Imagine seeing a jumble of legs and arms so intertwined you can't tell where one body begins and another ends; it's all one creature gracefully undulating to the music. Imagine a figure being pulled into the air only to see them let go, somersaulting down into a pool with such speed and precision, they hardly make a splash. Imagine a body contorting into shapes you didn't think possible in the middle of a ring of fire.
At Cirque du Soleil you don't have to imagine these scenes; you can see them for yourself, all performed by acrobats and artists at the top of their game just like Aloysia Gavre, founder of Cirque School LA.
A talented performer, at just 14 Aloysia was accepted into the Pickle Family Circus. "Circus training soon took over my life," she says. She fell in love with the way athleticism and dance merged together to create a performance. Today, she has over 25 years of experience in the industry—including a long stint performing with Cirque du Soleil—and her passion for it has not waned one bit.
"After I left performing with Cirque du Soleil, I knew I wanted to share all that I had learned with the greater public," she recalls. It was that desire that planted the seed for Cirque School LA.
After all, when you think about it, the incredible agility, the balancing acts, and the core work are all part and parcel of a great full-body workout. The real difference is that instead of learning a bunch of boring and repetitive exercises, students are learning a craft.
The way Aloysia puts it, "I created Cirque School to not only expose people to alternative forms of fitness and well-being, but to learn not to be fearful of new endeavors." That's important because you have to put yourself out there a bit when you take a class at Cirque School. Learning to balance yourself on a hoop in the air is a lot different than doing a few pushups, and that can seem scary to newbies. But Aloysia doesn't think that should hold anyone back.
Their entry level classes run the gamut from aerial training and handstands to basic flexibility courses. All classes, however, are held in the same space, which can help foster an air of community that Aloysia believes is essential. "Veteran students act as ambassadors welcoming new students," she says, "Long-lasting friendships are made within the community as they are all trying something new, something scary, something beautiful, that at times makes them cry or cheer with one another."
This mentality is part of why Aloysia's motto for the school is "For anybody with any body." She really believes that nothing should stand in the way when it comes to trying out a session. There's a reason the 101 classes are so popular after all. Besides, "If you had the courage to sign up for a class and try something new, you are more than halfway there."