Aerial Silks and A Girl Named Mary
Written by: Diana Renee, Owner of Embody Pole Fitness
Aerial Silks or Tissu, Embody’s newest addition. I’ve fallen in love with this beautiful art form. It’s hard, just like pole, but in a different way. You don’t have the points of contact, your skin, to hold you on the silk, it’s all you up there. Upper body strength, yes, it is a must. Before you write silks or pole for that matter, with “I don’t have any upper body strength, I can never do it”, let me tell you a story about a girl. A girl named Mary.
Mary is a student at Embody, she’s been coming to Embody off and on for the last 2 years, but 7 months ago, she committed. Decided to make the commitment necessary to really change. And wow, did she ever. She comes to class 5-6 days a week, doing a combination of kettlebell, Chickfit, Aerial Silks, Pole Barre, just about everything we offer. She has lost a significant amount of weight and tons of inches, her self-esteem and confidence have skyrocketed.
She is working hard on building up her upper body strength, but what she lacks in strength she more than makes up for in drive, motivation and aggressive, “hell yeah, I’m doing this.” I admire Mary so much, she is my hero, and she refuses to give up, regardless of how difficult any of it is. She’s the epitome of a powerful woman. Lack of strength does not stop her, she’ll modify and do what she can, and always remembering it’s a journey, her journey. As she keeps on keepin’ on she grows stronger and more powerful every day. I watch her and sometimes I have this urge to hug her and tell her how much her determination means to me and to Embody. She pushes and inch by inch, she grows. So, motto of the story, if you want to try silks, pole, kettlebell, barre or whatever is on your “want to do list”, DO IT! You can modify, fight, grow and inch by inch get there. If you come to any of the classes at Embody, we, us instructors, will be there for you, we will help you make it happen.
Let me tell you a little something about Aerial Silks
5 years ago I was in Vegas, watching Cirque du Soleil show and I marveled at the way the dancers spun through the air, suspended 50 feet up by colorful ribbons. Did you watch Pink singing “Glitter in the Air” while twirling above the stage during her show-stopping performance at the 2010 Grammy Awards. This beautiful art form is visually stunning, actually it’s something more than stunning…fantastically, gracefully, amazingly, magnificent! There’s a reason why this combination of gymnastics, aerobatics and dance is growing in popularity as the newest way to work out. If you want to develop your core strength, tone your upper body, maximize your flexibility, and have an amazing work out that’s different every time, there’s no better way to do it!
The short, but fascinating history of Aerial Silks
One of the newest dance forms out there, aerial silks – also known as aerial tissu, fabric or ribbon – was developed in 1995 by Andre Simard, a Canadian Olympic gymnast with probably the most awesome job ever: Developing new and innovative acrobatic techniques for the Cirque du Soleil. Simard was already known for melding fine art, storytelling and athletic performance, but when he added flying to the mix, the sport really took off – bad pun
In aerial silks, dancers use ultra-strong synthetic fabrics to climb, twist, fall, contort, flip, and hold positions. Experienced aerialists may perform from 20 to 50 feet above the ground, while beginners start low – usually less than 12 inches off the ground — and work their way up as they gain confidence.
Aerialists grip and wrap the strong, low-stretch fabric around their limbs and core, creating a secure hold that allows them to appear as if they’re flying. Above all, aerial silks are graceful, and those who practice it notice that the improvements in posture, flexibility and poise – as well as the improved upper-body strength and toned bod — carry over into everyday
Learning Aerial Silks
The best part about this work out is that anyone can do it! Even if you no desire to run off and join the Cirque, aerial silks offers a full-body workout that is never, ever boring. All you need are a pair of capris or leggings to protect your legs from silk burns — yes, those exist — and you’re ready to go. At Embody Pole Fitness, we offer a regular schedule of aerial classes. Our classes are appropriate for all fitness levels and you don’t even need prior experience. Check out the Embody YouTube Channel to see some of the gorgeous moves that you’ll learn. Soon, you too can be flying through the air with the greatest of ease – and getting an amazing workout at the same time!