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Aerial Duo - Keith & Carissa share insider tips

At Fly Circus and Aerial Arts, it is not often we have aerial duos representing our studio in performances and photoshoots consistently. We are honored to have and highlight this month, aerial duo Keith & Carissa. Carissa started aerial 6 years ago this past January. Four months after that, Keith helped Carissa with a showcase routine, telling her where to point her toes, where to smooth things out, etc. The experience of assisting in that dance made Keith want to start aerial. While Carissa dabbles with all the apparatuses, Keith is mostly seen practicing on silks and lyra. What they both share is their love of silks in which they then decided to participate in a duo for the first Fly Circus Halloween Show. "We have performed and had photoshoots as a duo mostly on silks and lyra, both of these have equal draw for me as you can just pull different types of performances on both."


When it comes to being an aerial duo, communication plays a big part in planning a photoshoot or routine. "If you are an aerial duo, I would say communication and having fun are the key elements to achieving a goal of being successful in your aerial endeavors." In planning a performance routine, more often a playlist of songs is created over time. It is from this list that Keith & Carissa discuss which song they are "heavily leaning towards" to perform for a particular show (albeit the Halloween show or EleVatE). "Both of us usually feel that a song is either silks or lyra, we like to listen to our intuition on this aspect and it seems to work well." With that, choreography has to be decided upon to match the song they chose. "We talk about moves we want to do or try, where we see those happening in the performance, what kind of emotions we want to pull from ourselves and/or the audience." 


In an excerpt from their duo Instagram page, Keith had written in depth about their planning process or act creation and what it takes as an aerial duo. “COMMUNICATION. This weaves its way through the entire process of creating an act together. From documenting our ideas, to scheduling practices together, to calling moves and timing in the air, to having a shared language of moves and transitions (even if it’s ridiculous and made up), to being honest and vulnerable with each other about how we’re feeling and how that’s affecting our practice, to arguing (yes, it’s true, we do), to sharing what we’re each and together looking for in/from the performance… and that’s just between the two of us, not to mention all the communicating we have to do outside us two for making sure everything is in order for the performance. There is so much communication that we think often gets taken for granted." 


"As any duo has encountered, we’re not strangers to hearing “I wish my [partner/spouse/s.o./friend] would do doubles/was into aerial…” and sometimes we think “be careful what you wish for” or “are you really sure?” Sometimes your partner will have ~OPINIONS~ you don’t share, or sometimes you’ve spent SO MUCH time together already you’re just sick of them for a bit but it’s scheduled practice time, or sometimes an argument about something completely different nearly ruins the precious hours of aerial time. It can require an intimacy and vulnerability above and beyond the relationship you already have with them. AND IT IS AMAZING, but it is not without WORK and COMMUNICATION. We love it and it’s draining and it’s exhilarating and it’s exhausting and it’s hilarious and it’s frustrating and it is an indescribable connection we feel so privileged to have found and cultivated." Keith continued. 


Carissa agrees while adding "Something that keeps us going with duo aerial is the fun we have! It is quite rare that there is no humor or fun communication and actions going along with our aerial activities." She also wanted to add that for the first time they will be performing as a family.  "We will be performing in EleVatE together with our daughters for the first time and this has also been a wonderful experience and a way to express ourselves in a fun and lighthearted way." 


You can catch Keith & Carissa with their daughters as well as other silk performers at this year's EleVatE show on Saturday April 20th at Fly Circus and Aerial Arts. 


Blog written & created by Coach Alicia


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