Archive for Classes

Se, mor! Vi er i Danmark Juicy Magazine = Look, Mom! We’re in Denmark’s Juicy Magazine!

September 19, 2013 Comments Off on Se, mor! Vi er i Danmark Juicy Magazine = Look, Mom! We’re in Denmark’s Juicy Magazine! Classes, In the News, Training, Uncategorized

It was a delight to have Danish journalist Maria Kehlet drop by one of our Brooklyn classes this summer. Her article, “3 Trends in NYC Fitness” has just been published in the September 2013 issue of Denmark’s Juicy Magazine.

Pictures and full article are below. Link to Google Translate here.

Juicy Cover Upright 3trends_article-page-0013trends_article-page-002Juicy Aerial Part Upright 3trends_article-page-0033trends_article-page-004

Heliummm offers a hardcore workout!

September 6, 2013 Comments Off on Heliummm offers a hardcore workout! Classes, In the News
Société Perrier came to check out our hard core class for NY Fashion week.
Read the full article here.
Societie Perrier

A Heartfelt ‘Thank You’ from a Student

September 5, 2013 Comments Off on A Heartfelt ‘Thank You’ from a Student Ask Mama Silk, Classes, The Business of Aerials

We were thrilled to receive this lovely Thank You from International Student, Sabine B. She has trained with Helium 3 different times over the period of the last year or so. She has grown by leaps and bounds, and has started performing for different circuses in the UK.

Sabine writes,

“Thank you so much for another great training time here in NYC. 

What I’m able to learn in your classes is so different, in a good way, compared to lessons with other instructors.

It was you that helped me overcome my fear of any kind of drop last year. Plus, I was getting my first job in a traditional circus after my first visit here, something I  wouldn’t have thought possible for me.

You have a different way of teaching that works better for me.

And I wish that if I ever come that far, getting more into teaching, that I can take some of what you’ve taught me.”

Thanks, Sabine. We’re delighted to have a dedicated and determined student like you! Hope we can make it to teach in London in 2014.

Heliummm participates in Dance Week!

May 23, 2013 Comments Off on Heliummm participates in Dance Week! Classes, Uncategorized

NYC Dance Week collaborates with select studios in New York City to celebrate the joy and diversity of dance with an exhilarating 10-day event many free dance and fitness classes.

Heliummm is delighted to be offering discounted Aerial Dance classes on Wed, June 19th. Come fly with us and participate in Dance Week!

Always wanted to run away and join the circus? Well, now you can with fun and fabulous aerial dance classes from Heliummm Aerial Dance. Try aerial silks or lyra (aerial hoop) on Wednesday, June 19 at 50% off! But hurry, classes are limited to 6 people.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER and use promo code DW13 to get your discount.

Schedule for June 19:
3:15 pm Silk Class
4:30 Combo Silks/Lyra Class
5:30pm Lyra (aerial hoop) class
6:45pm Silks Class
7:45pm Silks Class


Check out some of our fabulous students here!




Going for Gold – How to train to be a professional aerial artist without coming in last

April 26, 2013 Comments Off on Going for Gold – How to train to be a professional aerial artist without coming in last Ask Mama Silk, Classes, Training

woman climbing rope

Today’s question comes from a recent aerial addict. She asks, “Mama Silk, I LOVE aerial and want to become a professional. I’m going to train six days a week to get super good, super fast. What do you think?”

I love the enthusiasm. And, if you believe the adage that it takes 10,000 hours to be a master at a particular skill, then I can understand the sense of urgency in getting good fast. The thought process goes something like this: ‘Let’s see, I could train 5 hours a week from now till the end of the world, or  I could train 1000 hours a week* and be an expert by the end of the summer!’ Let’s face it, who doesn’t love a shortcut to excellent results? But are the results from super intense training all that excellent?

Sadly, no. And overtraining can actually set you back instead of helping you reach your goal faster. That sentence bears repeating. In bold. Overtraining can actually set you back instead of helping you reach your goal faster.

It’s important to take good care of your body and to pace yourself if you want to have a career of any longevity. The impatience and exuberance of youth can lead to over doing it. Injuries stink, slow down your training, and are often with you forever…

‘But it won’t happen to me. I’m super fit already’.

