Friday, September 10, 2010

Aircraft Aerial Arts

I had the immense pleasure last night of visiting Jill Maio in Boston. Jill was a trapeze student of mine in Philadelphia many years ago, and she became a performer with me and Greg, and a teacher for my school. We were all sad when she had to leave Philly, but in the last couple of years she has started growing her own aerial community in the Boston area.

She just opened her new space in Somerville, which is utterly wonderful. It's an old gymnasium, part of a closed-up factory building, with high, riggable ceilings and separate rooms for classes, office space, even locker rooms. Her teaching practice is called Aircraft, and she is already teaching 12 classes a week in the space.

It reminds me so much of my early years of teaching, and I am so proud of her for having the courage and perseverance to start this business on her own. Jill is a great aerialist and a great teacher, and the Boston area is ripe for this kind of studio. I am sure she can be successful with it.

As we enjoyed dinner at an Indian restaurant in Harvard Square (memories of teenage years flowing back in droves!) I hope I wasn't too cynical or preachy. Everything she was dealing with, I remember firsthand - and I had plenty of advice that I tried not to overwhelm her with. What to avoid, what to be careful of, how to time-manage and student-manage and finance-manage. In the end, this will be her own unique adventure. But in these beginning days, I had a lot in common with her. I will try to be helpful, as much as I can.

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