Lorrie Lancaster, owner of Envision Med Spa in Bluffton, said she will open an aerial fitness studio, Aerial Elements, with Michelle Boniface in the next two weeks inside the Riptide Mixed Martial Arts gym on Persimmon Street in Bluffton.
Aerial silk — sometimes known as circus acts — is an exercise that uses all your muscles, tones the body and increases flexibility, Lancaster said. To those who might be unsure about trying it, she says everything is scaled to the performer’s ability.
“When I first went to classes ... I couldn’t climb, because I didn’t have enough upper body strength,” she said. “I’d say in two weeks I was able to, in going twice a week to three times a week, build up enough muscle strength to be able to do all the things I sort of needed to do within the first, beginning stages of aerial. So people like myself, who don’t exercise, who aren’t naturally muscular, you can go to class and start doing very basic things, and then what we do is ... work on skills that build that strength that you need.”
Lancaster said she and Boniface plan to open with an afternoon class and two evening classes, one for kids and one for adults, twice a week. She also said they will offer lessons on Saturday, private coaching and even a few workshops.
The opening of Aerial Elements comes shortly after the closing of Move and Motion, a dance and gymnastics studio that also offered aerial exercise on Hilton Head Island, according to Lancaster.
Suzette Springer, co-owner of Move and Motion, said she and her husband were moving to southern Atlanta and opening a similar business there. She said she was holding her last private lesson Aug. 25.
“I’m basically closed, and I’m gone from here,” she said.
Lancaster and Boniface both performed for Springer in Cirque Nights — aerial silk performed at events. Lancaster said she’s coached some kids for years at Move and Motion and didn’t want them to stop doing it suddenly.
“We have a practice facility that we’re converting into a coaching facility,” she said. “So we’ll have classes for adults and kids, but primarily at first, it’s like what we’re trying to do is just make a place for everyone to continue.”
Lancaster said she does not have a set date for the official opening of the studio but said more information would be available soon on the studio’s website, www.aerialelements.co.