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Up In the Air

Helping kids aim high at Aerial Ovation.

Inside Aerial Ovation is a gym that has mats to cushion landings, trampolines, and a climbing wall. In addition, hung from sturdy hooks, are long stretches of colorful fabric like a set of drapes. They skim the floor looking something like a theatre curtain, suggesting an element of performance and drama. Owner, Shana Lord, says they are in fact called 'silks'. It is from these silks that students can wrap themselves in what seems to be complicated knots, taking up poses with acrobatic flair that appears both fun and easy. 

As I watched one girl hoist herself up with ease, many feet up, she created a home in the air, then suddenly flipping herself and sliding down before breaking with precision. This playful demonstration which appeared unplanned and carefree, is in fact anything but. Shana explains that each performer is accountable for themselves, appreciating that gravity is king and being conscious of where their body is in space. That athleticism is balanced with artistry, creating an aerial performance. Shana's own background is in gymnastics and dance and spent many years as an acrobat with Cirque du Soleil. 

Yet, for Shana, working with kids and inspiring a love for athletics has become a true passion. Through Aerial Ovation she has established classes and camps to instill 'fun, fitness, and fundamentals' to promote longevity and strength for lifelong benefits. Although her students seem to be suspended in a solo effort of upper body strength, Shana says there is actually more collaboration behind what they do. Students encourage and advise each other, and empowerment is another theme here. 'Those who climb highest, lift as they go.' says Shana, indicating that the environment is a supportive one. 

The engagement of both body and mind is how Shana hopes to teach her students to reach higher both in the air and on the ground.

  • Owner, Shana Lord