Day 5 of Fitness – Aerial Arts at Sky Gym
Best Self staffer Flannery learning the trapeze.
Do you have what it takes to join the Cirque du Soleil? After taking classes at Sky Gym, you might! This gym instructs students in the aerial arts, which are exactly what they sound like: artistic movements in the air, like those you see at the circus performed on hoops, trapezes and fabric suspended from the ceiling. Amber Monson opened Sky Gym in 2009 after completing teacher training classes with Cirque du Soleil aerialists themselves. She has since passed her expertise on to a handful of other instructors who are there to help you fly your way to fitness.
At the beginner level, though, you won’t be flying quite yet. The beginner class I attended started with students sitting on the ground to hear a serious talk about safety and correct body positioning when performing aerial movements. One major safety rule is to remove all jewelry and secure long hair, so that nothing gets caught on the fabrics and causes injury. The beginner level class also contains an explanation of the various equipment in the gym: a hoop called a lyra, a trapeze and durable fabric strips called aerial silks.
Sky Gym instructor explaining proper positioning in the silks
After this introductory information, the fun really begins. Class participants partner up with a spotter to practice positions such as a “lay back” and a “side press-out” on the various pieces of equipment. These positions may look easy – especially when you’re only a few feet off the ground – but they require lots of core and upper body strength. I don’t think of myself as someone who has much of either, but I didn’t let that stop me. Sky Gym welcomes students of all body types and skill levels, and the spotters and instructors were there to help me get into each position and start building my strength. By the end of the class, I got to try an inverted pose where I was upside down in the silks. It wasn’t as scary as it sounds, and after you conquer that pose, you’ll be ready for Cirque du Soleil before you know it! Drop in to an introductory class today for just $19.
Details: 6780 Roswell Road, Suite D100, Sandy Springs, GA, www.aerialsilksatlanta.com