The big day finally arrived, show time! Everything felt great during warm-ups. Pullover was fluid, pumping my arms and shooting out was there too. After warm-ups it was time to suit up and unleash my super hero powers. I changed into my Mrs. Incredible costume – red dance leggings, black jazz shorts and my Incredibles logo shirt. When was the last time I wore a costume anyway? I felt empowered as I transformed into this magical super hero, flying would be even more fun with a costume on.
Show Time! Walking up the two flights of stairs to the board, anticipation and anxiety began to overtake me. “What if…” thoughts ran through my mind. When my class, “The Super Flys” was introduced these thoughts were replaced by the inclusive awareness I had practiced in each class. As I walked up for my turn, the lines were clipped on to my safety belt, I chalked my hands and forearms, walked up to the edge to hang my toes off, and grabbed hold of the bar with one hand. As I did this, my focus shifted to Rob who was calling my instructions. The anxiety, trepidation, and anticipation that I experienced earlier morphed into mindfulness. As I experienced the lively sensations of my performing senses; sights, sounds, tactile & kinesthetic awareness, I focused on the calls from Rob. On “Hep” – I was off.
The shift of emotions and focus I experienced as I performed was interesting and different for me. The physical demands of the flying trapeze have required me to access mindfulness in performance. As I pondered this experience, wondering why it hasn’t been more of an integral part of concertizing, I think that it is probably because for a long time I hadn’t truly considered the physical movements of playing. Somehow I thought of playing in my fingers and in my face, disregarding the intricate choreography of whole body movement that combine in musical expression.
Learning flying trapeze has helped recognize the sensations of my body and movement at a new level. The new sensitivity to the subtle micro-movement, helps me to tune into the athleticism of playing the flute. While the movements I use are not large scale, they are movements that involve the whole body just the same.