Transcript for “Balance – with Sam Sweet and Ben Klein”

Episode: Balance – with Sam Sweet and Ben Klein

00:00.00
Craig
Hello I’m Craig Constantine welcome to the Movers Mindset podcast where I talk with movement enthusiasts to find out who they are what they do and why they do it. My guests today are Sam Sweet and Ben Klein welcome Sam welcome Ben how are you guys today?

00:15.67
Ben and Sam
Hey glad to be here good. How’s it going.

00:40.78
Craig
It’s going very well I mean it’s an excellent question anytime that I get to talk to people I get excited. So anybody who ever asked me of course I’m having a good time. Um I want to start normally people who’ve listened to the show like we’re doing something a little different with some of these episodes and I want to start by mentioning that in a couple weeks. No fast forwarding. On the weekend that is may none through the none just over two weeks from today Sam and Ben will be at the move Nyc event in Manhattan teaching sessions involving imagine this balancing and acrobatics if you didn’t see that coming. You don’t know who Sam And Ben are that event is run by the movement creative for information and tickets to the event. Please go to their website. It is the movementcreative dot com and just click on move Nyc at the top. Anyway, that’s my spiel so Sam Ben I was super excited to talk to you guys because I love meeting people who like to share their passion with others. So. It’s None thing to talk to people who love to move love to play I get to do that a lot. But for you guys I’m curious about like. Please make the joke as a person this end up only no inversions. Um I’m always curious about people who get hooked or who get interested in balancing or even acrobatics like what their but their journey is so I’m wondering if there are things that you’ve seen people like are there say other. Gateway successes like when you see them do something that lights their passion and that like opens up that new world for them are their particular experiences that I don’t wanna say trigger people that’s the wrong context but are there things that set them off on the right road.

03:50.51
Ben and Sam
Um, yeah, no, it’s a very ah it’s a very interesting thing that we actually talk about a lot in acrobatics. Um, that basically what? what’s nice about partner acrobatics is that. There’s a lot of things. There’s a lot of different ways to get upside down and there’s a lot of different ah ways to assist people when you have a None person working with you so people I think the thing that most people are are ah surprised about is how quickly they can start doing things that seem. Ah. Seem advanced right? exactly where they can ah be going upside down you know within their none class or 2 and ah doing some some really fun balances sometimes that comes back because there’s also a you know, ah partner acroback is a very. Deep discipline where you can get into very very advanced poses that take a long time so sometimes people are are I’d say it’s got ah a very friendly start to the learning curve and ah and then. Ah, it gets harder from there? Yeah, yeah, yeah, basically yeah, but it’s very nice so people can come and come and play and get hooked and then the hard work comes later sometimes it.

06:23.54
Craig
Um, but I imagine that’s a good thing.

06:42.12
Craig
Um, is there. Um, how do I How do I like I’m never at a loss for things to ask I’m always at a loss for how to pack it down into a small number of words so people don’t think I’m insane I am insane but are there are there activities. So like if I say I want to go run I don’t want to make. Running sound like it’s easy but generally speaking like we run right? and like getting good at standing. Okay I mean this standing is really complex but we do this so Well. What I want to know is is it I’m going to set Mayor quoting is it as simple as just doing.

07:20.93
Ben and Sam
Especially when you do it on in person.

07:58.88
Craig
The balancing and the acrobatics over and over and over I mean yes, please do it with a teacher but is it as simple as putting in the time in the reps or are there really things about being inverted. For example, that are so fundamentally different from my normal.. Ah, lived experience that it’s like well okay, None you’re going to have to do this whole world of things that have nothing to do with Muscular strength see what I’m saying like if if somebody wanted to tell me how to like do yoga Tree Pose. That’s basically do more of the balancing than I do every day am I making sense.

08:40.93
Ben and Sam
Yeah I think it depends on what your goal is you know like if you’re just trying to get upside down and be balanced. That’s not very hard. But if you’re trying to do something more like something a little more dynamic or trying to throw something or.

09:03.40
Craig
Um.

09:18.27
Ben and Sam
Trying to you know, do something That’s not just standing or just upside down then then you have to there is more musculature. There is more um, things that you have to think of. But if your goal is to just get someone upside down or someone on their feet or just to like learn to have someone start to learn to be balanced. Um, you can just come as you are um, come as you are and see if you can not be scared to stand on someone. Yeah.

10:41.40
Craig
Most people pay.

10:27.21
Ben and Sam
There is definitely.. There is definitely ah, an interesting mental aspect to being upside down. Yeah, it’s on top of the strength right? because a lot of it is ah and not even upside down upside down is actually easy. What I think is harder for people is being in positions that are counterbalanced with me where you’re where you’re. Close to being upright or close to being upside down but you have to hold a little bit off from that because your body will naturally want to like come back to being straight right? like yeah exactly you’re naturally gonna want to correct out that that little bit of Unbalance. So for things where you have to be um, slightly off balanceance.

