YORK COUNTY, Pa. — Beauty, elegance and a very challenging workout, all wrapped up into one! FOX43 heads back to Stellar Fitness in York County to try out Aerial Silks class, as this week's unique fitness class.
Aerial Silks is also known as aerial contortion and is a performance or workout where an artist executes different moves suspended from specialist silks or fabrics. It is also a circus discipline that can appeal to many people, and it has a lot of cross-over with dance, yoga and gymnastics.
Cait Shelton, Aerial Silks teacher and performer, says she got her start in gymnastics first and foremost, then came to the circus art as a young adult.
"I really like that it used a lot of the same strength and flexibility but it did not have a lot of impact,” said Shelton.
Not only is it a form of expression, but it is also a great way to challenge your strength at any level of your fitness journey.
"Even for people who come in being really strong, just the act of holding yourself up on a curtain from the ceiling is new and challenging and different,” said Shelton.
She also says that if you are someone who loves to get cardio in through dance or gymnastic tumbling, this workout is definitely for you, no matter your past experience.
“As a beginner you might expect a lot of work in a knot tied in the fabric that supports you. Moving through some of these basic poses to be able to execute them cleanly and with grace and elegance,” said Shelton.
Beginners also tend to work for shorter amounts of time in the silks. Performing moves only a few feet off the ground for about 30-60 seconds.
“Intermediate skills I think require you to move up the fabric and then execute a skill, rather than doing something on the ground," said Shelton.
Intermediate performers may work in the silks for up to 4 minutes, requiring a bit more stamina to achieve the move and hold it cleanly without the support of the floor.
A full-time performer, or someone with more experience, may perform several moves while climbing up and down the silks for up to 10 minutes long.
Shelton says some of the benefits that you'll see include an increase in grip and core strength and an increase in cardiovascular endurance.
"In addition, an increase in life joy as you get to spin yourself upside down on one foot on beautiful fabrics. What's not to love?” asked Shelton.
If you want to give the class a try click here to see the schedule. Silks and floor padding are provided, all you'll need is a water bottle!