You may be. But ask yourself if your current stability and strength lie in the key body areas we use in aerial.  Many times I have cautioned eager new students to take it slow and easy. They groan when I start class with warming up shoulders, back and lower abs, and when we end class with conditioning. They just want to get right to the drops.  There are places that ‘teach’ like that, but I don’t recommend them. The risk of injury is far greater.

image icining knee

What is overtraining?

Overtraining means that the volume and intensity of your training exceed your capacity for recovery. Listen to your body. When you overtrain, you can actually lose strength and be more prone to injury.

Signs of overtraining:

-constant muscle soreness

-more injuries


-weight loss

-more frequent colds/flus


Prevention is key.

Increase the intensity and frequency of your workouts gradually. Allow for adequate rest between workouts. Focus on stability first, then on increasing strength and endurance.  Remember that training volume should be inversely proportional to intensity. The higher the physical intensity of a particular skill, the less frequently it should be done in a workout.

Your training plan should contain adequate rest periods and vary the amount of stress placed on the each part of the body to build strength and prevent injury.  There’s a reason those bodybuilder guys don’t train chest and back 6 days a week. Their muscles, and yours, need a rest in between. Consider keeping a training log and consulting a skilled teacher who can help you build a training program that will help you meet your goals while keeping you as healthy and injury free as possible.

Stay safe – Train Smart.


Mama Silk


*Yes, Mama Silk knows there are really only 168 hours in a given week. I took artistic licence with the math to make a point.

In Our Circles, In Our Circles: How to Spin Without Losing Your Lunch

March 9, 2013 Comments Off on In Our Circles, In Our Circles: How to Spin Without Losing Your Lunch Ask Mama Silk, Classes, Performance Tips, Training

A concerned lyra student asks:  Mama Silk, how can I not toss my cookies when I start spinning? I almost threw up on the subway platform after lyra class last week. Help!


Good question, concerned student!  The short answer regardless of apparatus is: build up slowly, and practice till you get your sea legs (I mean your air legs). But let’s investigate the spin phenomenon a little closer:


Your brain gets information on its position in space from visual (eyes), kinesthetic (touch) and vestibular (inner ear) sources. When conflict arises from what you see, what you feel and what your brain perceives, you end up feeling crappy.

With respect to your ears, there are three semi-circular canals in each ear, one for each plane of movement (up/down, left/right, front/back).  These fluid-filled canals in your head tell you which way is up and which way is left and right so you know if you’re standing up or lying down.

Semi-Circular Ear Canals

When you spin, the fluid in these canals will spin around.  If you stop suddenly, your body stops, but the fluid in your ears is still going.   You think you’re still spinning, but your eyes are telling you that you’re not spinning. Your brain gets very confused and you feel sick. And, the ’tilt and rotate’ combination frequently used in aerial choreography is extremely challenging for the brain’s processing systems.  The scientists call it ‘aberrant  vestibular inputs’. Tourists call it “Stop slamming on the brake, cabbie!” Aerialists call it ‘Oh, my God! I’m so barfy!”

south park queasy

Scientists think some of these phenomena may harken back to our caveman days.  The same inner ear balance mechanism that is responsible for seasickness also handles the body’s ability to detect ingested poison; the signals sent to the brain when a person is spinning or seasick are the same as those sent when a person has eaten something dangerous, and the body’s protective response to poison is vomiting. Therefore, when you’re seasick, you vomit. Same goes for smells. I always feel worse at shows with lots of sensory overload: flashing lights, loud music, food odors (or worse, somebody else’s body odor), diesel fumes from generators, etc, are likely to make me feel more barfy.


  • Freshen your breath.

I got this tip from an old boyfriend who was a bosun with the Canadian Navy.  If it works for the sailors, it can work for us aerial beauties.

Keep a small travel toothbrush in your training bag, or some sugarless gum so you’re all minty before you spin.  [Remember to spit the gum out BEFORE class or performing.]

  • Smell something pleasant.

Keep a small handkerchief that’s been scented with lavender oil, or some other smell you associate with comfort. Breathe in the scent to help clear your channels.  Move away from strong odors. [Or nicely tell your classmate to please go buy some anti-perspirant].

  • Train yourself to ignore your brain.

