My first attempt at aerial silks!

October 16, 2011 at 9:58 pm 5 comments

I just tried aerial silks for the first time!  It was AWESOME.  Unfortunately it was just a one-time workshop so I won’t get to continue taking classes in the near future, but it was a nice introduction – and a ton of fun!

Technically, I took two back-to-back workshops which were broken down into beginner and beginner-intermediate levels for a total of three hours.  And let me tell you, three hours of silks with no prior experience is quite a chunk of time and killer for your muscles!  It really did fly by, but I’m pretty sure I’ll pay for it tomorrow when I wake up stiff and aching.  But no pain no gain, right?

Our instructor’s name was Sage and she was very sweet and quite bubbly!  As a warm-up, she had us jump and dance around the room and shake out every shakeable body part until we were sufficiently loose.  Then, we did some basic stretching before going on to the actual moves.  The first thing we learned was how to make a cocoon out of the silks by sitting in a knot and letting the fabric hang around us.  It was nice – like being in a hammock.  We did a few positions in the “egg,” as she called it, and then learned how to climb and how to make a basic wrist and foot wrap.  We also learned a move called the spider in which you invert, hook your ankles around the taut silks above you, and lower your hips (which arches your back) to create a kind of cradle with your body.  We also learned how to get into the splits aerially – both from an inverted and upright position.  Then at the end she demonstrated a few combos.

I was really surprised at how strong I felt and how long I was able to last (I was the only one in the second workshop who took both classes).  If you’re not familiar with silks, it takes a TON of upper body strength – much more, I think, than pole.  It wasn’t until the very end of the three hours that I felt like I was fading.  What really surprised me was how much it hurt my fingers, because unlike pole where you can hold yourself up more with your palms and the friction between the pole and other body parts, with silks sometimes your entire body weight is held up by your hands and fingers curling around the fabric; there’s a lot less friction on your skin, and as beginners we sometimes had to hold ourselves up for a long time while we struggled getting our feet properly wrapped.  So it was pretty exhausting, but totally worth it.

Hopefully my pole studio will offer silks as a regular class soon, because I can’t wait to take another one.  One thing is for sure, though: pole will always be my first love.

I just want to leave you with this Cirque Du Soleil video I found featuring a silks act.  I don’t know the story behind the dance, but it reminds me a little bit of The Red Shoes.  It is a beautiful, magical and moving performance.  Enjoy!

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Entry filed under: Thoughts. Tags: , , , , .

Choreography: when you’re fresh out of ideas My first pole recital!

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ronia  |  October 17, 2011 at 4:41 am

    I would say that silks are much easier than pole. Although they do put some strain on your arms initally, once you’ve mastered the technique of climbing and wrapping the silks around your body it is pretty easy. I’ve been poling for about a year and it took me a few months to invert and do more difficult tricks. With silks I was doing all those tricks within the first 2 or 3 classes.

    Reply
    • 2. Holly  |  October 17, 2011 at 9:39 am

      Huh. It must have just seemed hard to me since I’ve never done it before and wasn’t used to using my muscles that way, especially since I wasn’t familiar with the different wraps – I had to hold myself up with my arms a lot more than I would have if I had known what I was doing. Although I imagine it would get easier. It IS certainly a lot less painful on your skin than pole, so I guess with silks pain wouldn’t be so much of a limiting factor like it is with learning certain pole moves.

      Reply
  • 3. ronia  |  October 17, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    You may also want to try aerial yoga (aerial hammock). It’s kind of similar to silk but not so strenuous on your arms since half of your body weight is always suporrted by the hammock. It’s great stretching exercise! Useful for pole too as it helps to build balance and flexibility.

    Reply
    • 4. Holly  |  October 17, 2011 at 5:45 pm

      That sounds excellent! I don’t think there are any places near me that offer aerial yoga, but I’d definitely love to try it one day!

      Reply
  • 5. Lori Lolorashel Myers  |  October 17, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    I also took my first silks class recently and am starting regular classes next month. I’m so excited!! I am trying the hammock next month too. I’m all about the aerial arts now! 🙂

    Reply

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