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I Took An Aerial Silk Class: This Is What Happened

Dale Chong |
October 5, 2015 | 12:12 p.m. PDT

Associate Arts + Culture Editor

Aerial Physique Studio (Dale Chong/Neon Tommy)
Aerial Physique Studio (Dale Chong/Neon Tommy)
If you’ve ever watched aerial silk performances at Cirque du Soleil or an equivalent performance, you’ve probably understood that the performers have gone through strict professional training to get where they are, and you’ve probably thought to yourself, “That’s amazing, but I could never do that.” 

Conquering the feat of aerial gymnastics is not as difficult as you might think—you can trust me, I did it. 

I walked into Aerial Physique at the end of one of the advance classes, watching some of the participants wrap themselves up in the silks and working on various positions. I had seen aerial silk performances before, and was extremely nervous to see how I, a mere mortal with a lack of upper body strength, could manage to pull my body up slick, stretchy fabric.

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While I didn’t get too far off the ground, I did it. We started with “climbing,” which is essentially shimmying yourself up the fabric. It requires an extreme amount of upper body strength and coordination; it was also probably the most difficult in my opinion. More than upper body strength, however, aerial silk demands a strong core. Flipping upside-down and around, you’ll need to keep control by keeping everything tight. 

(Dale Chong/Neon Tommy)
(Dale Chong/Neon Tommy)
As a former child who used to spend time hanging by my legs on monkey bars, I loved my experience at Aerial Physique. Not only is it gaining more awareness of my body, but I’m also in a different mindset when learning all the different motions. 

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Aerial Physique owner Jill Franklin agrees, “As far as yoga goes, the yogis say being upside down is really good for your body, and I agree with that because we’re right-side up all the time and it’s good to reverse everything., and you’ll find you’re more energized. Mental, it’s really great for. I have a lot of older clients and they come for the mental aspect as much as the physical aspect because learning to do something new, at an older age, having to apply yourself, this you need someone to walk you through it and you need to really understand it; you can’t just see and it and duplicate it.”

If you’re looking for a new, fun, challenging way to the strength and flexibility of your body, look not further than at Aerial Physique to get started on your aerial work. You’ll feel it tomorrow, but it’s definitely worth it.

Reach Associate Arts + Culture Editor Dale Chong here. Follow her on Twitter here.



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