We are so exited to announce that Katherine Richardson, Royal Caribbean (RC) aerialist trainer, will join Lotus during the week of August 13-17 to train our young aerial campers. We first met Katherine during her visit to Bermuda as a dance captain on RC last year. One of the dancers of the cast was interested in becoming an aerialist, and because the ship had an overnighter in Bermuda every other week, Katherine reached out to Sophia and a quick friendship was formed.
“Sophia was so gracious. She let us come in and use the space. Soon after, she asked if her daughter could come and join. It’s been an artistic partnership ever since,” said Katherine.
Katherine was hired by RC to be an aerial trainer five years ago. Before her career truly kicked off, she trained as a modern dance major. After graduating in 2008, Katherine moved to New York City where she did “dance company life,” both opening her own company and managing others. Her journey then took her to Las Vegas, where she developed a passion for the aerial arts. It was also at this time that she joined the Blue Man Group at the Monte Carlo as the female lead.
Katherine’s career is just one example of professional aerialists that have made it their career to attain physical excellence and perform for crowds around the world. Aside from the training value she will bring to Lotus’ camp classes, we are excited that the campers will have yet another role model that has successfully made a profession in the aerial arts.
Below, we’ve included a Q&A with Katherine that will help specify what she hopes to bring to Lotus while she’s here.
What do you hope to achieve during your one week at the Lotus Summer Aerial Camp?
I want to expose the children to as many different apparatuses as possible. Learning a new apparatus can be as simple as using the aerial arsenal and vocabulary that you already know – and figuring out how you move organically on the apparatus. Cultivating a curiosity in alternative apparatuses makes aerial a limitless endeavor. You can create any apparatus that you cream up!
How do you think your dance background contributes to your performance/skills as an aerialist?
I have a dancer’s mind when it comes to aerial, and no matter how much aerial I do, I approach each apparatus as I would the dance floor. I enjoy teaching people to approach aerial in the same manner. The transitions are what I focus on between tricks, and this can be really beneficial in developing aerial skills. It’s learning to work with what you already have.
What apparatuses will you be bringing with you?
I’ll be bringing my aerial cube and the trapeze. The cube is a very specialized apparatus and almost nobody teaches on it. I’d like to introduce it to the class. And, almost everything in lyra comes from the trapeze. However, because it uses rope, it doesn’t feel as stable. Many people shy away from it, but it’s less scary if you realize that the trapeze is pretty much the mother of all aerial.
How will you help the younger aerialists learn how to use the new equipment?
The most important thing to do is to connect the vocabulary for the children. Hammock, silks, lyra all use the same or similar moves, tricks and skills. I want the aerialists to realize, “Oh, I can do this on lyra, so it is something I can do on silks.” One thing that commonly happens with aerialists is getting stuck on one apparatus where he or she feels comfortable. However, safety is always a concern. I’d also like to work with the students to develop self awareness. If they feel that something isn’t doable, I’d like to help them determine what the smartest way to exit is.
Normally, I train a lot in straps. You can get yourself into quite a pickle in the air, if you aren’t calculating or taking your time, and ultimately you can hurt yourself. It’s always important to teach people how to exit slowly by developing self awareness. Transitions are really helpful in this way. These are the movements that separate someone who is new versus someone who is well versed in aerial. In teaching clean transitions, you’re creating a confident aerialists. It’s the safest and most secure route.
Thanks, Katherine! We can’t wait to have you back in Bermuda. Parents, please fee free to sign your child up using the schedule below.