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Indoor Skydancing and How to Carry Oneself in Flight

Maja Kuczyńska. Still image from
2017 Red Bull promotional video.
Superhuman characters are part of stories I’ve already published and part of stories yet to come. And some of these characters can fly without any technological assistance. The real-world competition of indoor skydancing provides a partial example of how you should visualize such characters while they fly.

Writing about superhuman flight is often simple enough. But how do you visualize what that looks like when you read it? Does what you see look anything like how filmmakers portray it? If it does, that’s sometimes okay but at other times not. Here’s why.

Depicting superhuman flight at times fails when visually translated. Failure in movies and TV often occurs because actors don’t know how to hold and move their bodies when attempting to portray a flying human being. They often come off as uncomfortable, awkward, or unable to hide that wires or other technology is helping them to mimic flight.

Hence, a superhuman character’s carriage while in flight is critical to making it seem both realistic and sublime. I’m not suggesting that anyone is about to turn my stories into movies or television series, because they aren’t. But I still like the idea of a reader understanding how flying superhuman characters should appear in the mind’s eye. And one of the best things I’ve seen to help achieve this visualization comes from indoor skydancing (or indoor skydiving competitions).

There are four videos of indoor skydancing below and they mostly speak for themselves. The only thing I’ll say about them is that they aren’t one-to-one translations of how you should visualize superhumans flying in fiction (some of the movements wouldn’t be practical).

But the grace, athleticism, and general control of the human body that the people in them demonstrate are things you should usually visualize in any flying superhuman individuals who appear in my stories.