Myself and a group of friends recently took part in an aerial silks party at The Funky Monkey Studio in Bath. We booked the party to celebrate our friends forthcoming wedding – we decided that we would like to try something none of us had done before, something a little bit scary and something that would make lasting memories. The aerial silks party was all that and so much more.
To say I was nervous and out of my depth on arrival is an understatement. I racked my brain to try to draw upon some forgotten skills that might make the incredible art of aerial silks vaguely achievable. I thought hard. The best I could come up with was that I did ballet classes when I was five, and that I can throw some spectacular shapes in our living room discos with my minis. Granted, it wasn’t a lot to go on.
As we went into the studio we all immediately spotted the bold red and blue silks hanging from the ceiling. We looked at the silks, and then looked at each other with glances that said “yeah right”, followed by lots of giggles. Where there are nerves, there are laughs – and we shared so many!
Our first challenge was to learn the ‘foot lock’. This was essentially tying a foot into the silks so that we would be secure off the ground. At this point I began to wish that I had done a stint in the Girl Guides or Scouts, I wasn’t great at remembering and copying the knot but, with help, I was in! As I held onto the silks, I took deep breath and took my other foot off the floor. Although it was only a matter of inches, it was hard to trust that these thin lengths of material would stop me from coming crashing down into a crumpled heap. I did it! They did it!
From learning the foot lock we were then shown various other moves and shapes that we had a go at recreating. Our fabulous instructor made everything look so easy and graceful, but was also so encouraging and helped us to celebrate our achievements. I love how the silks bought the group of us together. We supported each other (literally at times!), held our breath with each other, winced with each other and cheered with each other.
In the hour and a half party, I think we all came so far. From tentatively taking our toes off the floor to hanging several feet in the air upside down! I was expecting the party to be a safe little taster of aerial silks, but we got so much more. By the end of the session, I had definitely got the aerial silks bug.
As a mum, I always try to give my mini new experiences, and give them opportunities to try new things but it has been a long time since I have tried anything new or stepped out of my comfort zone. I was so surprised that I loved it as much as I did, it was totally unexpected as it was so far from anything I have done before. I found it really empowering and a huge boost to my confidence to realise that if I set my mind to something, I can achieve it. I am not about to headline a circus, but I do hope that I will be able to continue learning the aerial silks and enjoy the sense of achievement it gives.
If you have ever been tempted to give aerial silks a go, I would really recommend it. It was great fun, a full body workout and so satisfying. If you are local to Bath, then check out The Funky Monkey Studio and their various classes, workshops and parties – we had a fab time!