Student of the Month

February 2016
Alison Headley
What brought you to Bumbershoot Aerial Arts?
I moved to St. Louis from Austin last year to help my mother take care of my father, who has Parkinson's. I'd spent a lot of time taking trapeze and fitness classes at an aerial studio in Austin and I felt really at home there, so I was nervous about joining a new studio. But everyone at Bumbershoot has been super friendly and welcoming, and I feel like I fit right in.
What is your favorite apparatus to work on?
Trapeze! It's the only apparatus I know very well at all. I'm kind of developing an interest in silks, though, thanks to my aerial fitness and straddle up classes.
What is your favorite thing about Bumbershoot?
The people. The instructors are supportive and encouraging, and the students do a great job of helping each other out. I also like the non-competitive atmosphere and the focus on health and safety. Aerials can be scary and difficult, especially at first, and I don't think I could succeed at all in a less supportive environment.

I also love how strong I'm getting. I can never find any clothes with sleeves that fit on my giant arms anymore, but who needs sleeves anyway? Eventually I will ascend to my true and final form: a feminist who can deadlift a grown man.
What kinds of things do you do when you aren’t hanging in the air?
For my day job I work from home as a web designer. In my spare time I sew, knit, make jewelry, do woodworking and any other crafts I can get my hands on, and play with my little old Chihuahua, Moki. I read a lot, but I balance that out by watching way too much TV. I love to travel but haven't had much opportunity to do that lately.
What is your favorite dessert?
If it has chocolate, I'll eat it. If it doesn't, I probably won't. If it has chocolate AND peanut butter, I will eat all of it.
When you are having a tough day in class, what do you tell yourself?
I think of a trick I know how to do well, then think back to when I couldn't do that trick and was completely convinced that I'd never master it. A few years ago I came home from a Trapeze 1 class feeling really sad that I'd never be able to do crucifix. But I figured it out a little while later, and now it's not a problem. It's so helpful to me to remember how far I've come, and to remind myself that there's no trick out there that I can accurately say I will NEVER master. Whatever it is, I'll get it eventually.

I can't wait to be able to look back on the days when I couldn't do an ankle hang.
What is your favorite trick? Least favorite?
Well, I really like to do crucifix because of all the time I spent resigning myself to never being able to do it! And I worked on my double L-up off and on for YEARS until I finally got it in December, so I love doing that one too. My least favorite right now is probably seahorse on my left side because I'm having trouble with it. But once I get it it'll be my favorite.
If you could run away to a desert island with one person from Bumbershoot who would it be?
Does the desert island have a freestanding rig and trapeze on it? If it does, I'd run away with my fellow trapeze 2 regulars. If it doesn't, then we'll stay right here, thank you very much.
Do you have a favorite memory from class or performing?
I still can't believe I performed in the most recent student showcase. I did trapeze in front of people! Everyone saw me do it, nobody threw anything at me, I didn't die, I didn't fall off the trapeze or throw up, and I didn't even wish the earth would open up and swallow me whole. It was miraculous.
Past Students of the Month