There’s something romantic, nostalgic and a bit dangerous about circus performers. I don’t know if it’s because of the gypsy nature of the business or the way circus life has been portrayed in some movies, but it seems like behind all the glitz and glamor of the circus lies a deep, dark underbelly. And today, I wanted to see that underbelly and show it my underbelly. That’s right. I went to circus school. I wanted to tap into my inner circus freak and melt some fat in the process. My friend Retta was gracious enough to take the plunge with me at Cirque School LA. And I’m so glad she did. No one would believe how I hoisted, stretched, and flung myself around unless I had a witness.
The school advertises itself as a place for ANY body, with ANY body. We tried the Aerial 101 class which is designed to be a workout as well as teach skills so it’s perfectly made for the #MIH15by15. It’s a bit of everything…floor work, trapeze, and fabrics. All of which were challenging to say the least. I have no upper body strength or core strength. But I got up on that fabric like a beast! Well, a beast that was a few inches off the ground and whose arms were shaking under the weight of my own weight, but still…
We did a few basic moves with the fabric then moved to the trapeze. I always think of that scene in Moulin Rouge where Nicole Kidman is swinging from the trapeze above the sex-crazed crowd…then falls and almost dies. Fortunately, our trapeze was only a few feet off the ground. And yet, I still almost died trying to curl my legs up on that bar. Retta breezed through this one. But I’m gonna be honest, I had to use a step to get up on that swing. And once I was there it hurt my butt, arms, and legs. But I didn’t care! I was Satine! And for a brief, untethered moment…I considered joining the circus so I could soar through the air like I only weighed a buck fifty. Then, I needed to get down and they had to bring over a giant box to help so I wouldn’t fall and that dream went away.
Bottom line is, I did it! I took this old, fat, scared-of-heights mom ass and pushed myself to try something I’ve never done before. And once my arms get their feeling back, I might be willing to try it again. I highly encourage you to get outside your workout comfort zone and try something you’ve always wanted to try. Whether it’s something simple like hitting the gym, or something wild like running off to join the circus.
Cirque School LA offers a variety of classes including aerial tricks, partner balancing and contortion to name a few. Different classes are offered daily and range in price from $25 to $130 for some packages.