Bikini season is coming up but if you’re anything like me, getting back in shape at a typical gym sounds like the most miserable thing ever. Fortunately, a Sassy Hong Kong reader wrote in to share her secret to how she was keeping her body toned, gaining strength and feeling fabulous: Aerial Silks Classes at Natalia’s Dance Studio!
Natalia, who also goes by Natasha, is a gorgeous dancer from Ukraine. She was a professional ballerina for many years and moved to Hong Kong to continue her studies. But it was through suffering a ballet injury that led Natalia to discover pole dancing and aerial arts. Natalia opened her school because she wanted to share this dance form with others as it’s great physical exercise, good for people who want an alternative to big gyms, and of course… because it’s a lot of fun! Aerial arts may look totally effortless when a professional does it, but it actually requires a lot of strength, flexibility and coordination than you’d think. Natalia says that she has had buff personal trainers take her class who looked as if they were dying!
I arrived at Natalia’s Dance Studio after work one night to try her aerial silks class. The studio itself is very bare bones, but it’s clean, spacious, and has a bathroom where you can change. We started with some stretches and strength-building exercises, and then started on the silks. Despite being a complete beginner to this art form, I didn’t think it would be too difficult considering the fact that I have a bit of a dance background and I’ve done aerial yoga before. I was wrong! This aerial silks class is not for the feint of heart, especially as a lot of the other girls in the class appeared to be very experienced dancers and have been doing silks for a while now. I felt a little intimidated for the first 15 minutes as it was clear that I was the only person in the class who had no idea how to do basic things with the silks. Thankfully, my feelings of discomfort subsided as I realised that the atmosphere was very friendly and low pressure. Natalia is great at handling a multi-level class and is a patient, attentive teacher. After attempting climbing the silks and different poses and backbends in the air, we ended the class with some deep stretches.
Natalia offers evening and weekend classes. If you work in Central, you might want to try her lunch class package where you can do a different style each day of the week. If you’d like to try a class, call or email Natalie in advance to book a spot. Classes are capped at a maximum of eight people. Whether you’re a dancer looking to be more well-rounded, a workout fanatic looking to try something new, or an office worker who needs to offset the amount of sitting you do everyday, Natalia’s aerial arts classes might just be the thing. You get to work on your strength, flexibility, posture, grace and mental coordination… all in one class!
Natalia Dance Studio, Queens Road Central 55, 3/F (entrance on the side street), Central, Hong Kong, 2810 6933, nataliadancestudio.com
Iris blogs about clean living and her cooking adventures figuring out a HK-sized kitchen at Eating Clean In The Dirty City