Artists use silks, or really long, durable pieces of fabric, that hang from about a 20-foot ceiling, to perform acrobatics. Twisting, turning and dropping in the silks creates a fluid-like mid-air dance. It is the only gym of its kind in metro Atlanta.
Amber Monson started Sky Gym in 2009 and moved the studio to Roswell Road from Decatur in June.
“It’s one of the top 10 gyms at this level in the country that focuses on adult fitness and dance,” said Monson.
Monson graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in industrial design.
“I had no intentions of ever doing this for a living,” she said.
In fact, Monson wasn’t introduced to aerial arts until 2006, when she attended an underground rave in New York.
“It was kind of one of those life-changing moments,” she said.
Monson began classes soon after, while still working a regular job, and performed on the side.
“I began to get a lot of requests from people wanting to learn it,” she said.
She took teacher training classes from Cirque du Soleil aerialists. “It was kind of one of those moments where I thought, ‘Could I really do this and play for a living?’”
Now the studio employs six instructors and offers private lessons, as well as group lessons. Monson said the studio gets 900 to 1,200 visits per month. Though 80 percent of the studio’s students are women, she encourages men to join as well and said there are doubles routines for men and women.
Monson said there are no physical prerequisites, and the studio welcomes all types and skill levels.
Marilyn Chen, an instructor at Sky Gym, began as a student of Monson’s about two years ago.
“I actually got into aerial arts from a Groupon I bought for another studio,” she said. Chen fell in love with aerial arts and reached out to Monson.
The teachers focus on fabrics arts, trapeze and lyra. Lyra is performed on a circular metal hoop.
Classes vary in price levels and commitments.