Cure Boredom, Get Up In the Air
I always hear people say there's nothing to do in Dallas: "Dallas is so boring." "Dallas? More like Dull-as." "I think I'll rip out my toenails with pliers just for a little excitement in Dallas."
OK, fine, that's a bit much, but I hear what you're saying, people. It's just that you're wrong. There's plenty to do in Dallas including a little something called CirqueFit.
The best way to describe CirqueFit is with words like "stunning," "wowie" and "Sweet Mother of God my arms hurt." It's true, Cirque Aerial Arts are beautiful, but really, really arm-y. Bonus: The middle of your back will be sore, too, so bone up on your whining. And while all of these sound like negatives, they're not. Sore muscles = good workout = grimaces of joy.
Okay, so what more can I tell you about Cirque? Oh yeah, everything. Are you shocked something so awesome is so close? I am. It's right by the Crate & Barrel Outlet, too, so make a day of it. And if you're anything like me, you'll talk about how much you love that store, but then only buy hand soap.
I always take classes with a friend so I'll have someone there to tell me, "No, no, no, I think a lot of people are naturally that uncoordinated..." My friend had taken Aerial Yoga before so she knew the place well. This time, however, we were taking Aerial Cirque Arts which is more of a hey-look-what-I-can-do tricks class.
All photos by Allison Perkins
The studio is located in a small warehouse off Hampton Road-ish and my favorite part of my friend's directions was when she told me, "You'll go down a little dirt road and if you feel like you're going to get murdered, you're going the right way."
I found the place with ease and headed inside to play my $25 class registration. Our instructor was Dylan, Boyfriend of Kimberly, and together they run the joint. Now I can't say for sure, but they might, in fact, be the happiest, cutest couple that ever lived. Also, they're unbelievably talented.
Dylan told us the fabric might bite a little which is a nice way to say, "So, yeah, you might get some flesh burns." I didn't at all though. The silks at Cirque Fit are red and HUGE like I've-never-seen-this-much-fabric-in-my-life huge. I hope they're machine-washable, too, because if not, that dry cleaning bill is going to be a real bitch. Even though they're called silks, they're really super heavy-duty woven fabric that feels more like polyester with just a hint of elastic.
The first thing Dylan taught us was to wrap, split and hang. You wrap the silk around your right ankle and pin it in place with the ball of your left foot. Then you push your body through the split created by the two sides of the silk and let gravity take over. The silks hold you in place while you hang mid-air. After that we learned to climb, flip back and catch ourselves, wrap and spin and finally, how to hide out in a silk cocoon.
The studio also has a suspended metal hoop and stationary trapeze bar. Even though it's called a stationary trapeze bar it still moves, just not as much as the ones in the circus. On these tools you'll learn to test your balance and your resolve. Seriously.
At this point, your arms are really, really tired but power through. Kimberly will take pictures and then you can upload them to Facebook and look super cool to all your friends.
All-in-all I can't believe what I was able to accomplish in such a short amount of time. And it's not like I'm a Flying Fellini or something either which means you can do it, too. Dylan is amazingly patient and Kimberly will cheer you on every step of the way. "Ooh, so pretty." The two girls featured in these pictures are part of The Company. They're far more advanced than I am and truly amazing to watch. They'll tell you your moves are pretty, too, and they smile a lot so you believe them.
You can tell Cirque is a close-knit family-type organization where everyone is supportive and roots for one another. After our class they were setting up for a party so I believe you can rent the space for that. I definitely know you can take individual classes and the schedule is available online here. Now if you're more of a watcher than a doer, your ship will come in this December when Dallas Cirque Theater presents Kazoo-la-la at The Courtyard Theater in Plano. They'll present two shows -- December 5 and 6 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 and will be available soon at cirquefit.net.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about arts and culture events in Dallas and offers you won't hear about anywhere else.