Flying Into A New Workout

Instructor Emma. Photo courtesy of Body Soul and Pole

As I sat at my desk at the Everything Jersey City office, I overheard a conversation about a place called Body Soul and Pole. I couldn’t help but be intrigued by what this place was, and with more research and some chatter among the girls in the office, I learned that it was a workout studio originally formed to encourage and help others grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. This brought me back to when my fellow writer, Emily and I went to Jane Do to try the trampoline “Tramp Stamp” workout. I remember Emily and I both going to that class with a very open mind, but we also had reservations about how we’d do in a class that required so much balance and endurance. Although Jane Do was challenging in some aspects, we still craved going back to try more classes due to how accomplished we felt afterwards. Now She and I wondered what kind of experience Body Soul and Pole could offer to push ourselves once again.  After a little googling around a bit we found the Aerial Hammock class. And the journey to flying gracefully through the air, being suspended only from cloth bands tied to the ceiling began. Fly, I did! Gracefully, is up to interpretation.


An Attempt to Fly 

Once I got inside of the studio, I was automatically drawn to the intimacy and the close relationships that our instructor, Emma, and her students had. I’ve always believed that having a comfortable relationship with your instructor is important, especially if you’re going to trust them to help you spin, flip, and hang upside down with just pieces of cloth dangling you. These movements looked flawless and simple in the videos I watched the morning before trying the class, but let me tell you, I certainly didn’t look ‘flawless’ when I was attempting them.

You might wonder how Emily and I became comfortable enough to try these highly skilled tricks. Our instructor Emma took us through levels that she categorized as “elementary, middle, and high school”. We started off at the elementary level, which was actually not as easy as Emily and I thought it would be. First, I attempted to throw my legs up and flip them over my head to hang upside down without using my hands! This move is nerve wracking at first but after some trial and error, I mastered it. As we progressed in each level, more intricate steps were required. It became a little challenging to remember each step, but anytime I had trouble, Emma pranced right over and guided me through it. Don’t get me wrong, she isn’t one to let you go off easy. She was always testing my ability to remember and to become confident in the way I approached each trick.

The thing I will always remember is to give her “THAT MONEY!”. Before you grab your purse, the “money” as she called it, is when you flare your legs across your body, like a fan, which would give you the opportunity to move into another position called the “pike”. Anytime I failed to land in the right position, she would repeat those words. “Not enough MONEY,  give me all your MONEY!”, she said encouragingly as I kept trying to pull myself up high enough and give her all my “MONEY”. At this point, I was ready to give her all the cash in my wallet because my legs were clearly not doing the job. I had to accept that it would require more than a couple of tries and one class to really master that MONEY move. Alas, my instagram will forego an acrobatic ariel boomerang this first class.

The Meaning Behind the Burn

There were many moves I was able to do easily during the class. When I say things are difficult, it’s because my competitive side wanted so badly to hit the ground running – or rather the sky flying-  and glide high in the class doing rolls and tricks on my first try. I definitely underestimated the amount of upper body strength and fearlessness required in order to master those difficult skills, but even though I wasn’t necessarily experienced, I still had an absolute blast!  “The instructor (Emma) was full of energy and definitely a master at her craft” Emily said. And although she “wasn’t completely comfortable hanging upside down for long periods of time” she felt “the strength and grace it takes to pull off these moves is very impressive” and I couldn’t agree more. It constantly challenged me and it was honestly fun to fail and to get right back up and do it all over again. The feeling you get when you finally land a move is so exhilarating! This feeling is actually what made Emma love silks. “It felt empowering to get that amount of upper body strength, especially as a female. I feel super strong and empowered”


After hearing Emma talk about the love she has towards being this strong and secure female, I realized that aerial silks aren’t just a workout. It’s a way to build not only physical strength, but emotional strength too. Owner of Body Soul & Pole, Alexis Romano believes that this workout studio is a “ place where an amazingly broad variety of people; especially women could connect around a shared love or new experience”. Silks allow you to progress as it pushes you to really become brave and confident in yourself when attempting these difficult, yet sexy tricks. I felt exactly that, I felt empowered and strong, even when I messed up. As I excelled, I felt like I could accomplish anything I set my mind to. That’s the way you should feel coming out of a workout.

Alexis Kim
Author: Alexis Kim