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Instructor Feature – Cassia

This week in our series of instructor features, you get to know Cassia Farias Thibert! She is one of our wonderful aerial instructors and teaches both Silks and Lyra (hoop) Cassia always has a genuine smile for her students and fellow instructors. You can’t help but be happy and excited for class – even if Cassia is going to make you do some difficult conditioning.

Cassia’s teaching experience extends back sixteen years to when she was teaching gymnastics in Brazil. The transition from gymnastics to circus and aerials happened eight years ago, and Cassia joined the Aradia Fitness Calgary in March 2018. Cassia also has a business that brings Physical Literacy to daycares. She believes that a lifelong affinity for fitness starts as young as preschool age, and their mission is to impact young kids with a fun, convenient, and affordable gymnastics based physical development program. Some circus elements are also brought in, of course.

Cassia has a one-year-old son Levi and an adorable Samoyed, Sky. We’ve seen some cute videos of Cassia training with little Levi and Sky supervising. Give Cassia a follow on Instagram to see what her family is up to and what you might get to try in her Silks and Lyra classes.

Aradia Fitness Instructor Cassia Farias on aerial silks

What surprised you the most about pole fitness?

How close to aerial [silks and Lyra] it can be.

What is your current favourite pole/aerial move?

I love all the drops on silks and splits poses on hoop.

Do you have a favourite off the pole conditioning exercise?

Aerials conditioning on silks.

What are your current pole and aerial goals for yourself and for your students?

My goal is get back in shape for performing, and for my students. I want to help them get the best experience with fitness and aerials.  

How would you describe your teaching style?

Accommodating. I try to adapt my teaching according with the students.

What do you think students gain from being members at Aradia?

Access to a variety styles of fun and fitness class with a high level of technique. 

Can you provide one piece of advice for students working through their pole journey?

Never give up and do it for the fun of it. Focus on your journey not everyone else path. 

 

Aradia Fitness Instructor Cassia Farias performing a move on Lyra

Instructor Feature – Clare

Clare Burton is our resident polerina and our latest instructor feature! She came onto the team in October 2018 as a Lyra instructor. By December 2018, Clare was also teaching pole and silks classes. We love it when she speaks Australian to us, and we couldn’t imagine the studio without Clare Bear! [ed note. Clare Bear obviously comes from Demetra].

Clare’s ballet and contemporary dance training come through in her Dance Flow classes, and you will (almost) always see perfectly pointed toes and long extensions from her on the pole and Lyra. Recently, Clare started entering pole and aerial competitions in Canada, and she has placed in all of them! Her titles are 1st Place in Dramatic Level 3 at PSO Clare West, 1st Place Dramatic Level 4 PSO West, and 2nd Place in Hoop Level 2 at CPCF.

One way Clare brings her style and uniqueness to competitions and performances is by designing and sewing her own costumes. The outfits are beautiful, and some of her Aradia friends have commissioned outfits from her. Like all our instructors featured so far, Clare has pets. Coco, Navel, Blaze, Petrie and Tifa are the tiny cuties often featured on her personal Instagram. Follow her aerial Instagram account for all the pretty lines and dances.

Aradia Fitness Calgary feature instructor Clare Burton pole dancing in the Canadian Rockies

What surprised you the most about pole fitness?

The confidence I gained in myself was definitely the most surprising. Growing up as a dancer, I was always sure of my body and myself, but this taught me to think outside the box and train in some styles I never thought I would love or be capable of.

What is your current favourite pole/aerial move?

Allegra! An all rounder flexibility move that I am always working on improving.

Do you have a favourite off the pole conditioning exercise?

Inch worms! (Travelling along the floor through walking out to a plank, completing a push up, then walking the feet up to the hands). It definitely did not start out as a favourite, as it was very difficult, but I know now from how much I’ve progressed that it was a big helper for me, my wrist and shoulder strength. 

What are your current pole and aerial goals for yourself and for your students?

Maintaining my flexibility has always been my most serious goal. I think so many moves in both pole and aerial benefit from long lines that come from consistent stretching, therefore I always have a focus on this in my classes.

How would you describe your teaching style?

I feel that I am encouraging, but also serious in my approach. I want students who come to my class to leave feeling like they have achieved something new, or gained a better understanding of a skill. 

What do you think students gain from being members at Aradia?

A wide variety of unique skills, a newfound appreciation for your body and what it is capable of, and a passion for dance!

Can you provide one piece of advice for students working through their pole journey?

Be persistent. Some things will not happen right away, and that’s okay. Take your time and build on your strength and flexibility, both inside and outside of the studio.

 

Woman in black leotard in split pose on lyra

Student Spotlight – Kelly

At Aradia Fitness Calgary, we love to brag about our students in our Student Spotlights! This month is no exception. For February 2020, we are featuring Kelly Peniston! Kelly joined our Aradia family just over a year ago. We’ve proudly watched her grow into a confident and accomplished pole dancer since her start with us. On top of pole, she scuba dives, travels, snowboards, and teaches yoga. We think she’s pretty cool and you should give her a follow on Instagram.

We are privileged to have Kelly as a part of our Aradia family. She is so much fun in class and we love watching her progress.

Where are you from?

I was born in South Africa and moved to Fort McMurray when I was 8 years old (just a little bit of a temperature adjustment) and my first time seeing snow! I’ve been living in Calgary for the last 12 years but would love to move somewhere warmer one day, maybe California!

What is your favourite past-time? (outside of pole)

Outside of pole, I enjoy a mix of travelling, photography, diving, snowboarding and golf…just a couple of expensive hobbies to keep me entertained.

What do you love the most about pole?

When I stopped playing sports at school, I never really found anything I liked to do to workout. I knew it was important to keep moving my body and I constantly tried to get into going the gym or running and it never stuck. I love pole because it’s so challenging yet you can see how much you improve every time you go. Finding pole and aerial has made me prioritize my time to make sure I get to class as often as possible. Not because I feel like I have to, but because I really want to. I love the range of classes Aradia offers. It allows you to expand your skills and improve your strength in so may different ways.

What is your favourite class at Aradia? What is your favourite move?

My favourite pole move right now is extended butterfly, it makes you feel so strong! My favourite classes are the exotic classes because they really allow for me to work on my “flow” and to feel a little bit sexy ;). The only previous experience I had with dance was tap dancing as a kid and I always found it to be more stiff and less “flowy”.

What motivates you to keep coming to your classes consistently?

I am so impressed with how strong aerial artists are, not only physically but also their ability to withstand pain! Who knew how painful pole could be? I’m motivated to improve my flexibility and strength and to be able to flow beautifully in exotic!

When did you start coming to Aradia Fitness?

I first started at Aradia in January 2019. I sporadically came to classes before committing to the membership once I realized how much I loved it. It’s not always easy making it to classes as I’m currently working 2 jobs and taking a few evening classes so I really enjoy my daytime pole classes and try to squeeze in as many as I can on the weekends!

What surprised you about pole and aerial fitness?

I had no idea how challenging it would be. I’m a yoga teacher and have always been pretty athletic so originally I thought it would be really easy for me to move up quickly, but it has been surprisingly difficult. I love that it continues to challenge me and that there are SO many different things to learn and to combine in new ways.

 

Why should someone join Aradia Fitness and start their pole and aerial journey today?

If you’re like me and have struggled to find routine in the gym or other forms of working out, I would highly recommend that you try coming to Aradia. The teachers and the students are all so amazing and so supportive, you don’t just get a workout, you get a community of beautiful friends who are as obsessed as you are with this extraordinary sport! I am very grateful to have found Aradia and I can’t imagine my life without it!

 

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