Last Saturday, I went to take an Ariel Dance class at Manhattan Movement & Arts Center (MMAC). Let’s just say that I left with a heightened appreciation of the strength that it takes to be an aerial performer!
The majority of the people in the class are dancers and performers. It’s a mixed level class though, so there are people from a variety of fitness levels. Beginners (like me) are taught basic skills (like handstands, cartwheels, etc.). More advanced students learn to climb fabric, perform on the circle ring and more.
The person who teaches the class, Ivo Gueorguiev, has performed with Cirque du Soleil for several years. In addition to the Ariel Dance class, he also teaches a Circus Fitness Class at MMC that is more of a conditioning class where students learn the fundamentals of ground and aerial acrobatics. He is also working on creating/developing a series of Circus Fitness DVDs that will be on the market soon. Ivo’s assistant in the class, Jill Hansen, is amazing! She’s also a Pilates instructor.
In any event the class was a lot of fun. I did cartwheels and backbends like I haven’t done in a LONG while. I also was pulling up on the circle ring. Ivo warned that I would be sore later. He was right! I still recommend the class as a break in your normal fitness routine. It will help you to see/feel areas of your body that need to be better conditioned.