we can do”. And even if it does not necessarily have to be completely original, it usually turns out to be. (or at the very least a fun variation of an existing move, but does it really matter?)
Here are some of the Signature Moves from our practice and how they came to be.
A number of factors made this one. First, we were standing on stairs next to a road. Second, we wanted to showcase the beautiful door carvings behind us. Third, we were in Bali, so we were wary about pointing our feet upwards out of cultural or religious consideration. So we came up with this pose which was inspired by us holding a quite big tropical bird in a local zoo just a couple of days before. With the help of circumstances and experience, we were guided to this simple yet instaphoto-ready pose.1287
This one was made during a jam in the Philippines . My friend Edsel was very confident in doing this capoeira move on the ground, and I was quite confident I could support the dynamic movement on my arms, so we combined the two. (also, as evidenced by the knee brace, i wasn’t too keen on using my legs at that time) It turned out to be a very simple and raw but quite cool looking move that opens up tons of possibilities for flow or variation. (four free legs available for all you mad acro scientists out there)
So how do I Make My Signature Move?
As it is mainly a creative process, there are no sure-fire steps to a Signature Move. However, here are four things that usually help me get it going.
Check Yo Self
The most success and the biggest potential is created by making sure that your individual skills are also top-notch. Train hard in conditioning and technique, and it will multiply the possibilities for your Signature Move.
Wing it (ditch the checklist)
This doesn’t mean you can’t play around with existing material. But set aside some time when you completely ditch that list and focus on creating something that uses both you and your partner’s skills.
Play around your strengths
Strong in yoga? Agile breakdancer? Contortionist? Use your strengths (and not only in acro) to develop something not only different, but also more accessible. If you are super confident in doing a backflip from gymnastics, it will be that much easier to translate it to an acro move.
Nothing is too crazy
Stop saying no to ideas. With correct self-assessment, spotting, and understanding of mechanics and technique, almost every idea can be attempted smartly. So try (smartly)!
It is important to remember that physical attributes, though essential to the practice, are not the only factors that can be complemented. There are so many other approaches to a Signature Move. Fusion, Illusion, Visuals, or Musicality are some of the endless number of approaches that can jumpstart and guide new creations!
More than anything, just play. Forget about being graded or being labeled as a beginner or intermediate or advanced. See what you are able to do where you’re at, and you’ll be surprised the magic you come up with.
Okay, enough talk, what are you waiting for? Get out there and make your Signature Move!We want others to see how the connective aspect of acro can lead to growth in the community. So we’d love to help highlight your creations.
Show us your move, along with what strengths, techniques, tricks or circumstances your partnership had that led to this Signature Move. Your experience will not only evolve acro as a practice, but also educate and assist other people that may encounter similar skills and struggles.
Okay, enough talk, what are you waiting for? Get out there and make your Signature Move![/userpro_private]