Tag Archives: aerial silk classes

A Girl’s Dream Comes True

One of the things I love most about fitness is that there are always new goals to be met and new feats to be accomplished.  I met one of my lifetime goals yesterday!  I got to try aerial silks, and I have an all new set of goals now that I’ve tried silks.

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Ever since I was a girl I’ve wanted try silks, and I had the time of my life fulfilling that dream.  Allison was such an amazing instructor.  She answered all of the questions I had, and she gave me even more information that I didn’t even think to ask about.  She truly is gifted when it comes to teaching others.

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We started off class by learning how to stretch and strength train using the silks.  Then, we moved on to learning basic lifts and how to properly wrap your arms in the silks.  After that came my favorite part…learning how to do a basic inversion (getting upside down)! 

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Getting into an inversion requires core and upper body strength.  I had to have a bit of help from Allison getting into some inversions.  Once I was in the inversion I was able to move around with ease.  From there I learned how to properly wrap my foot in the silks, climb, and do more intermediate inversions.

IMG_0037Here I am doing the “Mermaid”.

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Allison then taught me how to stand and work in the silks.  It takes a good amount of core strength, and squeezing those butt cheeks together to keep yourself still while in the silks.  I swear I got the best butt and core workout ever today!  Not to mention all the upper body and leg muscles that I used.  If you are looking for a fun way to build and tone those muscles (and burn a ton of calories) this is it!

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Later on in my lesson, Allison tied the silks into a slip knot, and I learned how to do inversions and stretching.  The above picture is getting blown up and framed, and I’m sure it will be a picture that I show my grandkids someday!

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I truly cannot put into words what an amazing time I had with Allison fulfilling a dream and creating new goals today.  I wish I was a better writer, so that I could better express and explain my day to you.  If you are ever in Orlando, Florida or if you live there or near there sign up for classes or a private lesson with Allison today.  She teaches out of several studios (Vixen Fitness, Allure, and Yoga Girls) and she would love to teach you.  Allison is also adding more instructional videos to her website, and she will be adding more flexibility and strength videos soon!!

When Allison and I finished up for the day, I headed straight to dinner with my parents.  I knew that if I went back to the hotel to clean up and change I would end up laying down and not getting back up, and I was too hungry for that to happen.

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We met up at the Cheesecake Factory at the Mall of Millennia

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I was looking forward to getting my Thai Chicken Linguine with Peanut Sauce, but this dish was no longer on the menu.  Since I was craving chicken and peanut sauce I ordered the Thai Lettuce Wraps from the Appetizer menu.  As you can see it really is more of a full meal in size.  The dish came with satay chicken strips, carrots, bean sprouts, coconut curry noodles and lettuce leaves with three delicious spicy Thai sauces – peanut, sweet red chili and tamarind-cashew.  The chicken was perfectly grilled and the peanut sauce hit the spot.  Plus I had a ton of fun creating my wraps.

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My step-mom ordered the Santa Fe Salad, and my dad ordered the Shrimp with Angel Hair (he always orders this dish).  Sadly, we were all too full to have any cheesecake for desert.

Today I’m headed over to Yoga Girls to work on aerial yoga with Allison.  I’m a bit sore from yesterday, but I know I’ll get in some great stretching today!

A Beach Ab Workout for Florida

I am only 8 days away from my trip to Florida!!!  Eight glorious days away from sunshine, warm weather, friends, food, family, and fun!!  Did I mention the warm weather?  I’m staring –18 degrees for a high in the face tomorrow.  If I didn’t have a trip already planned for Florida, I would start walking there if I had to at this point.

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My main reason for going to Florida is to train in aerial silks and aerial/hammock yoga.  I’m beyond pumped and ready to finally start working on these two skills.  My main goal is to have aerial yoga classes here in North Dakota before the year is out.  I’ve been working my core and upper body muscles like none other since December, in hopes of having the strength to work for multiple hours in these silks for three days straight, and I’m really starting to see my bicep and tricep muscles pop again!!  I’m beyond excited to work with my trainer, Allison, again.  She really is phenomenal, and if I have enough time, I might just jump on a pole and do a pole fitness workout with her too!

