Growing up, I took dance classes, mostly ballet, for a couple of years. The idea of appearing to look effortless, unreal, graceful, and floating in pointe shoes was something that drew me in. I had fun impressing my friends, family, and classmates with my flexibility, doing things that to the average person seem physically impossible.
I first learned about circus arts in January 2016 when I went to a Barnum and Bailey show at American Airlines Arena with my cousin. I couldn’t stop thinking about the contortionists and aerialists, how bendy and strong they were, yet they had so much control. They looked weightless and effortlessly floating above the crowd of thousands watching them in awe. After that show, I remember begging my dad for months to let me take contortion classes, but after the only circus gym I managed to find on google was almost an hour away! As a result, my dreams of circus classes was suspended for a few years.
Since moving to Fort Myers, I had been going back and forth on whether or not I should finally try the circus arts classes I’d been dreaming about for so long. I was intimidated by aerial since I’ve never had upper body strength before, but after being stuck inside all 2020, I needed an excuse to get out of the house and be active, especially since college was still online.
My first class at Pole & Aerial was Stretch and Strength with Stef. I immediately fell in love with the space and the calm, chill vibe. Since then, I’ve tried everything at the studio, silks, Lyra, hammock, and even a little pole. Out of all the apparatuses I’ve tried, silks has been my favorite, even though it’s arguably the most upper body intensive out of everything offered at the studio. I think it’s because of how quickly I’ve progressed with silks. I owe a lot of my progress to Brittany, her drills and training, and of course, believing in me as a performer.