The ghostly ruins of an abandoned leper colony, the spirits of rebels, and the hint of the first peoples all reside on the island called Chacachacare today.
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Started by Provocative Fitness Studio founder JC Blandin in 2013, Aerial Sky Kids (ASK) offers parents a challenging and rewarding alternative fitness camp for their children: aerial gymnastics.
Popularised by the Canadian circus troupe Cirque du Soleil, aerial gymnastics includes complicated acrobatics performed on silks and hoops suspended in the air.
Blandin was already offering aerial gymnastics lessons at her women-only studio but after seeing the art form featured on the popular Lifetime television network show Dance Moms, she decided to offer classes for children as well. At ASK, the youngsters are taught aerobic dance, hip-hop dance, gymnastics, aerial hoop and aerial silks.
ASK is part of the Gymnastics Federation and offers classes that run parallel with the school term. The company also offers out-of-studio setups for parties, bazaars and sports days, and was one of the attractions at T&T Coalition of Services Industries Street Arts Festival in June.
“We started off with after-school classes just one day a week then took our aerial rig to three outdoor events.
The response from children and adults was so phenomenal that we’ve now expanded, offering our services to corporate entities to include at their sports and family days,” Blandin said via e-mail. ASK also facilitates themed parties, both in studio and at outside venues.
The ASK team of instructors includes Blandin and Sade Ellis who are both certified to teach aerial classes, local gymnastics instructors Sarah Radwar and Kelly Ramlal-McDowell, and TT Dance Comm founder and hip-hop dancer Takyha Springer.
Classes are held at their studio on Fitt Street, Woodbrook. The 500-square-foot space has ten-foot-high ceilings where the students dangle from sturdy hoops and bright pink fabric.
ASK is offering a vacation camp for the month of July that is meant to be an intensive introduction to the craft, with the week-long standalone sessions ending a recital for the parents where the students show off the skills they’ve learned.
“Our vacation camp is geared to expose children to aerial arts with a fun twist. Our school-term programme is structured to systematically build strength, increase flexibility and fitness over a longer period of time as opposed to an intense session that is the vacation camp,” said Blandin.
ASK also offers a two-hour workshop on the last Sunday of every month to give children a taste of what aerial gymnastics is like.
The vacation camp caters to children aged four to 16 and the four week-long sessions run Monday to Friday throughout July, at $1,000 per session.
Each day begins at 8 am and ends at 4 pm, but students can be dropped off as early as 7 am at the studio at 10 Fitt Street, Woodbrook.
Registration for the July 14 –18 session closes on July 13.
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