"You can rest when you're dead!"
This is what I have heard most Sunday mornings for the past ten weeks or so. My childhood self would be so proud to know that I have recently taken up trapeze classes... But my childhood self also didn't know how much work it takes to make aerial movement look so easy. While us beginners clumsily flip over the bar and hope for the best, Mikey Thomas graces us with his words of encouragement. "I will be dead after this," I think every week. Yet I keep coming back, because this class is unlike anything I have ever experienced.
I found this class by accident earlier this year, when I took a lyra workshop in the same space. The lyra is a suspended hoop that looks magical when done right, but in reality is much harder than I ever imagined. I'm a hula hooper, so this kind of alternative movement appeals to me and the one workshop wasn't enough. From this, I learned of Movement Activities and Mikey Thomas. The classes include trapeze, lyra, and olympic rings, along with some pretty intense warm ups and drills.
At 400 W Rich (more on this soon!), a warehouse turned eclectic mash-up of activity, people gather four days out of the week to learn and train at varying levels of experience. Mikey Thomas teaches most of these classes. After he received his MFA in dance at The Ohio State University, where he took his first aerial movement workshop, Mikey trained and worked in places from New York City to Taipei, Taiwan. His focus was less on circus-style, high flying trapeze and more on the art of aerial movement and dance. He was trained in ballet, but became frustrated with its rigidity and enamored by the freedom offered by this alternative style of dance. When he returned to Columbus, Mikey found that it was difficult to find people to train with. So he solved this by creating Movement Activities.
The best thing about these classes is that they are super affordable - check out the website for rates and times! One of Mikey's goals is to take the elitism out of aerial dance by making it accessible and affordable for everyone. And why Columbus, Ohio? "Columbus is just a great city," says a man who has lived and traveled just about everywhere. "Some people just have to get away and come back to realize it."