Body & Fitness

The Anything But The Gym Girls try…Circus school

Emma and Sinead are on the hunt for fun fitness alternatives for those people who don't like the gym. This week, Sinead runs away to join the circus.
Fitness blog

Roll up, roll up.

This week Emma, my partner in crime, was overseas, so I called in my boyfriend to be a substitute Anything But the Gym Girl for our trip to circus school.

The Dust Palace is Auckland’s only aerial studio where they hold classes for all ages. The company has a huge emphasis on safety, and students can learn circus skills like silks, trapeze, aerial hoop, acrobatics, and handstands – while getting super fit in the process.

If the only acrobatics you’ve ever done is that lying down on the bed in a sort-of bridge position when you’re trying to do up your jeans – don’t worry, me too. They’ve got introductory classes for absolute beginners, and do private one-on-one classes as well.

As usual I had a completely ridiculous fantasy of Will and I on trapezes, me soaring through the air, cirque du solei-style into his awaiting hands. The invisible audience in my head roared with applause, and couples everywhere envied us. We were the Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan of the circus.

When reality came crashing down on me I remembered that this probably wouldn’t work, as Will actually weighs significantly less than me. I said to him “No matter, I’ll just catch you instead.”

Weirdly, he was not keen on this arrangement either.

Our teacher Eve began the class with a 15 minute warm up, a mix of cardio and stretching. The rest of the class was working on the silks, where we were taught how to wrap our hands and feet properly, climb up like a monkey and do some majestic looking poses.

Eve was an amazing teacher, and went through all the moves really slowly and patiently.

In the photos I might look a lot more graceful than Will, but what you can’t see is that I have such weak core strength that Eve had to lift me up onto the silks every single time. Eve is a champion and gets my #1 teacher award so far.

The class was an absolute killer, and climbing up on the silks required way more strength and endurance than I had ever imagined. We were completely shattered by the end of it, and I had to have a nap as soon as I got home.

Verdict: LOVE IT. It’s a great workout, tons of fun, and you’ll get some cool Instagram photos out of it. You could even install a silk in your living room and whip out your tricks at parties.

Where we went: The Dust Palace, 1/739 Great South Road, Penrose, Auckland

Where you can do it: Flip n Fly in Auckland, The Circus Hub in Wellington


We have a free term of classes – for an adult or a child – worth $240 to give away. To enter, visit the Good Health Choices Facebook page to enter.

*Sinead and Emma are the Anything But The Gym girls. Bored with standard workouts, they have begun the hunt for new and fun ways to get fit. Follow their weekly adventures here, and in New Zealand Good Health Choices. If you have a suggestion for something interesting for them to try, email [email protected] with Anything But The Gym in the subject line.

The Anything But The Gym Girls are now on Instagram! Follow them @theanythingbutthegymgirls to keep up with their fitness adventures.*

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