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Agora Introduces Aerial Arts to Beginners and Experienced Circus Artists

By Kelly Church

As inherently active and artistic people, Pia Bucco and Cheryl Willard opened Agora, an aerial arts studio in Ferndale, MI. The studio caters to all types of students, from those who are very experienced in aerial arts to those who are new to the sport. Bucco and Willard believe that aerial classes can help students not only improve their physical fitness, but also reap benefits outside of the studio.

"By practicing circus disciplines, young students can develop multi-genre skills," Bucco said. "In addition to improving their spatial orientation, fine and gross motor skills, balance, strength and flexibility, they also develop life skills such as teamwork, focus, trust and responsibility."

Willard said circus arts are different from other sports because it's not a competitive activity, and embraces creativity. Additionally, she said, it helps students overcome their fears.

"Be ready and willing to physically and mentally delve into aerial arts training as an exciting challenge that [not only] includes pushing boundaries in many ways, but also exploring your abilities, mentally as well as physically, in ways you may not have realized you were capable of," Bucco said.

Adults and kids can attend classes at Agora. Kids classes are divided by age: one to seven, and eight to 14. Adult classes are divided into beginner and intermediate classes. Workshops are available for all ages and experience levels, as are private lessons.

"Many new students come seeking a new recreational outlet or desire to learn exciting skills that not only help with overall fitness and well-being, but are [thrilled] to explore as they break those boundaries and achieve things they may not have thought possible before," Willard said.

For those new students, Bucco recommends celebrating the small successes as you see improvements. The process of getting better at aerial requires learning technique and safety practices, gaining strength, knowing when to push yourself harder and when to take a step back.

"Each person's pace can be quite different and come with its vast array of strengths and challenges as with all movement arts," Willard said.

Agora also offers ground classes for students who want to stay on solid ground. Ground classes include beginner contortion, dance fitness, beginner hand balancing, a form of African-Brazilian dance called capoeira, hoop dancing and more.

To find out more about Agora, visit the company's website playatagora.com.

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About The Author

Kelly Church is a writer and avid reader with a Bachelor's of Science in Journalism...

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