I have always been intrigued by the acrobatic performers in Cirque de Soleil shows and always wondered how difficult it was to perform on Aerial Silks. Determined to find a gym that offered Aerial Silks in San Diego where one could actually try this adventure was no easy task but I happened to stumble upon the San Diego Circus Center, which offered Aerial Silks as one of their classes. http://goo.gl/maps/x6ARL
Aerial Silks – San Diego Circus Center
Aerial Silks, Tissue or Fabric are two long pieces of soft fabric that hang from a single point. These silks are all a little different as some stretch more than others or have more give when body weight is applied. The more stretch to the silk the more difficult the silks become for climbing, positions, etc. My instructor (Armando) explained everything in great detail and then before we even touched the Aerial Silks, we spent 10-15 minutes stretching our bodies out.
There are 3 different forms of climbing the Aerial Silks that are taught to all students. All have their advantages but I found whatever was most comfortable to me was what I was going to use. After a few practices of climbing the silks, it was time to try a few different moves. This particular move became easier as I let my body weight do most of the work and take my arms out of the equation.
We then tied the two Aerial Silks together to create a knot or “seat” like area. By this time my arms, hands and abs were firing on all cylinders. Practicing a couple moves and reconfiguring the hips throughout the process I started to get the hang of transitioning from one position to the next. This position was really fun as you invert yourself and are able to hang off the ground (if high enough up). From this position you pull yourself up and reconfigure your hips as your bottom repositions itself on the knot and you are able to swing.
Aerial Silks – Iron Cross
The Iron Cross was a move that I wanted to complete and perform for an audience but I found that my strength was completely absent towards the end of class. I was able to work my hands into position around the Aerial Silks correctly but my arms were only able to go to 45° angles to my side. This would be a great goal for any person attempting to try this activity.
Overall I had a very exhausting experience at the San Diego Circus Center. My arms, shoulders, hands, fingers and abs all got a great workout in and are requesting a nice quiet evening. The gym is not all that big at San Diego Circus Center but was able to accommodate my Aerial Silks class (just me), a meet-up handstand class (one person) and a jazz fusion dance class (3-4 people). There was a lot going on but there was great people watching or observing during your breaks of everyone else. I’m sure everyone in there had a few oohs, aahs or maybe laughs from watching me. The music was a little loud from the dance class making it a little difficult to hear the instructor but I’m sure they might turn it down a little if you are having troubles hearing. When I arrived on the scene there were close to 8-10 kids in the Kinder Circus class who all looked like they were having a blast so I would encourage parents to explore some of these classes. I look forward to trying a different class at the San Diego Circus Center after my arms, shoulders and hands have had time to rest.
As far as gear goes for Aerial Silks, there is not much needed for beginners. I wore shorts and a t-shirt but was advised that if my skills improved and in order to advance my skills some different attire would need to be worn. I think I’m a little ways off that mark though.
On San Diego Circus Center’s Facebook page there is a post that states, I found a book titled “How to be Amazing at Anything”. It had a single page inside and was just one word long.
This applies to most everything we do in life if amazing is what you seek………