Friday Essay – Flying for My Art

Aerial Fly FitnessI had my third Aerial Fly Fitness class at ClubMynx  yesterday.  I am in love!  I have never been one for fitness classes.  Usually I find them boring, tiring, stressful, painful, embarrassing and/or pointless.  I started this one because I want to fly, almost literally.  The dance studio where I do most of my burlesque is raising money to put in aerial silks.  If you’ve seen an acrobatic circus performer using long pieces of fabric secured to the ceiling to fly and twist, then you know what aerial silks are.  I have a burlesque piece I’ve been thinking about for a very long time, but could never figure out how to make it work.  The piece in question involves a suicidal nun hanging herself.  And, of course, the problem comes with the ‘hanging herself’ part.  Of course when I heard the aerial silks were going in my ‘hanging herself’ problem was solved!  All I needed to do was learn how to fly.  Then I discovered that ClubMynx was offering this fly fitness class.  It is mostly a conditioning and stretching class with support from a big loop of fabric hanging from the ceiling.  And, we do some fun poses hanging upside down and sideways in the loop of fabric (hammock).  It is some of the most fun I have had in a very long time!  There are two things that I have discovered in the three weeks I’ve been doing this: 1) I love hanging upside down and sideways, I love the freedom of movement I find with this hammock; and, 2) I am stronger than I thought.  I have been able to do every pose we’ve learned.  They all take a lot of core strength and many take a certain degree of courage.  I have attempted them all and accomplished them all.  I may not be quite as flexible as the young women in the class but, I am certainly as strong and capable of the poses.  This realization fused in my mind two concepts that North American  society tells us are paradoxical – fat and strong.  I may jiggle (and in all the right places, thank you very much) but, I am not weak.  I may not jog every day or spend hours at the gym (being bored out of my mind) in order to be thin, but I am not weak.  I have crazy strong muscles under this  wiggle.  I have a body that does amazing things – things many people haven’t even tried. So, people walking down the street can make whatever judgements they like about my big, jiggly body; she serves me well and she can do the most amazing things!  I will continue to fly and dance.  And this body will continue to serve me well!

Be Lovely to Each Other,