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Shake Up Your Workout With Aerial Arts

A local fitness studio offers a fun and effective way to get in shape, all while in the air.

Photo: High Expectations Aerial Yoga

I didn’t know what to expect when I walked into High Expectations Aerial Arts. Nestled in between a mix of warehouse-style buildings in the Broad Avenue Arts District, the studio’s inconspicuous exterior leaves a lot to the imagination; but inside the space transforms into an open gym equipped with colorful silk fabrics and enlarged hoops hanging from the ceiling, reminiscent of a mini circus show. Immediately upon entering the facility, you know that you’re in for a different type of workout experience.

High Expectations offers a variety of unconventional workouts, with the main focus being aerial arts. Aerial arts uses silk fabrics, hammocks, and circular hoops to incorporate acrobatics, artistic sports, and contemporary dance. It focuses heavily on strengthening your core and increasing flexibility. Although it can seem intimidating, at first (and possibly second) glance, it’s a fun and effective way to get in shape.

Photo: Erica Williams

I’d joined a few others in a group session that was booked prior to our arrival. The studio offers both private and group classes for all levels. Our instructor was knowledgeable and energetic while being patient with us ‘aerial yoga newbies.’ She walked us slowly through a variety of techniques, none of them actually done on a mat. Each technique increased in difficulty throughout our session, but the instructor allowed modifications for each.

The session lasted for approximately an hour and a half. And though it moved at a fairly slow pace because we were also learning, we left feeling as if we’d undergone a strenuous workout session with our core. It was certainly fun but consisted of using our core in ways most of us hadn’t since we were kids.

Practicing aerial arts is an effective workout to strengthen your core and increase flexibility, but it’s also a fun class to try with a group of friends. It’s hard to not have a good time when you’re suspended at least three feet from the ground or higher during 90% of the workout. Classes are offered most days of the week. The studio also presents student showcases and their performance troupe performs throughout the community if you’d prefer to be a spectator and watch seasoned professionals actually do the work. Their talented aerial artists are also available for hire for their cirque-style performances.

To learn more about High Expectations, their classes, and shows you can visit their website. Or follow them on Facebook for upcoming events.

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