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With just a few days left I’m still working my abs, and here is the workout I came up with for today after teaching my Spinning class! I thought we could all get beach body ready together, even though I won’t have time to go to the beach while I’m in Florida. If you do not have a BOSU just do the exercise on the floor without it.  You will still get a great workout out of it!  I’ve also included links to new exercise moves.  Remember to stretch when you are done!Sun

Beach Abs Pyramid

Allison Sipes Guest Post

As you all know I’m heading down to Florida in a few weeks to work on learning aerial silks.  I’m beyond excited to learn more about this form of fitness.  The woman who will be doing my training, Allison Sipes, is such an amazing instructor and athlete.  I first got to know her through her pole fitness classes, which were the most amazing fitness classes I have ever taken.  Through these classes I always saw amazing improvements and gained more strength both physically and mentally in every class.  And guess what?  Allison has so kindly agreed to do a guest post for us today!

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Allison is a professionally trained dancer and was a National Junior Olympic gymnast as a child. After graduating from the University of Florida in 2005 with a BA in sociology, she discovered pole fitness in Orlando and instantly became addicted when she realized she was able to combine the strength and grace of gymnastics with the expression of dance. Her classes focus on combining dance, spins, aerial tricks and flexibility training from beginner through advanced levels. Allison also emphasizes proper technique and stretching for injury prevention.

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In 2009, she founded www.OnlinePoleLessons.com as an outreach to those interested in learning Pole Fitness at home. Her site features lessons from beginner through advanced levels, on static and spinning pole. New lessons are added each month, along with a blog that features articles on health, nutrition, beauty and everything pole dance related.

Allison was a judge for the 2011 Polesque competition in New York, and choreographed a pole dance piece for the “Mommies Rock – A Musical Blog” that toured all over the United States. She is sponsored by XPole and Bad Kitty Apparel and is a Fitness Rep for Pole Dance International Magazine. Allison was a finalist in the 2011 and 2012 “Pro Division” US Pole Dance Federation Competition, making her one of the top Professional Pole athletes in the country.

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From Allison:

I was first introduced to Xpert Pole Fitness in 2010, (I had been instructing years previous to this) and was inspired by the format and structure of the program. The methods and techniques taught in the training have taken my personal teaching experience to a whole new level of understanding. I use these techniques in my classes to help my clients to become the best pole athletes they can be. The material and information covered in the XPert training is great for anyone looking to further their knowledge and skill level for this growing sport.

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I also teach aerial silks and Lyra as well as aerial yoga which involves an aerial hammock. These aerial arts compliment pole fitness in many ways, including strength conditioning, endurance and flexibility. Many of my students have experienced major transformations with themselves after taking classes including weight loss, muscle toning, overall flexibility improvement, and a huge confidence boost to top it off. Many students are happier with themselves and their progress in class and this positive change carries into their personal lives.  This allows my clients to be confident to try things they may have once thought impossible, and I like to think it’s attributed to them accomplishing things they never thought they could through fitness and dance training.

The thing I find most rewarding about pole fitness is that people are able to find a form of exercise that is fun and changes their perspective on how they view themselves and how strong and reconnected they become with themselves. For someone’s first class they can expect it to be a lot more challenging and fun than they ever thought!

Allison is an XPert Pole Fitness Master Trainer and loves teaching others the ‘art of pole.’ As the founder of the Florida Pole Fitness Championship and the Florida Pole & Aerial Arts Showcase, Allison hopes to bring awareness to the wonderful art and sport that is Pole Fitness. Allison not only brings her professional competition experience but also her classical dance expertise from her 20 years of training to create a unique teaching environment in the “art of pole.” You can view one of her videos at: http://www.youtube.com/user/AllieGatorUF

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In 2012, Allison founded the Florida Pole Fitness Championship. This was the first pole competition of its kind for Florida, and featured an Amateur, Professional and Masters (aged 40 and up) division. The event sold out with over 500 people in attendance and is being held again on Sunday, March 3rd in Orlando, Florida. This year’s competition will include a Men’s Division which is open to all US residents. After the success of the FPFC, Allison was inspired to create a second event called the Florida Pole & Aerial Arts Showcase, which was held in October 2012. The Florida Pole & Aerial Arts Showcase promotes awareness for pole fitness and aerial dance as an art form and alternative fitness where performers of all backgrounds and skill levels can participate. It is an event open to the public where artists can take the stage and share their passion with friends, family and the performing arts community. The second Florida Pole & Aerial Arts Showcase will take place in the fall of 2013. For more info on these events, please visit: www.FloridaPoleFitnessChampionship.com, www.FloridaPoleShowcase.com.

Aerial Silks Training in Florida!!

