First off, if you have already taken even one aerial fitness class you should congratulate yourself for being fearless and open to trying new things…even if it was just for that fleeting moment when you hit that “register” button. Aerial Fitness is actually a very new phenomenon to the fitness world. Aerials used to only be seen in the circus, and the art was kept a secret from the public. Who would’ve thought the average person could have the opportunity to learn climbing, flipping, twirling, lifting, swinging, dropping, and posing on an aerial apparatus as part of a fitness regime? It’s such an exciting concept that that now ANY person can learn aerial skills, acrobatics and/or dance locally…and it’s popping up in more and more cities around the world. Many of you may have only tried one apparatus, but aerial fitness encompasses (but is not limited to) a whole plethora of contraptions: aerial silks, lyra (aerial hoop), pole, chinese pole, trapeze, aerial chains, cube, rope, and the list goes on and on.
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY
The history of the act and art of Aerial Silks is not well documented. It was however made well known in the United States by a professional gymnast performing for the Cirque du Soleil in the late 80’s. He was given an assignment to find a new awe-producing act that combine acrobatics with aerial performance in order to give the show a new flare and audience appeal. This famous gymnast (Andre Simard) contributed countless brilliant acts to the Cirque du Soleil, but his most memorable was the undertaking of developing the art of the aerial silk, which made its debut in Cirque in the 1990’s.
WHAT MAKES THE ART OF AERIAL SILKS SO BREATH-TAKING?
Watching an aerial silks performance keeps us audience members on the edge of our seats…but why? Is it due to the fact that we’re all afraid the aerialist is going to fall to his or her death? Is it because doing anything THAT high in the air is amazing no matter what it is? Probably both, but it’s also because aerialists make such physically challenging moves look effortless. If you’ve taken an aerial silks class before, you know the truth: many classes consist of grunting, sweating, and then finally celebration when/if a move is conquered…let’s just say it’s anything but effortless. The way aerial silks challenges your physique makes it a sport; it’s that moment when you make it look graceful that it becomes an art and truly breath-taking.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM STARTING AERIAL FITNESS CLASSES
(the good, the bad, & the secrets)
- Expect to form camaraderie among your classmates. There’s something about taking on a challenge among others undergoing that same challenge that brings people together unlike any other type of fitness program.
- The more you practice, the more you’ll accomplish. You will find that you’ll not only gain strength, but self confidence as well as you start to conquer more and more moves you never thought possible.
- Your body will change for the better. Aerial fitness promotes strength, endurance, and flexibility, which ultimately leads to a well-balanced, strong and consistent body composition.
- Aerial silks will inspire your creativity. The human being is a creative species…we’re all innately creative. Whether or not everyone exercises his or her creativity on a regular basis is a different story. Stringing acrobatic & dance moves together through aerial fitness is a great route for creativity and personal expression.
- Your inner playfulness is released. Let’s face it, we’re all still kids at heart and NEED to have fun…if the act of aerial silks is anything, it’s FUN!!
- You have an outlet for all the stresses of everyday life. Research shows that if you have a way to free your mind of whatever is weighing you down, you will be happier, less anxiety-ridden, and better able to cope with stress in general.
- Recognize that some moves may be painful or uncomfortable. Your body will adjust and get used to it, but don’t be surprised if a bruise or two pops up after learning a new move or pose. (Aerialist Secret: Arnica gel will be a new staple in your daily routine :) It helps speed up the body’s healing of bruises)
- If you want to make the fastest progress possible, come to multiple classes per week. Be sure to cross train with strength exercises and flexibility training to reach peak potential as an aerialist!