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GoRecess Studio Spotlight: Cirque School LA


- By Caila Ball

Location: Hollywood, CA

Owners: Aloysia Gavre, a Cirque du Soleil veteran

Classes Offered: Aerial Fitness & Conditioning, AcroFit/Intro to Handstands and Flexibility & Stretch are open to all levels. 

Intro to Aerial Tricks, Beginner Contortion, Beginner/Intermediate Hoop, Hand Balancing, Aerial Straps, Acrobatic Tricks, Aerial Tricks - Trapeze & Fabric, Aerial Rope, Mixed Level Contortion Tricks, Intermediate Fabric & Hammock Tricks, Intermediate Trapeze Tricks, Intermediate Aerial Hoop, Intermediate/Advanced Trapeze, Intermediate/Advanced Fabric Tricks, Advanced Contortion Tricks, Advanced Aerial Hoop and Advanced Aerial Fitness all have prerequisite classes.

Why You Should Check It Out: Living up to their motto “anybody with any body”, Cirque School LA encourages everyone - regardless of fitness level - to try out the class. Cirque School's teachers strive to maintain a warm and non-competitive environment, with classes that are both rigorous and fun.

“We have all positive attitudes,” says Lauren Stark, Associate Director and Aerial Fitness Instructor, “It’s all about focusing on everyone’s uniqueness.”

Cirque School LA has certainly found its own uniqueness, and offers a one-of-a-kind fitness experience for kids at heart and acrobats at heart alike. Whether your uniqueness is flexibility, aerial grace, acrobatic prowess or a yet-to-be-discovered aptitude for trapeze, Cirque School LA will help you develop it in their impressive array of class offerings. 

“Some people really surprise themselves. People can really find uniqueness in themselves, and self awareness about the body,” says Sark.

What Makes It Such An Effective Workout? Part circuit training, part circus training, Cirque School is a total body workout from the moment students walk through the red studio door! Classes are designed to build endurance, strength and flexibility, along with a level of body awareness that only comes from trusting yourself to hang upside down. 

Classes involve a cardio warmup; traditional strength conditioning; and unconventional strength and balance builders, such as climbing sheets of fabric and sit ups while hanging from a trapeze. Prepare for arms, abs and inner thighs to feel the circus burn following class.

“It works your body in a way that’s so fun, that you don’t realize how hard you’ve worked until you wake up the next day,” says Stark.

Know Before You Go: New students should note that some classes have prerequisites, and arrive 15 minutes prior to class to fill out paperwork.

Keep your eyes open for the studio, which is set back from Hollywood Blvd, and easy to identify by a big, red door leading into the “circus.” Street parking is available on Carlton Way. Changing rooms are available onsite; locker rooms and shower facilities are not.

Come Prepared With: Long pants are strongly recommended to avoid back of knee friction burn from fabric and trapeze. Classes are done barefoot.

Advice for First Timers: Be ok with being vulnerable and looking silly. Tell yourself that everyone here had a first class, and everyone remembers how hard it was. If it was easy, everyone would do it. You’re already awesome for walking through the door and giving it a go,” says Stark.

Fun Facts: Cirque School LA provided circus training for Reese Witherspoon and Christoph Waltz on the feature film Water for Elephants, as well as circus consultation, training and talent for shows including The Cape on NBC and CBS’ The Defenders.

About Cirque School LA
Cirque School is located in a 6,000 square foot studio in Hollywood, entirely dedicated to circus arts. Cirque School offers dozens of classes spanning a range of circus disciplines from aerial fabric to contortion, in addition to frequent specialty workshops taught by experts from around the world. True to the school’s vision of creating a training community for Anybody with Any Body, Cirque School students are a diverse group with a wide range of ages and skills. The one thing they have in common: many students quickly become obsessed – circus training changes their lives forever.

Class programming was created from Gavre’s combined education in both circus and Pilates over the last 20 years. During her tenure as a Cirque du Soleil aerialist she also became her show’s Pilates coach to aid in her colleagues’ injury prevention and recovery. Cirque School’s classes are taught by working circus professionals and utilize the best of both professional circus training and Pilates. This hybrid method helps students gain strength and flexibility, as well as physical and mental wellness, through one of the most intense, exhilarating and safe circus arts programs ever developed.  

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