As an aerial arts instructor, I just love how often my students are able to surprise themselves. They are stronger than they thought, braver than they realized and more graceful than they knew. Not necessarily at their first class or two, mind you, but after a handful of classes, nearly everyone has surprised themselves to some degree. Climbing fabric, vertically, with no harness or aid seems daunting, maybe even impossible for some, but as it turns out, so much of what we think is out of our reach, is actually surprisingly attainable. The first step is coming to class.
“I’d love to learn aerial fabric, but I’m not very strong. I hardly have any upper body strength. I can’t even do a chin-up!” If I had a quarter for every time I heard some version of this excuse… No really, it’s the first thing most people will tell me when I mention the aerial classes I teach. Here’s the thing though: The best way to get strong enough to do aerial silks, is do start doing aerial silks. You don’t need to be able to do a chin up or have any significant strength at first. You’ll definitely get strong in my classes, but you’ll also gain a body awareness and an understanding for this specific type of movement. You’ll learn how to conserve energy while on the fabric and how to find ease and grace in moves that look (at first) impossibly hard. “I’d love to learn aerial fabric, but I’m afraid of heights.” There’s another one I hear a lot. And, yes, heights can be scary for some people, but when people are afraid of a height it is usually because they don’t feel safe or that they don’t have control over their situation. In my classes you’ll learn to trust the strength of your body and feel confident and safe while flying on the fabric. And, in the meantime, you’ll build your confidence by training very low- just barely above the soft, forgiving mat. There is an amazing amount of technique that you can learn while only a foot or two off the ground. Almost any move you can do at the top of the fabric, you can (and should) do low to the ground while you are learning. Students only need to go as high as they are comfortable, but after a few classes, even those who are most afraid of heights, find themselves flying higher than they ever imagined. “I’d love to learn aerial fabric, but I’m too old.” You are only as old as you think you are! The classes I teach at Legacy T&T are 16+ and I’ve had students of all ages try out the fabric. Some as old as 70! Whatever your age or athletic ability, there is a place for you to start, feel challenged and feel empowered on the aerial fabric. So for those of you out there who are tired of working out at a typical gym, for those who want to try something fun, different, and surprisingly possible, aerial fabric might be just the thing you’ve been looking for.
A word of warning though: don’t expect to feel stronger and empowered after just a class or two. Commit to at least 8 weeks. Give yourself a chance to be challenged, humbled and inspired. Know that there is usually a “hump” to get past in the beginning, where you might feel frustrated or discouraged. This is most often the experience of new students, but hang tight, you’ll be over that hump before you know it and you’ll be absolutely amazed at what you are capable of! The first step is coming to class. Give it a try! My next beginning level aerial fabric course begins on April 16 at Legacy Trampoline and Tumbing inside of High Sierra Gymnastics. Every Thursday 8-9:30pm for 8 weeks, with a recital on the 9th week. $140 for the whole course. There are only 12 spots, so if you are interested, contact Mig or Richelle at firstname.lastname@example.org.