Swinging From The Ceiling
The last weekend in July found me literally swinging from the ceiling – I know the word ‘literally’ tends to be overused these days but trust me, I’m using it in context thanks to my Aerial Cirque ‘Introduction To Silks’ workshop.
I managed to persuade two of my pals to come along with me – Debbie, who was a willing victim and Aoife, less willing but suffers from severe FOMO which makes her an easy target.
What? Who? Where?
In case you’re not familiar with it, Aerial silks is the performance of aerial acrobatics while hanging from long lengths of fabric. Perhaps you saw Pink’s unforgettable performance at the 2010 Grammy’s…as if singing in front of a massive audience of your peers wasn’t challenging enough, she threw in some aerial silks work aswell ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htaKHoihSSA
Aerial Cirque is run by aerialist extraordinaire Ria Murphy and is situated in an old Victorian building at no. 10 Exchequer street. The studio itself is full of space and character, with beautiful stained glass windows providing colour and light to the shabby chic interior.
An Historical Site
Bear with me while I go off on a bit of a tangent, but the building itself is so interesting I had to do a little bit of snooping (online not around the actual building). As it turns out Exchequer Street has a fascinating and at times sordid history. The site of at least three political assassinations, home to the 12th century Exchequer (probably not a revelation) and later on brothels and at one stage a temperance hotel (that was never going to catch on). Particularly interesting it seems No. 10 played home or at least ‘office’ to the Irish National Aid and Volunteers’ Dependants’ Fund and in turn was workplace to Michael Collins who became secretary to the fund in February 1917.
Back to the business of aerial acrobatics. After we all signed the very thorough waiver (it’s definitely worth reading before you go), we met our ultra bendy and very patient teacher, Nicola who got us off to an energetic start with our warm up which served as a good ice breaker. Speaking of breaking, I’m pretty sure if you survive the warm up you’ll have no issues with the acrobatics.
Tying Ourselves Up In Knots
As soon as the warm up was done, the crash mats come out – gulp. We were split up into groups of twos and threes to each silk. The vibrantly coloured silks all hang from the ceiling looking like props from a Bollywood movie. Our first lesson was how to tie a knot. I failed miserably at this, thankfully one of the other girls was more than competent and happy to be the chief knot tyer. I seem to remember wearing my mother’s patience to a thread when it came to learning how to tie shoe laces, clearly the life of a sailor is not for me (that pun wasn’t intended but I’m going to run with it).
Ready For Take Off
Once our silks were safely knotted (thanks Hayley), we were ready to start some simple ‘bum hoists’, I’m not sure what the official term is. Nicola demonstrated each move a couple of times and then it was our turn. We quickly graduated from sitting to standing and onwards to a standing lunge out of the silks, on to the flying splits or at least that’s what it looked like when Nicola was doing it. My version of it looked a bit more like Penelope Pitstop with a hamstring strain.
Taking Things Upside Down
Eventually we got to the inversions which while they looked very complicated – ok I had to be talked through it very slowly – weren’t really too bad and certainly looked good in the pictures. The two hours flew by and I would certainly recommend it as a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. The workshop kicks off at 15.30 and cost €30 which I thought was good value.
That’s a (Silk) Wrap!
It is quite strenuous, if you have any issues at all I would make sure to discuss with Aerial Cirque before booking in. I would suggest bringing a long sleeved top as there are one or two moves which are a little bit chafey on the old underarms. Remove your jewellery, bring your friends, or go it alone, the vibe is welcoming and fun for all. If you fall in love with aerial performance on your first date, there’s a six week beginners course take you to the next level.
(01) 444 8959