11:32.16
Craig
Correct, yeah correct right? Yeah I’m air quote again. Hi.

11:43.47
Ben and Sam
Then those can actually be some of the trickiest things but a lot of that is mental and a lot of that is just getting your bearings of of ah your orientation and and just your awareness in the air. Yeah, the mental game of acrobatics. Partner Acrobetics specifically is something that I struggle with because I um had a stronger like I started hand balancing before I started partner acrobetics and I had a stronger solo practice when I was Younger. So I’m very controlling. And um, which makes me a good base. Ah but it doesn’t quite make me the best I have to work harder to fly because flying is more is less control I feel. It’s more just like letting the the ground changes under you.

13:38.60
Craig
More like.

13:50.00
Craig
Literally if that leads right into I’m thinking oh this is I mean it seems like it would be like dance and I’m wondering does that mean sounds like what you’re saying is that one person has to sort of lead in the partnered balancing movements and the other person has to.

13:36.27
Ben and Sam
So it’s letting the base be the ground.

14:26.30
Craig
Follow or is it more of a literal balance where you’re working together and the sorry I’m like trying to load new terms in my head the ground has to learn to follow the flyer as much as the flyer is following the ground or like how does that how does the interplay of 2 people like play out.

14:41.79
Ben and Sam
Yeah, well acrobatics has gotten very wide. Um and it’s started to incorporate all sorts of different disciplines cheer tricks accrioga like like there’s ah, there’s so many different ways of of.

15:09.48
Craig
M.

15:20.75
Ben and Sam
Moving with somebody else and lots of elements of dance and things like that. So. There’s really But yeah I mean that is the interpersonal is probably the hardest thing about doing acrobatics and it’s the most different thing from maybe some solo movement practices if you’re doing parkour or something like that. Um. And the answer is There’s lots of different ways. But yeah leading and following are both very important skills and sometimes ah sometimes the flyer may lead a particular skill sometimes the base may lead a particular skill sometimes None person might initiate a skill while another person is leading the balance or something like that right? So there’s. It gets. There’s as many different ways to do it as there are different skills to do right? So like there’s ah situations when either person might be leading ah depending on the trick and what you’re trying to accomplish and depending on your partnership. Yeah.

17:22.68
Craig
Um, yeah, does it is it.

17:10.90
Ben and Sam
Which is what makes it even more because even more complicated to dance. Okay, you’re going to lead I’m going to follow. It’s like okay in this trick I’m leading this part of it in this trick you’re going to. You know it’s like there’s there’s.

17:39.94
Craig
Is it better or worse if the 2 people have some sort of relationship like is it is it better if you bring a friend that you know and trust versus like bring your but I got to believe there’s ah, there’s some level and like I kind of suspect that you were going to say that right? because like.

17:35.65
Ben and Sam
Um, no, it’s so much here so much worse.

18:16.90
Craig
I’ve done enough things to know like there’s probably a level of familiarity and comfort and trust like if you have that that makes it easier like 2 random you know strangers you have to like build that quickly but then beyond that too much familiarity might be a problem.

18:19.49
Ben and Sam
Um, yeah I think no I think it’s it’s that’s it’s necessary and it’s like if you’re going to get good at. Doing acrobatics. You need to be Around. You’re going to be.. It’s like you know it’s like any other. It’s a pretty big partnership. It’s like having a band or something you’re going to Fight. You’re going to have intense discussions. You’re going to go back and forth about things. But. In order to work it out. That’s kind of sometimes what’s necessary right? So you try and do the best you can to to let like work in a nice way and not let things get personal and obviously if you have other relationships that complicates that too. But it’s going to be regardless of what your other relationship is if you’re doing. A lot of partner acrobatics if somebody are going to have a close relationship due to the acrobatics. Yeah.

20:15.38
Craig
The licensecening rhythm I mentioned at the top that you guys are going to be presenting and I know you’re doing 2 different sessions which I in my gross negligence forgot to write down the titles of your sessions. Um, but I’m thinking ah 1 of them is.

20:35.99
Ben and Sam
Yeah, well, we’re doing foot to hand and hand to hand so that’s ah, kind of one of the you know one of the most basic ah elements of what fundamental elements of of acrobatics. Yeah.

20:52.30
Craig
Hand to foot and.

21:15.42
Craig
Um, well definitely recognizable right? like this is people with like what they just imagined and and for the it just that’s the thing. So convince me why ys you don’t want to be under me Um, but like convince me that I like convince me that I should come like why should.

21:12.39
Ben and Sam
Yeah, he’s either standing in somebody’s hands or doing a handand in somebody’s hands. Yeah.

