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Gym in Sandy Springs offers aerial arts
by Savannah Weeks
February 27, 2013 09:41 AM | 2249 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Nathan Self <br>
Owner of Sky Gym Amber Monson goes horizontal on a swatch of fabric as she learns how to perform aerial acrobatics.
Staff / Nathan Self
Owner of Sky Gym Amber Monson goes horizontal on a swatch of fabric as she learns how to perform aerial acrobatics.
slideshow
Staff / Nathan Self <br>
Aerial artist Allie Cooper, seated, goes through the steps of a new maneuver with owner of Sky Gym  Amber Monson as she prepares to do it on her own high above the ground.
Staff / Nathan Self
Aerial artist Allie Cooper, seated, goes through the steps of a new maneuver with owner of Sky Gym Amber Monson as she prepares to do it on her own high above the ground.
slideshow
Sky Gym in Sandy Springs offers children and adults the opportunity to “fly” by taking aerial arts classes.

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.

Information: www.aerialsilksatlanta.com.
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