By Annie Kinnett Nichols
& Wendy Binns

Point your toes. Engage your core. Now smile because you’re looking pretty smokin’ suspended mid-air from 25 feet of silk. That’s right. Once your feet lift off the ground in this class, you become – ta dah! – an aerialist.

We (Annie and Wendy) are good friends and like to explore Intown. So we set off to find a few places that could teach us how to soar. We went to an Intro to Aerialist Silks class offered by Fly Fitness (flyfitnessstudios.com) at Catalyst Fitness for our first point of reference. Our instructors, Saje Kirk and Kimberly Sende, showed us how they wind up the silk, climb, twist and gracefully hold a position with a smile.

We warmed up a bit and then we moved onto learning about the silks and basic techniques. The silks are made out of the same cloth our mom’s slips were, only a tighter weave, and they hold up to 2,200 lbs. On the fabrics we got a full workout with sets of crunches and upper body strengthening moves. It was fun, pretty and gives a performance slant to the workouts.

The next place we wanted to check out was D’Air Project (dairproject.org) in East Atlanta. They specialize in aerial fitness, aerial dance, climbing ropes and trapeze classes. They also have an incredible teen outreach for Atlanta kids. D’Air puts on performances regularly featuring the different disciplines they teach. I went to a class that focused on body safety that teaches you how to take care of your body while you work out on the silks.

Lastly, we want to tell you about onlYoga (onlyoga.com) in Midtown. They take yoga to a new height – up. Aerial yoga is the practice of traditional asanas (yoga poses) using the assistance of an aerial swing. Partners help each other through different positions, which assists alignment and helps to decompress the joints and spine. It’s also a blast! Not only do you get an amazing work out, but Tracy Sharp teaches you coordination, flexibility and strength training and it’s good for all levels of experience.

The work out at all venues was solid and fun. You could feel the muscles days later. It sculpts your shoulders, upper arms, abs, gluts, and thighs. If you’re looking for a change – becoming an aerialist puts a new twist to your workout.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.