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aerial silks class splits
aerial silks class splits
Original photo by Ann Weidmayer

I Joined the Circus?! My Experience Taking Aerial Silks Classes

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at OK State chapter.

Over the past year, this pandemic has shown me how quickly everything can change and not to take a day for granted. I’ve never been one for making New Year’s Resolutions, so for 2021, I decided to make a list of 21 things I want to do this year. Most of the items on this list are things I’ve been saying I wanted to try for a long time. Keeping in mind that tomorrow is not always guaranteed, I quickly got started on the first item on my list – trying aerial silks. 


I grew up taking dance classes and cheering competitively. I’ve always been mesmerized by watching gymnastics and Cirque du Soleil videos, so when I first saw a video of a girl on aerial silks, I thought it was so cool and I was dying to try it. Last year, I had a friend tell me about this place where his girlfriend was doing acrobatic open gyms since he knew I had competed on an acrobatics and tumbling team in college before transferring to OSU. I followed them on Instagram and forgot about it until I saw their post for their New Year’s sale – 4 classes for $40. It was time to stop making excuses and just go for it. 

First Class

My first class was surprisingly hard. I went in feeling pretty confident that my flexibility and years of playing sports would help me not struggle too much. Since it was a Level 1 class, I was expecting everyone to be fairly similar beginners, but some of the others in the class had been there for at least a year. At first I was intimidated by everyone doing these incredibly hard skills, but then I realized how cool it was to see the progression of skills in people who had been there for different lengths of time. 

We started off the class with a warm up that included lots of core work, pull ups, and silk climbs (basically a rope climb) and I realized just how weak my upper body was. During that first class, I could barely climb, but now I can get halfway up the silks. It’s amazing to see how quickly the body can adapt and get stronger.


Thankfully, for the main portion of class, we focused on splits. This was one of the skills I was most excited to play around with, so I was glad we got to do split rolls for my first class.

Week 2

The second week, we worked more on flows – combining multiple positions to build up endurance. While in the air working through what was assigned, the instructor stopped me and asked, “you’re the really split-ty one from last week, right?” and had me modify the position by hooking my foot around the silk and switching from an arabesque to a deep split. I was so excited that she had remembered me from the last class and that what she remembered was having good splits. The over-achiever in me was also so proud that I was getting extra skills on only my second class and so many of the other people in the class stopped to watch what I was doing.

So, if there are things you’ve been saying you want to try but keep coming up with excuses not to, THIS IS YOUR SIGN – do it, you won’t regret having more experiences in this life.

Ann is a senior at Oklahoma State University majoring in nutritional sciences. She is also a personal trainer and in her free time likes to relax and watch movies.