If you have ever watched a Cirque du Soleil performance, you will likely have been wowed by the aerial silks. It is one of the most breathtaking elements of the show. For those among us who have watched and thought “I could do that”, there is a very good chance that you could find an opportunity quite easily. Aerial skills gyms are getting more and more popular, so you should have no problem finding one near you!

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What is aerial silk?

Aerial silk is a circus performance that became famous through Cirque du Soleil. It was initially performed using silk (hence the name) but synthetic fabrics tend to be used nowadays. Two lengths of fabrics are suspended from the ceiling and the performer uses them to do climbs, wraps, and drops, all without a safety net and suspended from 12 to 20 feet in the air.

Dance is a key part of an aerial silk performance, and really aerial silk is an example of acrobatic dance. As you can see in this amazing video by Tanya Brno, beautiful dancing is used throughout both to convey emotion and to smoothly transition between the different positions.

How to prepare for aerial silk class

You don’t necessarily have to prepare to attend an aerial silk class and you can start as an absolute beginner. With that being said, you can definitely give yourself a bit of a leg up (pun intended) by taking part in exercise that will boost the areas that you will be using.

  • Flexibility – yoga and Pilates
  • Cardio – aerial silk is an all-over workout so improving your cardio fitness will help you to keep going for longer.
  • Upper body and core strength – weight lifting/going to the gym
  • Forearm and grip strength – rock climbing and bouldering

Whether or not you do any of these extra workouts, you can still enjoy and get all the benefits of aerial silk. And achieving those climbs, wraps, and drops will give you an incredible boost in confidence that will have you still “walking on air” all the way home from class!

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