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Acro Jam Bossyisms

by Ezra LeBank

Part of flying bossy is playing in a way that empowers us to be the bossyest bosses we can be. We read these Bossyisms when a jam opens, and post them visibly.

Golden Bossyism One

If you are in an unsafe situation (unsafe physically, sexually, emotionally, or otherwise), it is your right and responsibility to do something to change it. If you witness someone else in what appears to be an unsafe situation, it is also your right and responsibility to do something to change it.

Golden Bossyism Two

If you think you or someone else is in an unsafe situation, but are unsure what to do, ask. Ask your base, flyer, or spotter. If it involves someone else, ask the person you’re concerned for. Ask a teacher or facilitator. Ask someone at the jam. Always ask.

Audibility - Make sure you can easily hear and be heard.

Visibility - Make sure you have clear and bright visibility.

Enthusiastic Consent - AcroYoga involves negotiating how and what we practice. First, make your invitations clear, whether inviting a pose, sequence, or something regarding how to practice. Once a partner asks, sometimes, for example, a “sure” or an “I guess so” sounds like a yes, but feels like a no. Instead of doing guesswork, I invite you to practice enthusiastic consent. This means enthusiastically saying “YES!” or “No” to an invitation. It means that unless you feel enthusiastic about your yes, you have the right and responsibility to say no. It also means that when you ask, unless you receive enthusiastic consent from your acro partner, you have not received consent. This includes the flyer, base, and spotter.

The Gift of “No” - Often we are afraid of saying “no.” We think it might hurt someone’s feelings, they might retaliate, or we simply haven’t practiced saying no enough. We see no as negative. Instead, I invite you to see “no” as a gateway to trust. Only when I know an acro partner is fully comfortable saying no, do I trust that when they say yes, they mean yes.

“Down” - If anyone, at any time, for any reason, says “down,” the acrobatic structure slowly and safely moves to the floor.

Spotting - If the acro being practiced is potentially dangerous for the flyer, base, or other jammers, always have someone spotting who knows how to appropriately spot the skills being practiced.

Spacing - Consider the space you need to assure your safety in whatever you are practicing, as well as the safety of those around you. It is not only kind to make sure you have sufficient space, it is negligent and dangerous to others not to.

Ask - If you have any questions or concerns of any kind, ask a teacher or facilitator. If you don’t know who to ask, ask someone who to ask.

Play well, and stay bossy.

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