The Backstage Blog
Strengthening unstable and weak ankles are one of the core principles we work on in wire walking classes at Xelias Aerial Arts. Instability in the hips and the core are often caused or augmented by a weak foundation in the feet, ankles and legs, sending challenging movement in waves up the body. When the body is not stacked appropriately, learning any new pass or trick will be a challenge.
As a veteran of countless ankle sprains and two broken ankles from my tumbling-focused years, I would have never achieved my goals, like walking in pointe shoes on a ⅝ inch cable, without years of consistent focus on basic foundational exercises.
The 3 ankle exercises below are a few of my favorites. They can be done on the floor, or on the tight wire for circus students. Give them a try - whether you’re working to achieve better balance on a tight wire, to prevent future injury, or just looking for ways to increase stability and mobility in your daily life.
1. Ankle ABC's
A dynamic stretch that helps reduce friction and increase flexibility in your ankle joint.
To do it:
Balancing on one leg, do the same exercise on each side while on the wire.
While you do the exercise, also focus on squeezing your legs as if you’re pulling your knee caps up. This will work on strengthening your quads, gaining straighter legs at the same time!
2. Calf Raises
A common exercise that is often done incorrectly.
To do it:
3. Towel Curl-ups
Targeting ground zero of your foundation - the foot arch.
To do it:
Pressing the toes down in this way also helps to lock in the ankle. If you have problems keeping your ankles tight on the wire, use this method to help lock them in!
So, How'd it Go?
Do these exercises consistently throughout the week, and see how you gain more control in the foot and ankle over time. Drop me a line & let me know how they go for you.
(Minneapolis, MN) - Pitched as the “bridal show alternative”, The Big Fake Wedding is coming to Minneapolis on August 27, 2015 taking place at the beautiful Le Meridien Chambers Hotel, with aerialist Laura as a featured vendor and performer.
“The Big Fake Wedding is a bridal show alternative complete with an emotional ceremony, a tasty dinner and a dance-party reception. "Wedding guests" are brides-and-grooms-to-be who get to truly experience the wedding vendors in action.”
Wondering how a wedding could possibly incorporate aerial entertainment into the atmosphere? Could it be aerial bartending, ambient reception dance entertainment, or something else? You’ll have to attend this event to find out!
Aerial performances can be incorporated into any wedding theme for those who are looking to really make an impact on their big day. Not only surprise your guests, but give them something they’ve never seen at weddings before. Give them something to talk about, and to remember your day as truly unique!
Laura Emiola creates customized aerial performances in collaboration with wedding planners, brides, grooms and/or families. One fun and practical way to incorporate aerial arts entertainment into weddings is to have the aerialist involved in something functional. Dropping the flower petals from the sky, serving champagne to your guests while they await your arrival, getting the dance party started (from above!), or anything else you can dream up.
The Big Fake Wedding provides “golden tickets” which are available to guests who attend through a vendor. Thinking about incorporating aerial arts into your wedding day? Email Laura here to request one free pair of golden tickets to be sent to you and see her wedding aerials in action...for free!
(Chicago, IL) - With it’s second annual festival now complete, the Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival has already become a must-attend event for circus performers, spectators, enthusiasts and recruiters alike. For five days, we were inspired by other performers, trained tight wire out of Aloft Loft and enjoyed the company of the best ‘family’ around - our circus family. Here are my Top 4 Highlights from the midwest-does-it-best circus weekend:
1. Training Gives Perspective
One of the best parts about traveling is the opportunity to train with those you admire most. Also known as the "traincation". And, Ariele Ebacher might be one of the sweetest people you have ever had to walk a fine line around. Having the opportunity to train with this tight wire dancer and watch her perform in The Girlie Show was motivating, constructive and leaving me wanting more (as usual). A sample of my training - a moment of deep focus on "pushing through the toes".
2. Travel Draws Us Closer
I was out in NYC training at Circus Warehouse two days before the Chicago festival when I looked over when a buff tattooed brunet flying on the trapeze caught my eye. Prior to moving to NYC, the lovely Dakota taught out of Xelias Aerial Arts (my aerial home in MSP) and was also on her way to the Chicago Circus Festival the next day, meeting up with the owner of Xelias, Meg. Meg was traveling down with head wire coach and my right-hand-man, Jonah. Meg’s daughter was also performing in the Girlie Show rocking her hoola-hoops. Check her out. It is with all of these relationships and so many more connections we had over the weekend that I’m reminded just how small the Circus Family truly is. It was a joy to watch our friends and family perform their hearts out and meet new friends all at the same time.
3. The Shows Inspire
The Girlie Show shot an arrow into my heart with acts in wire, burlesque, contortion, pole, web, hula-hoops and so much more. Beautiful performers with a top-notch MC off Broadway. Then there was Cirque Mechanic’s Pedal Punk. From that show, Jan Damm, gets my #1 weekend performer pick for his bring-us-to-our-knees-crying stationary bike race. This show differentiates with their inventive rigging and systems for the modern day circus.
With smiles on our faces, circles under our eyes and rips on our hands (and feet, legs, arms….basically everywhere) the show is back on the road. This festival is well positioned for many years to come. We'll be back. And, if you didn’t get there this year, make sure to check them out sooner next time by checking in here.
Looking forward to what the contemporary circus community comes up with next.
Xelias Aerial Arts (Minneapolis, MN) - Around here, every day is a circus day. But, April 18th was World Circus Day, so here's a little view into what 'every day' looks like for training on the wire. Running, jumping, fancy walking and of course...balancing!
Mystic Lake Casino and Hotel (Shakopee, MN) - CAD Technology Center based out of Bloomington, MN hosted their annual professional developers conference in the beautiful Mystic Lake Casino Showroom. To enhance their cloud-computing theme, they created a stunning (and unannounced) opening number to wake up the early-morning tech crowd - including smoke, moving cloud backdrops and aerialist Laura Emiola in all white with white silks (and rhinestones, of course). It was a winning combination of the arts & sciences.
Mall of America (Bloomington, MN) brought in the circus for New Years Eve 2014 with the "Moonlight Circus". Xelias Aerial Arts Performance Company, including aerialist Laura Emiola, were at this fun-filled night complete with two circus shows, unlimited rides and lots of happy, smiling children and families! And it's no secret - that's what the circus does best!
Read more here