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Get off the ground and into shape at Cirque Indy

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Posted at 7:11 PM, May 20, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS — Like most of her students, Mary Brumbaugh was introduced to the art of aerial through a class.

“I found aerial over a decade ago,” Brumbaugh said. “I really enjoyed the workout.”

Aerial is a type of workout that involves using your own body strength to climb and move while suspended, often from silk fabric.

“I love the creative aspect,” Brumbaugh said. “I love getting stronger and building up strength as I progress through my journey. Now I love sharing that with other people.”

It’s a love that began in 2012 when Brumbaugh founded Cirque Indy.

“When I first started doing aerial silks, there was no place to do it in Indianapolis,” Brumbaugh said.

Cirque Indy is the city’s only circus school and it has classes for aerial silk, aerial hoop, static trapeze, and aerial sling.

“We offer a bunch of wonderful classes for kids,” Brumbaugh said. “It's non-competitive movement where they really get to build their confidence and explore what they're capable of doing.”

Brumbaugh knows firsthand that you don’t have to have a background in aerial to excel in it.

“I actually played team sports growing up, so I don’t have a movement background,” Brumbaugh said. “This discipline, like many disciplines, is helping people build their confidence and grow as people, just as much as we are improving our core strength and our upper body strength.”

Strength building that often goes unnoticed.

“So many of my students come in and they go through a workout and they're exhausted at the end and they're like, ‘I wasn't even aware I was working out until I got down off of the equipment because it's just such a blast.’”

While some may be intimidated by aerial, Cirque Indy welcomes everyone.

“That's one of my favorite things, the transformation that I get to see in students as they come to their first class, and they realize that they are absolutely capable of holding themselves up, of stepping up onto the equipment [and] trying something new,” Brumbaugh said. “The looks on their faces is just everything to me.”

You can learn more about Cirque Indy here.

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