21:52.98
Craig
Craig show up at this session aside for the fact that I I think I’m actually teaching at the same time of one of them but keep going. Um so why should new people show up like what is it about it that you know is the thing that they’re going to get so excited about once they see it.

21:43.49
Ben and Sam
Um, yeah, um.

21:58.95
Ben and Sam
I Think it’s just a very interesting feeling that you’re not going to get from anywhere else and maybe you won’t like it. But maybe you will but ah but keep when we’re Starting. You’re only going to be you know, maybe a foot off the ground. So Even though it feels very. It may feel very scary and disorienting to be balanced but you know it’s not. So scary and it’s like I said it’s an experience. You’re not going to get anywhere else if you haven’t had somebody try and balance you Ah, It’s definitely a very humbling fun and interesting experience and fun. Yeah, especially.

23:25.30
Craig
Humbling. Is it good. That’s a good point about no.

23:17.57
Ben and Sam
Sorry, especially I think for like people who have strong movement practices and already um, a lot of people will come here ah to our space and. They’ll have strong movement practices and then Ben is super strong and very persuasive so he will always get people to fly on him and a lot of times. It’s they’re always very humbled because it is a lot different to move with somebody than it is to just move by yourself. And it’s like an end if you have a strong movement practice. They’re always usually humbled and like oh I’m hooked. Um, so it’s like very cult like in that way, it’s a it’s just a very different mode of moving moving. Even if you’ve done a lot of athletics like chances are. If you haven’t done partner acroratics before you haven’t been balanced which is which is a very very different feeling.

25:28.38
Craig
I’m so I’m torn. There’s multiple ways to go here and I’m watching the clock tick. Ah I’m but did I correctly see something about contact improv on one of your Instagram posts because Andrew Cicino has been on the show. I would say he’s a friend of mine I don’t know you know how good he would consider me a friend but I’ve done a little bit of contact improv and that’s probably the closest thing that people would have bumped into in in terms of it’s not partner practice like contact improv isn and partner practice like ballroom dance. But there’s this dynamic aspect to it if you have other people that you’re in contact with and I think that’s a good place.

26:24.45
Ben and Sam
Oh sure and it can get pretty acrobatic I mean if you look at like ah like momentics and some places like that like they do some very acrobatic ah contact Improv Style style style movement right? where they’re getting people on top of each other. They’re carrying them around and stuff like that.

27:05.66
Craig
Um.

27:03.73
Ben and Sam
Ah, and yeah, it’s similar I think the difference in the conduct Improv is in the the body tension a little bit especially of the flyer whereas like in conduct Improv A lot of times you’re trying to be loose and like go with the flow whereas in acrobatics.

27:51.16
Craig
Red.

27:42.50
Ben and Sam
It’s going to be a little bit more tension a little bit more.. Ah yeah, a little more active a little more active, especially on the flyers roll. We do have. We do have a contact in pref class. Um, we don’t teach it. It’s a teacher that is a friend of ours. Um I don’t. Do much contact improv because like he was saying it’s different for the flyer I don’t have that kind of flow. Um I don’t quite understand letting my body be flowy like that and draping I’m like no I’m strict and Rigid and I’m an object.

29:07.42
Craig
I’m I’m chuckling with you I too I am in that boat. Um, you we have you have said here and you have said we have so now I need to know where where is here What is the name of your organization and where can people find out more.

29:17.35
Ben and Sam
Oh that’s important sure so about five years ago ah this all started in long island city. We had a ah gym there which then. cosmic fit club cosmic called Cosmic Fit Club yeah and it was a great place. We had all sorts of fitness classes all sorts of events we had cosmic lights and projectors with our parties. We do all sorts of very fun. Ah movement related activities there it closed due to covid. And right now we have a loft in greenpoint we rent it for aerial training we so we have ah all sorts of aerialists and acrobats and different and dancers different movement practitioners come here and we’ve got ah basically 2 so 2 smaller private studios. Ah, we get a lot of ah rehearsals and things like that in here. So and we teach classes out of here and we have arrower point rentals we rent it by the hour. Yeah oh just cosmic cosmic fit club at cosmic foot club.

31:30.82
Craig
Um, and what’s the Instagram handle I don’t let people get away.

31:36.71
Ben and Sam
O m I c f I t c l u b and then we have our schedule up at http://cosmicfitclub.com um you can see any events that we’re hosting um I’m excited. We’re hosting a contortion event pretty soon from my contortion teacher. So super excited about that.

32:24.40
Craig
Nice terrific I warn people. But.

32:12.43
Ben and Sam
And then you can see our classes as well and also um, our we put the move and my C event up on our website as Well. We linked it to um, their website. We’re really excited to be partnering with them I’m excited to learn some parkour. I’m going to learn some flips this.