Winter has arrived in full force here in North Dakota, so that means that I need to get my southern butt back down to sunny Florida!  I just booked my airline tickets for February, and I’ll be heading down there to soak up some sun and FINALLY learn aerial silks and hammock yoga!
Aerial silks collage

For those of you who do not know what aerial silks are, here is a definition (the pictures say more than the words) of Aerial Silks according to Wikipedia:  Aerial silk (also known as aerial contortion, aerial ribbons, aerial silks, aerial tissues, fabric, ribbon, or tissu, depending on regional preference)[1] is a type of performance in which one or more artists perform aerialbatic acrobatics while hanging from a special fabric. Performers climb the suspended fabric without the use of safety lines, and rely only on their training and skill to ensure safety. They use the fabric to wrap, suspend, fall, swing, and spiral their bodies into and out of various positions. Aerial silks may be used to fly through the air, striking poses and figures while flyingAerial silks are an incredibly demanding art and require a high degree of strength, power, flexibility, courage, and grace to practice.

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It all sounds and looks pretty neat huh!?!

Aerial silks is something that I have had my eye on and have wanted to try for a few years now, and this winter I finally have the chance to learn all I can in this neat art!  I am truly just beyond excited to finally learn aerial silks.  As you can see from the pictures above it looks like a ton of fun and amazing experience.  Who doesn’t want to swing around and do fun tricks?  Not to mention that silks are a great form of fitness.

One of the fitness studios I took lessons at, Vixen Fitness in Orlando, Florida, started teaching aerial silks right after we moved to North Dakota, and I’ve been dying to go back and learn silks for a few years now, so I decided there is no time like the present (especially since it is freezing here in the winter).

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AllisonVixen Fitness in Orlando, Florida is such a great place to take lessons.  Not only do they have aerial silk classes, but they offer a ton of other classes ranging from Spinning to advanced pole.  I first went to Vixen for pole fitness classes.  I would have to say that pole fitness is the hardest fitness class I have ever done when it comes to using your arms and core strength.  Of course, I was sucked in immediately and wanted to learn as much as I could.  This brought me to private lessons with Allison.

Allison is a professionally trained dancer and was a National Junior Olympic gymnast as a child. In 2005 she discovered “aerial arts” and instantly became addicted when she realized she was able to combine the strength and grace of gymnastics with the expression of dance.

Allison was kind enough to teach me as much as she could as fast as she could.  She is an amazing instructor, and I highly recommend her to anyone.  Plus she is beyond sweet and totally supportive about anything and everything you could ever want to learn.  Therefore, I will be doing my one-on-one aerial silks training with her during my 5 days in Florida.  Allison understands how much I want to learn in those few days, and is ready to teach me all that she can.  She has even suggested that we video tape everything, so that I have something to work from when I return home.  If it is not too embarrassing I might share some videos with y’all.  I cannot wait to get to Florida!

Allison also has her own website with online pole lessons.  Online Pole Lessons is an amazing website with great lessons in which a beginner can learn the art of pole from their own home.

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On top of aerial silk training I will be doing hammock yoga training with Allison at Yoga Girls Studio in Orlando, Florida.  Hammock yoga is another class that came to Orlando right after I moved (I have all the luck right!?!).  There are so many benefits to hammock yoga…Many newcomers enjoy working with the sling because with the help of gravity there is very little pressure or stress on the joints, especially the spine. Inversions are accessed easily with no strain on the neck, back, or shoulders.  Gravity eases you into optimal alignment with very little effort, and deep postures can be accessed through relaxation and deep breathing. The relaxation response is heightened by the unique sensations accessed in aerial yoga.

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Hanging in the sling makes your core muscles fire. It is so much fun you don’t even realize what a great workout you’re getting. Transitioning in and out of the aerial yoga postures builds upper body strength, and resting in the postures heightens relaxation for a balanced effort overall.

Aerial Yoga was designed for anyone of any age or fitness level. Complete beginners to yoga and/or aerial will be right at home.

Check out the video below to learn and see more about hammock yoga.

My long term goal is to bring hammock yoga back to North Dakota!  I know so many people who would love and benefit from the classes.  You have to admit you want to give it all a try just after looking at the photos and video.

Thankfully, I have a few months before I cram as much training in as I can.  I’m going to need that time to strengthen my core and upper body, since I won’t be able to stay and take classes over an extended period at the studios like the lucky people who live in Orlando.  Instead, I’m going to be learning as much as I can in just a few days.  I already know that I will be using my core and arms to control my movements the most and they will need to be in great working order come February.  So…you will see a lot more core and upper body workouts posted in the Workout page.

And…here is the core workout I did yesterday in between my spinning classes.  I’ve also included links to a couple of the abdominal exercises that you might not have heard of or are unsure of.

Get Those Abs