Updated: Dec 8, 2022
A personal note 🌻
Hey you! If you're new here, welcome to our world where the definition of fun is hanging upside down while attempting to solve anatomical puzzles and making them look effortless 😆
On a less comical note, practicing aerial arts fitness such as aerial silks, aerial hoop, trapeze, aerial rope, aerial chair, aerial chains (no, we're not kidding, such apparatuses and more aerial acts like these exist 😉 ). Now hang on, aren't these only for circus and theatre performers?
a quick history of aerial arts
Termed Aerial Acrobatics, its origins can be traced back to 1959, in a French circus school where some trainees were asked to make a difference by presenting an acrobatic act. One student presented her act by using a long piece of fabric. Although stories as such came from various sources, it wasn't until large showcases like Cirque du Soleil that aerial acrobatics caught on. André Simard of Canada (Cirque du Soleil in 1987) took aerial arts from being athletic displays of acrobatics to a performance art form that incorporated facial expressions and body movements to tell stories and evoke emotions. Other remarkable aerialists like Isabelle Vaudelle and Isabelle Chassé were also known to have awed audiences in various shows. Cirque du Soleil grew from a traveling tent show to the prestigious production you know today. The artistic revolution over the decades had bridged more audiences with aerial acrobatics. Naturally, certain artistic disciplines appealed to those who might have a background in gymnastics and acrobatics. Luckily for us, the practice of teaching aerial arts to non-circus artists and integrating boutique fitness business models eventually evolved into modern aerial arts and fitness studios.
a quick history of Viva Vertical
The humble beginnings started in 2006, in Vee's apartment living room with custom-built, square, wooden pole stages, hollowed pipes used as poles, and IKEA mirrors. Cliche much? That image painted for you is 100 percent true 🤓 Vee and I used to lug around heavy golf bags filled with portable ceiling poles to various partner studios (5 at that time). Fast forward to 2010, Nana and Miko joined us in opening our first flagship studio in KL! By this time, we had already launched our Aerial Arts & Pole Teacher Training Courses in 2008 (which eventually led to a partnership with the International Pole Dance Fitness Association IPDFA), started organizing annual pole competitions after the first one in 2008 (nationally and internationally), and debut our first theatre production in Taiwan under the name of our performance troupe Viva Circus. Opportunities to present at conferences, perform, and deliver teacher training courses for both pole and aerial arts took us all throughout Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and the UK. What we are most proud of though, is the home team and community we consider family today. Having instructors and students who have been with us for over a decade is something we absolutely treasure
(Is this about to be a whole different blog in a blog? Likely 😂 So if you want to read a full story from a personal perspective, you can check it out here. )
OK, now that you're all caught up, let's get into it.
- Emily Tan @ Lola 🍃 co-founder
🎪 A fun way to mix up your workout routine with aerial arts fitness
by Tan YunRu, Aerialist and Aerial Silks Instructor
What makes sticking with a new fitness routine so difficult?
If you are like the rest of us, you have found the enthusiasm to start working out, only for the effort to peter out 😥
Have you gradually let your gym pass gather dust?
Perhaps you faithfully slipped on your running shoes every morning but found it harder and harder to hop out of bed as time wore on.
Maybe you found a HIIT class that you loved until your body started protesting with injuries.
That is exactly what we hear from many of our students who rock up to our studios, feeling uninspired and run down from repetitive and traditional exercise formats.
Enjoy and pleasure are the best predictors of whether you will stick to a fitness routine. This article discusses how novel and varied exercises promote adherence to physical activity- in other words, walking away from a session filled with new activities increases satisfaction and makes it infinitely more likely you will stick to it.
🧐 Can aerial arts classes offer this mix?
Firstly, how can aerial arts classes be used as fitness activities?
These classes turn a niche art into boutique fitness classes to improve your strength, flexibility, and coordination. Separate from aerial yoga, which is based on static poses or flows with the aid of a hammock, aerial arts classes focus on tricks and routines to showcase your imaginative, artistic side- again, think dramatic 🎪 circus acts!
How can it help me get fit and STAY fit?
Joining an aerial arts class is not just about learning a bag of tricks- the structure and challenge will sustain your fitness journey 🚀 Getting fit is all about consistency, and addressing the roadblocks that might stop you from quitting. Let’s see how aerial arts classes can turn your initial excitement into momentum:
You have a community built-in 🙌 The nature of aerial arts classes fosters a supportive environment. Humans are greatly driven by community and belonging, and the structure of a class with common goals for students is highly motivating. Join a class for fun, and you may reap the reward of unexpected friendships and support- a recipe for a highly enjoyable journey.
Novel movement 📝 Aerial arts classes are broken down into tricks and skills to be learned along the way, with new and fun ways for physical movement. It is a different approach to “getting fit”, compared to counting reps and sets (both are valid approaches though!). For those who do not enjoy repetitive movement, the novelty and application of a whole new movement vocabulary are highly mentally stimulating.
A good teacher will ensure you are paying attention to the skill at hand, effectively building your movement competency through performing task-oriented skills.
Application of achievable goals ⏰ Your fitness goals aren’t just party tricks! Instead of vague goals like “getting more flexible”, in aerial arts you have the opportunity to showcase a beautiful split to dramatic music. If you’ve noticed your stamina has increased, you can turn your moves into an energetic routine. The satisfaction of applying these skills will fuel your motivation and your desire to engage even more with your goals.
A weekly class format helps with buy-in and habit formation 🗓️ Why make things harder for yourself than it needs to be? While self-guided fitness routines have a time and place, a weekly class format primes your mind and your body for habit formation- no doubt THE MOST important factor in getting fit.
Creative expression 🎪 The novelty of aerial arts pushes every student out of their comfort zone. It inspires you to explore, imagine, and unlock an extension of yourself you never knew about. The environment gives you the tools (and holds immense space) to unleash your newfound creative freedom.
Lasting habits drive you towards results and growth 🏃♀️ Aerial arts classes offer all the ingredients from community support, physical development, and working your mental & creative muscles, to be able to progress in your fitness in the long run.
The majority of students globally practice aerial arts for fitness and artistic pleasure. Some schools are solely designed to educate and develop aspiring aerial arts performers and teachers, like the Bachelor of Circus Arts at the National Institute of Circus Arts (Melbourne, Australia). For us at Viva Vertical, it's all of the above (minus the Bachelor's Degree 😆).
If you think an aerial arts class will push you out of the boredom of a stale fitness routine to an engaging, sustainable journey you can effortlessly maintain 👉 join the experience here at Viva Vertical!
Start your own aerial arts or pole dance adventure with us, maybe even making that circus dream come true - right in the heart of Malaysia 🇲🇾 🎪