Now that we have settled into Portugal life I thought it was about time I joined a class or two. I have already signed up to my Portuguese language class at a local school so I decided something fun was the best bet. A hobby or class that didn’t take too much of my brain power (ha ha). Anyway I found this amazing Theatre and Circus Skills and Workshop company and as well as offering General theatre workshops and Circus Skills like juggling they run Aerial Skills with trapeze, ropes and silks! I cannot believe that we have such talented performers who are based only 20 mins drive from our casa. The first course was fully booked but then space came available on one of the evening classes so I signed up. For any of you who doesn’t know what Aerial Silks is, it’s a type of performance in which one or more artists perform aerial acrobatics while hanging from a trapeze, rope or silk fabric. Don’t try it at home with your curtains (ha ha).

To be honest I’m not the best with heights but that’s mainly because I have poor balance. I also have a bad back and no coccyx as well as arthritis which results in poor grip with my hands so this was always going to be a challenge but I thought it sounded fun and a great way to have a laugh and get fit, a bit like pole dancing for fun not for payment! I was kind of nervous before my first class and I had already missed 2 classes of the term but the instructor was amazing and put me at ease. Due to Covid it was a small group of up to 10 people. I haven’t had any experience of anything aerial before except for climbing on a roof or two and climbing a rope in high school as a punishment in P.E. I have vivid flashbacks of me in those hideous big blue knickers they made us wear! I didn’t know what to expect and was so surprised at the huge dome on their farm. It was epic but I underestimated how much core strength was required (which I have zero of). My main concern was that I might be to fat and heavy for the equipment or that I might pee pee on the spectators below giving them all a golden shower (ha ha). Note to myself: wear a pad, TMI!!!!! I tried to convince hubby to attend with me but it’s not his thing. I remember when I made him join a Boxercise class years ago and it was hilarious. The class was more of an aerobics class with a routine and although he is very strong he has zero flexibility and not much coordination with any form of dance routine so it was bloody hilarious.

We were a small group of 6 and started off by warming up our muscles and practising several stretches and a run around the dome. We then were given turns on the rope and the trapeze. I didn’t know how advanced the class was going to be but it was quite a high level and challenging for my first class. Sage is so graceful and an amazing artist and performer. She is a great teacher and knows exactly how far to push you. My first attempt of climbing the rope was hilarious. I am so heavy and I could not pull myself up at all. My second attempt was better although I am never ever going to look graceful, more hippo like but I did have a lot of fun especially hanging upside down from the trapeze and I didn’t fall off and land on my head which is good and you will be pleased to know that I didn’t pee pee on anyone either. I feel I may be the worst participant ever but practice makes perfect and it certainly is a fantastic workout. My arms, chest and arm pits hurt like hell for 6 days solid after my first class! I asked hubby to tie my arms to my body with string before we attempted a jog as I couldn’t move my arms without screaming out in pain and did I mention the rope burns on my feet and sores on my hands. It sounds like torture but actually it’s amazing. Unfortunately I had to miss my second class due to some kind of bug or food poisoning.

We visited many Cirque du Soleil shows whilst in Las Vegas and those acrobats look so stunning and graceful in the air. I on the other hand look like a flying pig, proving that pigs do actually fly (ha ha). One show that sticks vividly in my mind was a show in Vegas which was a cheaper cabaret topless show. I’m not sure how or why we went but I think hubby had a lot to do with it. It consisted of a group of topless ladies in different outfits dancing and included some aerial skills and a lot of sparkle and feathers. One red headed lady named ‘Sonja’ who was a very tall, skinny and quite flat chested young lady who spelt her name weirdly climbed the Silks and it all went a bit wrong. She got stuck hanging upside down and at first we all thought it was part of the act. It wasn’t and poor Sonja was in a right pickle, stuck 20 feet up in the air. It all got a bit dramatic and no one in the crew knew what to do for the best. I wanted to go and fetch her a ladder, bless her. They decided to try and provide her with dignity and slowly closed the red velvet curtains only Sonja was kind of stuck half in and half out of the curtain as it closed so she was still exposed half naked upside down and stuck up the Silk. The show rapidly declined from that point and I don’t know what became of poor Sonja.

I absolutely love this class. It’s bloody epic and I highly recommend it for anyone who would like to try something new. Even at my ripe old age and with my disabilities, I gave it a go and had a laugh. You can also have a lot of fun by telling people that you go ‘swinging’ once a week, then see their reaction. Somehow on the short journey there and back I can’t help myself from singing Sia’s Chandelier song in my head: “I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier, I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist, Like it doesn’t exist”. It might not exist if I fall off (ha ha). I keep having nightmares that I may fall on my neck badly and paralyse myself. My house on the hill has far too many steps for a wheelchair so I must pay attention and stay in control in class and try my very best. I will let you know when tickets go on sale and I am the star attraction in Vegas, you can all come and watch. Well I can’t be any worse than Sonja (ha ha).

Actually it turns out that I am actually worse than Sonja. I contracted food poisoning and was very poorly, in bed for a week so couldn’t go to my second class. Although I am better now, I am not fully recovered and am experiencing quite a few on-going dizzy spells and my IBS is very erratic so I decided not to continue with the aerial classes. It’s a real shame as I loved it so much but my health is so important. I am going to continue with my gentle jogs around my little village and if I feel better I will re-join next year. The couple who run the group have a show this weekend in Faro. It’s a bit too far for us to travel too and I am gutted as I would have loved to watched them perform.