Written by Annemarie Levakis
Suffering from an injury is without a doubt discouraging. As aerialists, we are more prone to injury because we use our bodies in various ways. Although it may seem like a setback when an injury does occur, the healing process gives you the opportunity to come back stronger and fiercer than ever. Throughout my time training aerial, I have met aerialists who have dealt with an injury and have taken steps to getting back into their training. They did not let the healing process discourage them, instead they let it fuel them. Two incredible women share their stories on healing from an injury and give advice on how it can be prevented. I want aerialists everywhere to read this and be reminded that healing is not a setback. Although the process is frustrating, we all have the ability to bounce back.
Natalia is an aerial performer and a yoga instructor at various studios. She has had to heal and come back to her movement training a number of times. She does many advanced tricks on both pole and aerial hoop and at times modifies the moves because of her past injuries. What I love the most about Natalia is her willingness to never give up while also inspiring those around her to carry the same fearless attitude.
I met Karen a few years ago at my aerial studio and have always admired her amazing talent in the aerial arts, her determination, and her willingness to help each and every student who walks through the door no matter their skillset. I owe much of my training and love for the aerial arts to her. Her classes have always been a safe place to learn and stumble through new challenging tricks. Knowing I can always attempt and fail in her class without judgment is what I love about her classes the most. A little over a year ago, Karen tore her ACL, which as a result has temporarily put her aerial training and teaching on hold. What I greatly admire about her is that although the circumstances are hard, she still gets herself to the studio as often as she can and is taking the time to relearn the basics. It is so humbling and inspiring to see someone who has been through such a traumatic experience continue to work through their struggles in order to continue to do what they are most passionate about.
Injuries happen and when they do, a healing process is inevitable. It is always important to remember that healing is not counterproductive although it may feel like it is at times. For those who are reading this that are currently healing from an injury, please do not give up. I am grateful for the advice and stories that these fierce women have shared with me for this blog and feel that they will be helpful to those who read it. It is also important to become aware of our bodies and recognize when we need rest, that way we can prevent injury. As aerialists, we never like hearing the word rest, but what looks like it could be taking steps backwards will actually help us move forward in our training. Many days we may feel that we want to conquer the world, but often forget how important it is to rest. Instead of burning ourselves out, we must listen to our bodies, always thoroughly stretch, and never skip rest days!
Annemarie Levakis is a vocalist, actress, and aerial artist based out of Long Island, New York. She began journey as an aerialist over three years ago and continues to train daily and perform in showcases whenever she is given the opportunity. Check her out on social media!
Halloween is just a few short days away, and things aren’t exactly what they seem. Particularly when it comes to my cat. I’ve noticed him staring at my pole. Lounging with my Pleasers. Eyeing my drawer of pole clothes. I shake my head and tell myself it’s not possible. That everything pole related I’ve noticed lately is purely coincidence. That he’s just a cat, and cats don’t pole dance.
Or do they?
But when the photos came, I couldn’t find a single one that I liked. My costume was too big, and I showed. My stomach looked flabby. My hair was a mess. I didn’t hold some tricks nearly as long enough as I had thought, and those I had held weren’t really aimed at the audience. So, I had a good cry, shut my laptop, and decided to look back at them another day.