top of page

“Making it pretty”

Recently in aerial silks, hoop and Aerial Yoga classes at Flight Aerial Arts a few people have commented that I seem to make things look easy, when really we all know they're not! I know it's definitely not the case that I simply find them easy, so it got me thinking about how and why certain people seem to be able to do this, and what effects it has on skill progress, body awareness, injury prevention and confidence.

aerial hoop colchester

The first thing that came to mind is that it is absolutely a conscious choice, and one that I believe anyone can make. I simply noticed how captivated I would be when watching someone else moving seemingly effortlessly – whether during a performance or in training – and simply decided that I wanted to have that effect on people too! So I asked myself what it was about the way those people moved that made them stand out? I believe it is the combination of strength with fluidity and control that makes a movement hypnotic. It almost seems as though we are hard-wired to recognise and appreciate skillful movement as something very beautiful – we all know it when we see it, and it can be hard to tear our eyes away when we do.

So let's break this down. A certain degree of strength is obviously required to perform any movement safely and with confidence, and looking and feeling strong in a skill from start to finish is an important part of making something look effortless.

Fluidity means that your body looks to be moving as a well-oiled machine rather than a collection of separate parts, and moving through your range of motion in a way that is smooth and not jerky.

Control can be thought of as the opposite of momentum – you can pause a movement (without falling over!) at any time when it is performed with control, but when performed with momentum this becomes much harder. It also means stabilising the parts of your body which are meant to be stationary, allowing more of your energy to be channelled into the intended movement. Smooth controlled movements waste much less energy than jerky unstable movements, so moving in this way is more efficient.