Maybe it’s time to try something completely different?


You might find something you’ll love. I did, says Mel Mitchell, who was dubious about enjoying an ‘aerial hoop’ fitness class.

Instructor Fran Drake demonstrates the Aerial Hoop

As you may remember I spoke about trying new forms of exercise in some of my previous articles. This week I had the pleasure of trying an aerial hoop class.

I was asked by a friend and fellow fitness instructor ‘so, when are you coming to my aerial hoop?’
Me being me and always up for trying something a bit different, I booked in. If I’m completely honest it’s not something I ever saw myself doing – mostly because I have as much grace as a hippo on a sandcastle.

I was reassured though that this didn’t matter, and to give it a go anyway. I’m definitely glad I did.

No grace required

Aside from the fact that I might not have looked terribly graceful, I certainly had fun trying.
I went to class as a complete beginner, not knowing what to expect.
With great direction and lots of encouragement from Fran and the fellow attendees, I had my first few moves perfected (sort of). Needless to say, I may need a bit more practice before my circus debut.
I have in the past heard comments about aerial hoop being classed as a form of exercise. Well,
Fran is now the second aerial hoop instructor that I have met, and the amount of strength and control that these ladies have developed is unreal. It just goes to show that strength and fitness doesn’t have to come from your usual forms of exercise.
For those of you wanting to get into fitness, but wanting to maybe get into something a bit different then I would definitely recommend that you give it a go.
It is a fantastic form of cross training which builds strength and flexibility as well as improving balance and core stability. All while having fun hanging from a hoop doing your best cirque du soleil impression!

Instructor Fran Drake says

“I get asked a lot ‘what is a good age to start circus arts?’ The answer is any age! I also hear a lot of people who flat out refuse to try because they are ‘too old/not fit enough/not strong enough/flexible enough’. Barbara, 66, has been training for three years. Lisa, now 52, had no previous gymnastics or dance but has been aerial training for five years. Circus is for every age.”

Come and learn how to defy gravity with Phoenix Aerial hoop classes at Sturfit in Sturminster Newton. Wednesdays 5pm and 6pm, Fridays at 5:30pm. Class is £10.50 – simply book online here.


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