Fitness Review: Aerial Silks with Lone Star Circus

When I think of aerial silks, I think of those amazing contortionist performing for Cirque du Soleil doing all kinds of cool bendy things mid-air. So when my friend Mel invited to me check out a beginner’s aerial silks class, I wasn’t sure what to expect. All I knew was that I needed to channel my inner cirque du soleil performer! I’m definitely not flexy enough nor am I graceful. I’m a walking catastrophe most times, but I walked away absolutely in love with the class.


The drop-in class is only $20 and it was hosted by Lone Star Circus at Rogue Athletics in Carrollton. Upon arrival, I showed up before my friend and immediately did not like the location. I thought Rogue Atheltics looked like a dump with dim fluorescent lighting and the large room where the aerial silks class was taking place wasn’t all that impressive either. I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about all of this…

I was able to lift myself into a hand stand  and complete two different basic moves. It took a few tries and lots of “What now?!!?!” and “helpppp”.

As more attendees trickled in, I noticed most of them were warming up and stretching so I followed suit. As the class began, we all did a few warm up exercises and stretches. Sitting in a circle of people who can do the splits while I can barely touch my own toes made me feel really out of place. It was actually intimidating. I kept thinking about how stiff I am and I’m definitely not flexible…so what the heck am I doing here? How am I supposed to hold myself up in the air? For a moment, I even started to wish I hadn’t come, but I had to see it through.

I  totally surprised myself here. Might be a basic move to other aerialists, but it was a huge accomplishment for me.

I totally surprised myself here. Might be a basic move to other aerialists, but it was a huge accomplishment for me.

The warm up was probably my least favorite part because when we got to the silks part I ended up having tons of fun. I learned I was a lot more flexible than I gave myself credit for. On top of that, I was definitely a lot stronger than I thought too.

Mel is such a beast. She's also a yoga instructor and have worked very hard to get to this level of flexibility. Everyone' gotta start somewhere.

Mel is such a beast. She’s also a yoga instructor and has worked very hard to get to this level of flexibility. Everyone’ gotta start somewhere.

The class was split in half. The more advance people stayed on the other half of the room to practice their incredible climbing and drop movements. I was on the obviously more inexperienced side learning the basics.

My amazingly bendy friend Mel doing the splits like it’s no big deal…

The key to having fun in a class like this is not being afraid to try. I was able to accomplish everything the instructor asked and surprised myself a lot. In the videos and photos, I had no idea I could actually hold myself up in a handstand while suspended IN THE AIR. Frankly, I had no idea I could even do any of that. It was a very cool experience.

Another thing I learned is not to underestimate aerial silks. It’s pretty much gymnastics while in the air and I made the mistake of working out beforehand. Boy, was I sore! The moves demand control, core and upper body strength. You can feel the burn in your hands, wrists, arms, shoulders and abs. Would I do it again? Absolutely. Lone Star Circus hosts beginner’s classes Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Check out the schedule here.

My advice if you plan on attending this class or any other aerial class:

  1. Stretch. Arms, legs, back, and neck.  You don’t want to hurt yourself. My neck kind of ached the next morning from arching so much.
  2. Wear leggings. For basics, shorts are fine, but as you become more advance and learn to do drops and climbs, leggings will keep you from burning yourself on the silks.
  3. Don’t be afraid. Be brave! Those mats are there to break your fall. For the beginner’s class, I didn’t really need it because I wasn’t climbing or dropping. Most of the class, I was learning how to lift myself and get upside down. If you can conquer your fear, you’ll have tons of fun. Otherwise, you’ll stand around awkwardly and completely waste your time and money. The instructors are there to help you move correctly and make sure you are being careful.
  4. Have fun. Like my friend Mel always says to me when I’m insecure about my non-flexibility, “Everyone starts somewhere.” How will you ever know your limits if you don’t try?
  5. Bring a camera. You totally cannot pass up on this fantastic photo and video op. I wouldn’t have believed what I did if I didn’t see it for myself.

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