When Sassy asked me if I’d like to join a night of daring debauchery (err… pole dancing), the inner goddess in me leapt at the chance. Hell yes! But as the day wore on, the nervous nelly in me fought her way to the surface. What was I thinking? I’m not cut out for such erotic flights of fancy… or am I?!
A quick flick through the Aerial Arts Academy website had me slightly terrified but also a little excited about the potentially exhilarating experience ahead:
“Hong Kong’s finest tease school of burlesque and chair dance!”
“Improve your flexibility, fitness and sensuality, all at the same time.”
Last time I checked, my post-baby fitness levels were at an all-time low and I’ve never been the most coordinated person, let alone flexible… and let’s just say the art of seductive posing generally escapes me (just ask my husband!).
So letting go of my inhibitions, I made my way to the AAA in Causeway Bay (tip: it’s opposite the Rosedale on the Park Hotel). Stepping inside the house of all that’s fun, flirty and feminine, I was immediately made to feel welcome. Our intrepid instructor for the evening was Ea and our class was actually in the art of Aerial Silks!
A quick Google pointed me in the direction of rock star Pink’s on-stage antics – you know, where she gracefully hangs upside down from silk ribbons, doing acrobatic style moves akin to a highflying circus performer. Meanwhile, Ea herself had spent six years in the circus and looked as fit as humanly possible. Yeah… this was going to be interesting!
First things first, a 15 minute stretch (oh how I wish I’d continued yoga!) and I was already breaking out in a sweat. Once we limbered up, it was time to get our groove on.
Ea demonstrated to us the most popular Aerial Silk moves (including The Cocoon, The Butterfly, The Sleeping Beauty and The Candy Roll), floating elegantly and artistically in mid air… and we attempted to follow!
Ale, Vivien and I soon found a whole new respect for Pink and those Cirque Du Soleil performers. Making it look graceful was the least of our problems! All I could think of was how unfit I must be. Strength is a priority here and just gripping the fabric was a major exercise in itself. Then there’s the art of weaving the fabric around the foot and climbing up the rope, somehow executing a perfect straddle, mid air or flipping (read: contorting) your body around and around using all the back and arm strength you can muster! Then, imagine doing all of this eight metres above ground!
While I suffered rope burn and was almost ready to give up with exhaustion, Ale proved a natural, effortlessly gliding into position (an Aerial Silks Artist in the making perhaps?). With Ea’s help we managed (albeit just)to twist, pull and spin ourselves into a few artful positions – plus get a taste of the euphoria you must feel when you can really pull it off.
An hour and a few laughs later, we were totally spent. My muscles were going to feel every twist in the morning!
Workout gear wise, anything comfortable and easy to move in will suffice. Aerial Silks is definitely not for the faint-hearted but it’s well worth giving a go – who knows, you might find yourself keen to continue and I reckon if you were committed to the task, it would be a total rush to become proficient in the art of silks!
At the AAA, you can also learn to become confident and comfortable in the arts of Pole Dance, Chair Dance and Hoop Dance, all in high heels to boot – definitely a great way to improve posture and flexibility, build stamina and strength with flair! Group classes are available all week, as well as private or party bookings.
So come on girls, it’s time for you to get downright saucy with some new skills!
Class credits cost $150 each, with most classes costing two credits; packages are also available. For more info and Aerial Arts Academy’s full list of classes, click here.
Aerial Arts Academy, 16/F, Parkview Commercial Building, 9-11 Shelter Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 2375 8088