So I did it again, I’m flying once again. Probably not the manner in which you would assume, as this is indoors. No, not a simulator, or even in a plane. I’ve taken a class in Aerial Arts. What is aerial arts? Can you say Cirque De Soleil? Yup, thats right, I went tonight and got a good workout at the hands of Ben Zimmerman of BB’s Dance Factory.
How in the world did I get into this? Well let me take you through my thought process this past weekend. I’m a showman, always one to entertain, so how about coming up with some really cool moves at a wedding or similar event. Lets Google, dance class, Clearwater, FL. Hrmm, not alot of Ballroom type classes that seem to fit my schedule or style, I like the latin stuff but, yup, still a white guy, so those are out. Wait, what is this? Circus Arts? Right around the corner? It can’t be true, must be for kids. Ohh really, Adults welcome too? I’m so there.
I shot an email over to their information email, and first thing Monday morning, the studio’s namesake Beth Brown rang me up to answer all my questions. We talked, she assured me that I would be fine in their Open Aerial class as long as I was in any other shape than round. She asked me to come abit early to take care of all the ‘paperwork’ which basically consisted of the basic “I won’t sue you” type stuff, 1 page, quick and easy. A meager $18 for the session and we’re off.
While waiting for the class to begin I noticed all these young (read: jailbait) ladies were stretching and doing all kind of dance type manuevers which I automatically recognized as “Never Gonna Happen,” yet I asked if I should pull out my old guy stretches at which point a young lady named Michelle assured me that we’d get plenty of streched at the begining of class. Oh was she right.
Once we started we did a few laps around the room combined with some windmill type shoulder thingies. After breaking my first sweat during the 2nd lap, I knew this was going to be no cakewalk. Forming up into a circle Ben led us in what seemed like basic (yet all inclusive) stretching and warm up routine. We weren’t doing anything fancy or strenuous, but geez, now there’s sweat pouring off of me like there’s a rain cloud above my head. Usually when I got to the gym I would put my Boxing Shoes on and spar for an hour or so then I would have a regular ab workout that consist of 10-12 exercises, which I pick 3-4 of on a daily basis, I think Ben had a the same list, but we proceeded to do them all. Nice! Not a good start, I’m already showing my age.
Ben instructed everyone else to start on their conditioning and I would skip it for tonight (Was I THAT obvious) Ben started me on the basic trapeze, demonstrate, then do, demonstrate, then do. We went through a couple basic trapeze moves and then I started seeing stars (Note to Self: Hydrate BEFORE you go, moron) I took a water break and then when I was ready to go again, Ben’s spunky little assistant (hence forth known as Spunky, as I neglected to remember her name) took over and made the Trapeze look like as simple of a procedure as eating. I was told several times that I was picking it up quickly, but then again, I was doing an even better job of hiding my out-of-shapedness.
Once I decided that my hands had turned into Instant Callouses, I took yet another break before Spunky asked if i wanted to move to the fabric rope. Sure, it looks easy enough. After amazing her with my quick grasp of rope climbing (Don’t tell, I learned the basics in the Marines) she showed me a few fabric basics. As a note to those inexperienced in rope work, rope climbing is tiring. After a few short climbs, a longer water break took place while the only other guy in the class, Grant, took to the fabric with Spunky showing him some star type fall out of the sky maneuvers. I was quite content in taking a recovery breather and watching them work.
Seeing as the time was running short I peeled myself off the very comfortable floor and decided to let Spunky show me something else, unfortunately, this part also involved me wrangling up more energy and going back up the fabric. I got a quick hanging upside down with no hands thing done just before the cool down stretches began.
Overall, I would highly recommend this to anyone that is in somewhat decent shape. Not to be confused with fitness guru. I’m in decent shape and can get back to where I need in no time. Its amazing how not having a 9-5 will screw with my gym schedule. As I know I thoroughly enjoyed my first Aerial Arts class, I can say I have already emailed the studio to see what other class options are available.