Given the wobbliness of my first attempt at stilts a few days previously, I had not imagined I’d be walking on my own – no helping hands, no wall – so soon, but… I did! Among Nathan’s ‘helpful-things-to-imagine’ were: walking like a penguin (lots of little steps rather than ever standing still); walking like a giant (picking up the knees); keeping my body upright and never standing still because an imaginary Russian would hit me with a stick if I did. I even managed to tentatively lower my hands from the ‘don’t shoot!’ position, and tried a tricky hip-twisting sideways walk. Most importantly, I fell. Lots of times.Squeezing the knees together and driving them to the floor first, then sinking the heels to the bum, and THEN the hands. By twisting your body, “falling sideways is almost like falling forwards, and falling backwards is almost like falling sideways” Nathan reckoned – much more nerve-wracking, but a fear to be faced early.
After a blast of handstands, Jane Park and Jane Diamond of Hang took us for an acrobalance session. My notes tell me we attempted the following:
Bird (base’s toes to flyer’s hipbones – straight arms – flyer lifts chest and engages everything) … moving to Throne (flyer brings legs round one at a time, putting foot against base’s shin at same time as base moves her foot to the flyer’s bum)…. moving up to flyer kneeling on base’s feet (not sure if this bit had a name!)
An alternative entry into Throne was the flyer standing square with feet either side of base’s head, base holds flyer’s ankles and puts her feet onto the flyer’s bum (toes in the crease!) then rolls her back; flyer puts her feet into the base’s hands and sits up tall. This same entry could lead into a back balance on the base’s feet – the same back balance stretch can also come from the flyer handstanding in from the other end and arching over backwards. Here’s me having a go at the back balance.