“How about you guys come and take a class with us?” I stared at my email for a long time and let out a loud laugh. An aerial acrobatics class? Me? On the aerial silks? Miss “I have to have Shaun assist me when attempting to do one pull up”? Well, sure. Why the hell not? I like to make a fool of myself and at least this one would be interesting.
So we found ourselves at Sky Candy for the Intro to Aerial Skills class on a Saturday afternoon. Long, beautiful aerial silks hung from the ceiling while lithe people worked their magic and a few people were twirling away on the static trapeze. These were the guys we got to see from their production, “The Circus“.
Yeah, I could get into this.
After a quick warm up where I quickly learned how out of shape I was (I couldn’t come up from an ab exercise), we went straight into the aerial silks.
Note: So after looking at the pictures we took during our session, I feel there is a couple of things you need to know. 1.) There is no way to look flattering in some of these positions on your first try. 2.) I’m a little more portly than I remember but I think it is important to try things out no matter what you look like – So curvy girls everywhere, this is for you.
The first bit of the class is to just get used to what the silks will feel like and get an idea of how to balance. Shaun and I aced this one.
Look at how awesome we look.
The rest of the class went kinda like this:
Andy, our very in shape ex-gymnast from Germany would show us these beautiful poses on the silks.
This one is getting into a straddle and pike. The boys took an extra moment to use their cores to pull up a bit.
This is how we looked doing it.
Shaun isn’t too bad.
While Shaun missed my epic straddle, he did get the very pretty cross legged pose. And oh lordie I learned something about being upside down in the silks – you become incredibly aware of how “handle-y” your love handles are. But one perk (as per Andy) is that it is much easier for women to stay in these positions while men (like Shaun) tend to slip out. Score one for the curves!
The second trick was to learn the gazelle. Andy’s was stunning.
Shaun and I, on the other hand, struggled a wee bit.
I think Shaun’s was prettier than mine. Also, note to the guys – when doing aerial silks, you have to be acutely aware of where exactly the silks are or you will consequently experience what Shaun describes it as, “ball popping pressure”.
The third trick was to balance on one foot and look pretty… or man pretty for the men.
Shaun rocked it.
And well… I’ll be damned, look at my confidence.
The fourth was a bit more difficult. We were to take the silks and wrap them around our leg and just hang out there.
Shaun is a damn monkey with superhuman upper body strength and it took little or no effort as he scaled to the top of the silks.
I, on the other hand, ended up like this:
But eventually, with every cell in my body, got up to here. Shaun was cheering me on because somehow I did it with what looked like ease. I experienced something like “OMG I have to do this or I will feel like I failed.” and mustered up the core strength needed to get there.
And as my exhausted body sat there quivering, Andy stated we were going to try another type of aerial art – the Lira, or the metal hoop you see people gracefully draping themselves over and spinning.
But a grin took over my face and I (masochistically) was ready for more.
We quickly did the exercise where we learn the sweet spots of the lira.
Our last trick of the day was a move which Andy giggled and proclaimed, “you have to BEND… and SNAP!” or, in non-Legally Blonde terms, propel yourself in a circle and make pretty (or man-pretty) poses).
Shaun rocked it.
I held onto the hoop, slightly shaking, my clammy hands grasping for dear life. I bent… and SNAPPED OMG-I’m-going-to-fast-and-losing-my… “AHHHHHH Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu…….” and I fell to the floor mat.
Andy rushed to my side. “Are you okay!?!”
I looked at him with a huge smile on my face. “Absolutely! I fall all the time!”
He looked and me with an air of concern. “You don’t fall in here.”
I chalked up my hands and went at it again.
I want to take a moment to thank the wonderful people at Sky Candy Austin for taking us under their wing and giving us the opportunity to fly high with them. The aerial acrobatics movement is huge in and around Austin, and if you happen to find yourself here, I would highly suggest taking this class. Not only does it give you huge bragging rights but everyone there is incredibly helpful and professional. Thank you Joanna for hooking us up and a huge thanks to Andy for being so patient with us while we learned.
And another quick thanks to Lisa and Paul for scaring the crap out of me by knowing who we were ahead of time and asking me knowing questions.