[Courts Excellent Adventure | Chicago NOW]


“I am more graceful than I thought!”

I’ve been described a number of ways over the years: charming, clever, beautiful, humble…Just kidding!  Actually, more like “spontaneously hangry”… “annoyingly amused by her own jokes” (I’m laughing right now)…”unusually talented at quoting 90’s rap lyrics”…  The word “graceful” and I have never before been used in the same sentence, except in something like, “Courtney looked like a non-graceful hot mess when she tried to take on a bull by herself.”  The words “klutz” and “butter fingers” are much more common, as I’ll often just drop things unprompted (I’m on iPhone screen #9) or walk into stationary objects.  I was in denial of my klutzy reality for the longest time, but I’ve since learned to accept my flaws.  I think my “come to Jesus moment” was when Elliot made a comment about how I always drop things, to which I immediately protested, “No, I don’t!”, and then proceeded to walk into a pole, drop the bowl I was carrying, and watch it break.

Since moving to London, I’ve been trying to get involved in new things to get out of my comfort zone.  I’ve taken an archery course, swam in a pond in Hampstead Heath, and just signed up for a hat-making class with a “milliner to the stars!”.  So when my friend, Blair, asked if I’d be interested in an aerial silks class, I thought, “Why the hell not?”  A few fellow teachers from my school in Chicago took weekly aerial/circus classes, and their pictures looked incredible.  They are also super toned, so I was game for anything that would make me look that fit.

For the uninitiated, or non-Cirque du Soleil fans, aerial silk is a performance art where people are suspended in the air on these “silks” (aka curtains), moving into a variety of positions using only the fabric and their own body strength to stay aloft.  It’s becoming more and more popular, and there are classes popping up all over the world.

The class Blair and I attended was at the London Academy of Dance, and took place in a space no bigger than a traditional yoga studio.  LDA offers all sorts of classes, including a lap dance one, or as I like to call it, “A class you’d never ever want to see me in.”  My first thought when I entered the studio was, “Jesus, it stinks in here.”  Blair had mentioned that she’d gone to an aerial yoga class, and that she didn’t think they washed the silks that often.  She wasn’t kidding; it was like a giant foot did performance art on my face.  I also noticed that the silks weren’t yet hung up either, and it was a small class of six girls total.

Class started right when the crazy-fit instructor walked in, and we did a bunch of dance moves, like rotating shoulders and hip swivels, to get warm.  It should come as no surprise that I’m a f**king HORRIBLE dancer, and we did all of these warm up moves facing a mirrored wall.  I tried not to focus on how awkward I looked, but, like a car crash, it was hard to look away.  The universe was telling me something, and that something was that I’m not in fact hot shit.  It was kinda like how some pet owners teach their dogs not to poop in the house by confronting them with it.  Only I was the dog, and dancing was my poop in the house…

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