I am realising more and more the importance of autonomy. The possibility to be ourselves.

When my autonomy is being suppressed or not supported I feel unsafe and I turn to my coping mechanisms. Then when that is continuous I lose track of who I am. 

How does this come up in the context of the aerial industry?

In the past I experienced dance teachers and directors suppressing performers’ autonomy in order to keep their control and power. I never looked at it as anything but harmless but now I think about it, it’s pretty dangerous. I have definitely felt trapped in a rehearsal or doing something I am uncomfortable with because I feared ‘being awkward’ and ‘uncooperative’. 

The thought of obedience being a highly ranked ‘skill’ as a performer makes me feel uneasy. If someone is more likely to get a role because they ‘comply no matter what’ it’s as if we are rewarding the lack of personal autonomy and boundaries. 

Again, it can be related to worth. We might not value our autonomy and then not think of it as such a big deal when it’s not supported. Therefore those of us with low self worth can be taken advantage of. I wondered why it took me so long to honour boundaries but I think the main factor was the fear of rejection and losing work because of it. 

We know our own bodies and limits better than anyone else so it is SO important to have the opportunity to honour that instead of being overruled by an instructor, director, manager. 

We are all unique for a reason and that uniqueness is where we can shine the brightest so don’t let anyone dull your light.

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