A little bit about myself and what I do:
I am a self-taught acrobat. This does not mean I did not learn from other people, it simply means that for the large majority of my training I never had anyone pushing me harder or telling me what I am doing wrong. Likewise, there were not a whole lot of resources when I needed them that would have been crucial to my learning at the time. Because of this, the process I used to achieve my skills has been my own.
I was not especially active as a child, and I really did not start getting into all this until towards the end of high school. I literally got my start from watching too many martial arts movies and trying to imitate them.
In college I had exposure to several new movement styles including capoeira, MMA,. martial arts tricking, cheerleading(stunting and tumbling), weightlifting, and parkour. I got very involved in movement at the time, but I still had very little resource or instruction. Most of the progress I made came from me being stubborn and experimenting.
Out of college, I started to get more into gymnastics training. I was very lucky to get a chance to work with Valentin Kirichenko, a former member of the Soviet Olympic gymnastics team from 1976. This was a huge inspiration to me because not only could Valentin still perform beautifully at nearly 60 years old, he also had a very deep technical understanding of gymnastics and movement. It was invaluable to get advice from him on occasion and be able to pick his brain on certain subjects.
On top of that, this was the first time I had any honest critique of my skills, and it took some good shots to the ego to learn how to accept and embrace it.
It was this exposure that started to give me a clear image of what a real teacher should be. A good teacher should completely embody his art; live it and breath it. A good teacher can break down a technique to anyone, where the necessity is to be completely technical or simple enough to show a child. Moreover, a good teacher should continually be a student and inspire his students to never stop learning. Lastly, a distinction has to be made between learning and following orders, which makes the difference between a student and a soldier/minion. A teacher should be showing their students how to think and learn for themselves, so that the lessons can extend well beyond the scope of the class.
In 2011 I moved to Las Vegas in the hopes of being around people who were better than me that I could learn from. I got the opportunity to learn from many amazing acrobats and hand balancers. Over this time I learned many new skills in the realm of circus arts. In addition, I was able to perform in some large scale events such as the Winter Cup, the Target Expo, Fetish and Fantasy Ball, Broadway Bares, and the Redken Symposium among others. I also attended(and taught at) some Gymnastics Bodies seminars with Coach Sommer, where I learned some new perspectives on developing gymnastics strength.
I was also incredibly fortunate on my way to meet and learn from Kit Laughlin, who is another major influence on my work. I also drew inspiration from Kit’s open sharing of information as well his ethics of how to run a business.
What does all this have to do with my work? Well the point I am trying to make is that I am not by any means a finished product as an athlete, artist, or teacher. I do not believe in finished product, just constant works in progress. I believe that as a human you can either learn and grow, or devolve and deteriorate in your experiences. Stagnation leads to deprecation if you do not learn anything new as time goes forward.
This brings me to the subject of “fitness”. What I do is not fitness. Even when I was young and terribly misinformed I still did not get the concept of “fitness” where people just went through the same motions for years without ever seeing results.
Why not use that time and energy to mindfully learn something? The human body is so incredibly complex, and so few people actually get to realize their own potential. The things I teach develop your connection with your own mind and body in a unique way.
What I am offering is a unique perspective on learning acrobatic feats from someone who was not born to the life. I had to struggle to get to where I am, and you can have the benefit of learning from the many mistakes I made.
However, there is a cost to all this. It takes hard work, patience, perseverance and dedication. Learning something new requires you to be uncomfortable.
With that said, I recommend my seminars to anyone looking to learn new skills with their own bodies. In addition the information is useful for people who want a new perspective or reinforcement on the concepts they already know. Athletes, yogis, gymnasts, dancers, weightlifters can all benefit greatly as well as those who come from no athletic background.
It’s your body, don’t you want to be able to do something with it?