Flying high for first-ever U.S. Aerial Championships

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Pole. Lyra. Silks.

Vegas does it and so does Hollywood.

Now the best of the best from around the world are coming to New York City this weekend.

The event takes places Friday, February 8- Sunday, February 10 at Baruch Performing Arts Center

"This is the first annual U.S. Aerial Championships," Tami Schlichter, US Aerial Board Chairperson and founder, said.

Tami Schlichter put the whole competition together.

“As I started to get more involved in the aerial community I noticed that we really need in the United States a place for professional aerialists to use as a springboard for their careers," she explained.

“I was really excited to hear that,” Lara Michaels, a pole aerialist, said.AERIAL CHAMPIONSHIPS FULL 2

Brenna Bradbury, a silk aerialist, agreed. "I’m so excited to be involved in it”

Lara and Brenna are both representing the Big Apple.

“I come from a dance background," Lara said. "And I actually bought a Groupon for a pole dancing class and I really like it!”

“I think the strength that it requires is really captivating to me,” Brenna explained.

And they both hope to captivate audience with their own performances.

“Even though it’s a competition people are coming to see a show," Lara said. "They want to see a performance that moves them in some way.”

“People are really going to pull out all the stops and come in and show the things that they have been working their entire careers to do,” Brenna explained.

These athletes train year-round to prepare.

“There’s a lot of anxiety and stress leading up to it," Lara described. But the actual performance is always such a wonderful experience, to be on stage and have that moment that is unlike any other.”

While it's a lot of hard work, at the end of the day...

“It’s fun!”

"It’s fabulous!”

“It’s the most fun form of exercise ever!”

”I feel so very lucky to have this as my job," Lara said. "I want other people to be able to experience that feeling even if it’s just for one class.”

And anyone can try it out for themselves by taking classes at Body & Pole, with prices starting at just $25 for the first class.

 

PRODUCED BY: KIM PESTALOZZI