There’s a bolt of silk suspended from a 30 foot high, ceiling, tied into a small U, like a cradle. My instructor asks me to lean into it, so that it’s holding my weight, and then twine my legs around the fabric, so that I’m secure. Then she asks me to lean back so that I now hanging upside down from the ceiling, hanging from silk.
“Ok,” she says, “now do 15 situps. While upside down and hanging from the air.”
Welcome to Cirque Fit, as taught at Esh Circus Arts. Esh is a school run by a group of professional acrobats, teaching others performance disciplines ranging from trapeze to handbalancing to aerial silks to contortion. Then there’s Cirque Fit, which takes all of the general fitness and warm-up exercises that acrobats use and strings them together into a general fitness class that feels like part Pilates, part gymnastics and all kinds of fun.
I don’t dream of joining the circus but I have a lot of fun at Cirque Fit. The instructors are great and rooted in a background of professional performance rather than just striving to be fit for its own sake. If you live in the area, you can sign up for groups of 8 weekly classes at a range of skill levels and disciplines. If you’re just visiting, you can also opt to drop-in for a taster class. Check the website for more details.