With repeated practice, you can train your brain to ignore the conflicting input it’s getting from your fabulous aerial gyrations.   Astronauts do it, and so can you.

Start by spinning slowly, right side up, then upside down, WITH YOUR HEAD IN A FIXED POSITION. Look at something stationary, like your hand, or the lyra.

Then repeat, with a soft focus, and then with roving eyes, right side up and upside down. Add  head tilts, and finally head rotations while you’re spinning.

With repeated practice, you’ll find the method that works best for you. Some people swear by staring at a fixed point. Others prefer a soft focus, or even closing their eyes. I have a straps routine that involves orbiting and spinning and inversions and head tilts all at the same time.  When I haven’t done the routine in a while, I always feel a little off the first few times I rehearse until I get my sea legs again.

  • Stay hydrated

Keep your fluid intake high. Water is best.  Avoid de-hydrating drinks like coffee, and Red Bull.

porcelain god toilet barf Don’t come to class, rehearsal or performance hung over.  It’s unprofessional and dangerous.

  • Eat Right and Light

Eat light, easily digestible food before rehearsal or performance. Time it so you’ve digested before turning upside down. Avoid fatty, spicy stuff, unless you’re OK with the consequences.

  • Spin at the end of class or rehearsal

Save the spinning until the end of class or rehearsal. This way if you do get naseous, you’ve already worked on stuff.


Prevention is really the best medicine. Once you feel like crap, it can take a while to come back to normal.

  • Candied ginger

candied ginger

Delicious and nutritious (except for all that sugar). Keep a bag handy, and indulge as needed.

  • ‘Unspin’

When you touch ground, step off the mat and away from the apparatus and turn in the opposite direction to unwind. Or spin slowly a couple of times in the reverse direction.

  • Hop

Hop up and down while staring a fixed spot on the wall.  This may settle the liquid in your ears, and align the physical and visual input.

  •  Lie down

Sometimes I just like to lie down on my back, with my knees bent and my feet flat on the floor.

  • Dramamine

Spinning stimulates the cholinergic system,  producing: sweating, increased stomach acid, a desire to, um, ‘go’.

Dramamine is now available in two forms: dimenhydrinate and meclizine. Both are anti-histamines that help reduce the cholinergic reaction. Take as directed on the package – they can cause drowsiness, so don’t down it for the first time before driving to your gig, or right before you perform. See how you do on it in an un-pressured setting, first. And no post-ingestion imbibing, unless you’re taking the subway home.

  • Antacids

Keep a roll of Tums or Rolaids in your bag. Zantac and Pepcid are other good choices.

What works for you?

Mama Silk is always looking for new tips and tricks. Let us know what works best for you, so we can share it!

So spin, my darlings, spin. And create many beautiful things.


Mama Silk (and Lyra)




Heliummm featured on CBS 2’s Morning Show!

October 8, 2012 Comments Off on Heliummm featured on CBS 2’s Morning Show! Classes, In the News

In addition to airing on “The Couch” last week, Heliummm is featured on CBS 2’s Morning Show!

Lisa Kerney tell us “It’s certainly not your average workout – aerial silks is the hot new way to work out that may have you joining the circus.” Click here to check out Lisa getting a lesson in the art of aerial dance.  It’s a workout disguised as fun!

Heliummm puts CBS’s Lisa Kerney through the Aerial Dance Paces!

October 1, 2012 Comments Off on Heliummm puts CBS’s Lisa Kerney through the Aerial Dance Paces! Classes, In the News

Refinery29 Names Heliummm in Best & Coolest Classes of NYC!

September 24, 2012 Comments Off on Refinery29 Names Heliummm in Best & Coolest Classes of NYC! Classes, In the News, Student Showcase

We are super stoked to have Refinery29 name us one of their Best & Coolest Classes of NYC!

Click here to read the full article of how reporter Alison Matheny made out in our silks classes. And Click here to sign up for a few!

Heliummm’s Lyra in Time Out New York

September 11, 2012 Comments Off on Heliummm’s Lyra in Time Out New York Classes, In the News, Training

Press, press and more press! We’re delighted to have our lyra classes featured in Time Out New York’s ‘Get Fit’ edition. Click here for full article.

Come on out and get your spin on. Click here to register for classes.