33:13.18
Craig
Ykes you might have just started a holy war. Oh that’s cool. Um I weren’t guests up front and say like I won’t let you out without telling me the names of if you’ve tried eventually people um like stop. What’s the name of the thing tell me about it. Cool.

33:05.35
Ben and Sam
Um, okay yeah.

33:42.98
Craig
Anything else rattling around in your minds at the moment that you’re like oh and I also want to add, you can say no, you can say whatever you like.

33:34.69
Ben and Sam
Um, um. No I Think it’s great I think ah, we’re excited to come see what these guys are building on the rooftop and it sounds like it’s gonna be a really fun event and there’s gonna be I’ve been what we’ve been watching the social media and stuff. There’s a lot of cool people coming and yeah, it’s gonna be great.

34:21.58
Craig
Yeah, there there is a lot of co people I don’t know how I got invited I have imposter syndrome I watched them oh good I’m gonna hide behind the 2 of you. Um I’ve yeah when you mentioned like the.

34:21.11
Ben and Sam
Same this.

34:58.30
Craig
Nature of what you’re going to be teaching I was going to make a joke like and we’re gonna be on a rooftop. We really are going to be in a rooftop. However, the the rooftop has sides and and covered don’t panic people definitely go and you you want to go.

34:48.63
Ben and Sam
Are.

35:00.89
Ben and Sam
I we used to do ah acrobatics on her rooftop which has about like ah like a ° to it. yeah yeah I booked a gig on a rooftop. Ah.

35:32.66
Craig
Um, in the minute they call that a tumble home right? off? Yeah not good.

35:37.37
Ben and Sam
Next week and I was like how close are we to the edge of this because this seems like not a good idea but they said they promised me I was far from the edge. Um I do want to talk about our other class our other class we’re teaching on Sunday is a group class group acrobatics class and and.

36:00.34
Craig
Roll all right look up. Um, please do.

36:15.27
Ben and Sam
Hand to hand and Footananna great I love hand hand and foot to hand but like honestly group acerbatics is what’s more close is what’s close to my heart. It’s what I um like so much more. Um.

36:56.84
Craig
And and you said that’s which day was that I’m not sure that I heard that Sunday cool I actually I think Moveyc actually I am hundred percent certain by the time anybody hears this I know that the full schedule is published so you can see who’s where in which days but keep going group.

36:47.99
Ben and Sam
Sunday.

37:14.97
Ben and Sam
Yeah group backros just anything you’re doing with more than 2 people. Ah, it’s a whole lot of fun because kind of like what we’re saying before with the more people you have the more people you have to help you through things and so you can get to do a lot of very fun things. Ah even early on.

37:32.96
Craig
Acro.

37:53.61
Ben and Sam
Ah, and it’s a lot of collaboration and it’s a lot of fun because you can build something with 4 or 5 people and make 1 big structure. yeah yeah I like it for the fact that i.

38:32.54
Craig
Shared experience. Cool all right good.

38:32.73
Ben and Sam
I’m pretty like I am pretty strong for my size so I get to base and I get to fly um at the same time when we do like pyramids which is really fun for me. Um, and it’s it’s like a big challenge. Um, for me as well. Which I think is fun and just like also the communication between because it’s hard enough to communicate with None people when you do partner acrobatics and then you add um more people and the challenge of communication and making sure everyone’s heard and making sure that. You know everyone’s safe because you can do a lot bigger tricks with more people so making sure that the safety is happening is there is also important. Um, which is nice because which we’re fortunate here. Have a set of lines for when we throw people we can catch them in a safety belt as well.

41:00.54
Craig
Well I think that’s probably a good place to call it for today I will just say and of course the final question 3 words to describe your practice.

41:07.73
Ben and Sam
You go first. Ah. Fun, exciting flow. Um, technical. Creative um, thoughtful. I don’t know do that spell an anagram of some sort. We. What do we? What do we to get if we put the none letters of all those Ff. Yeah.

42:21.18
Craig
Terrific. Well thank you I’m so it doesn’t fef to well actually you know wait. Wait. There’s an interesting symmetry here. Ben’s is fe f for fun, exciting flow and sam’s is technical creative and thoughtful I’m so I scribble as fast as I can which is Fef and Tct which is interesting slow anyway, I’m going to try I’m gonna but.

42:42.25
Ben and Sam
Um, theft that we just need to add a c in there and we’ll have a cosmic fit club. Yeah, we’ll start fit this highiku.

43:19.84
Craig
That’s what I was just thinking but all right? Let’s let’s what a happy coincidence to land on terrific all right guys? Um, thank you so much for taking the time and I appreciate joining me and I look forward to getting to re meet you in a couple weeks. Thanks.

43:31.70
Ben and Sam
Um, yeah, thank you, Thank you Bye everybody