According to Cirque School founder Aloysia Gavre, "anybody with any body" can run away with the circus, and she should know. As a former Cirque du Soleil aerialist, Aloysia has long been dominated by a passion for the circus arts. Her Cirque School has been teaching the tricks of the trade to new generations of circus performers since 2004, when it started humbly in a small Pilates studio. These small classes quickly blossomed into a full-time community institution as the school expanded into its current 6,000 square foot Hollywood studio. It's here where Gavre and her team of aerialists, contortionists, acrobats, stilt walkers, jugglers, and balance experts turn even the most casual circus fan into a full-blown big-top fanatic. They've even become the go-to resource for Hollywood productions seeking circus training, including consulting work for network shows and making Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz look like natural-born circus performers in Water for Elephants.
In classes designed for ages 14 and up, Cirque School melds professional circus training with limberness-enhancing Pilates. It tones frames, cultivates flexibility, and helps give future circus strongmen their strength, all while filling students with mental and physical wellness. It's rigorous, but that rigor is always overshadowed by fun. And as sticklers for safety, nobody works without crash pads. Dangling from a 10- to 19-foot open barrel-roof ceiling, students work their cores and upper bodies in the Pilates-infused Aerial 101 class, a 60-minute workshop on beginner-level trapeze and fabric. AcroFit 101 participants hold handstands and develop tumbling techniques in a 60-minute cross-training program. Alternatively, students can lengthen their limbs during Flexibility & Stretch, a 90-minute cocktail of circus contortion, dance training, and rubber-band impersonation.