Monday, August 29, 2016

Aerial Acrobatics $ 🎓 💪💪💪💪

Sometimes called Silk Work or Aerial Silks, this is really fun.     Take a giant 20 ft long, 2 ft wide silk scarf by the middle and tie it to a hook in the ceiling, 10 ft above your head.   Put a thick gymnastics mat - or two - underneath it, for safety.  Get some chalk on your hands and climb up the silk - using your hips and legs to push yourself up rather than your arms.   Get about 8 ft up there and wrap yourself in the silk - using a special technique.  Now let yourself fall a bit, perhaps spinning, allowing some but not all of the silk to unwind.  You come to a sudden stop, preferably someplace above the ground, caught by the silk.

This will hurt - and bruise you.  Even when you do it perfectly.    You may not have hit the floor, but you still came to a stop and all that energy went into stopping you hits your body where the silk caught you.  Because it is spread out over the silk (and over time), it isn't damaging, but it hurts.  It's also incredibly dramatic, beautiful, artistic and an adrenaline rush.   That's aerial acrobatics.

Aerial Acrobatics is the only activity that I gave four 💪 to.    It is the single most physically taxing experience I have ever tried.  It requires you to do heavy exercise for extended periods of time and if you reach your limit and relax at the wrong time, you fall eight feet and break your neck.   Even when you do it right, it bruises you.  I was honestly too old (and/or out of shape) to do this so while I enjoyed it, I decided to quit before I killed myself.

It is on the cheap side to try (they offer deals for the first lesson) and not hard to learn.  It does require flexibility.

If you are out of shape, you won't be good enough to get in serious trouble.  You can still try the basics at low altitude, but it's not easy to climb the 8 ft. If you are afraid of heights, you won't be able to do this either (but if you are slowly trying to overcome your fear, this is a good later step).

This class is almost entirely female.   Certain techniques are physically impossible for men to do safely (we have these delicate bits that stick out between our legs and that's where the silk wraps - remember the bruises happen where the silk touches you...)    There are some men that do it, but they are in the far minority.   I have seen people as old as 48 doing it professionally, but it is clearly for the young.  Most people taking this class seriously are in good shape and start before they are 30.  Teenagers are welcome. 

Clothing is important.  Bare skin means you get bloody scrapes rather than just bruises, so you need to wear tights/leotards or something similar.   No baggy clothing - the tighter the better.   Women may will need a good sports bra and men definitely need a 'dance belt' to keep those delicate bits in close and safe.  Dance belts are  ballet clothing for men.

If you are in good shape and like exercise, this is a great hobby.  If you are in OK shape and like exercise, this will get you into good shape.  If you need to lose some weight, you might try it, but the more advanced stuff will be very hard.

You can do it here:

Note, this location also teaches related arts, not just the silk stuff that I enjoyed so much.

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