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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

Instructor Feature – Angela

We hope you’ve been enjoying our instructor features and getting to know a bit more about the team that is taking you through your pole and aerial journeys. Our next instructor being showcased is one of our lovely pole instructors.

Angela Valiant joined our team in December of 2018. She started her pole journey at Aradia Fitness Calgary about five years ago, and when we were looking to expand our team, we knew we had to have her. Angela is fantastic with her students, always has a smile, and is especially good at making new students feel welcome. You don’t have to worry about small talk while you’re concentrating on this brand new activity you are trying for the first time, Angela is bound to keep you entertained. 

Angela also works as a radio host on x92.9 (tune into her show 10 am-2 pm) and an Arena Host with the Calgary Flames. One of her favourite actives (outside of the studio) is snowboarding. Follow her on Instagram to see all her adventures, and her adorable pup, Nymeria.

Aradia Fitness Calgary instructor Angela showing off a table move on pole

What surprised you the most about pole fitness?

The community! I always knew the challenges pole would have as a fitness and dance pursuit but I had no idea the friends I would make along the way, no idea how inviting and kind the people would be.

What is your current favourite pole/aerial move?

I have always liked laybacks – they are scary but it feels cool to do! As a tall, lanky individual I also LOVE plank.

Do you have a favourite off the pole conditioning exercise?

Elbow stands. I enjoy being inverted, because it’s tough but satisfying to accomplish! My elbow stands are far from perfect, but I like that I can practice them at home and the benefit of practicing balance, compression, and hip flexor strength has been really great for my body! 

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

My pole goals are to begin practicing more consistently. My aerial goals for myself are to learn more drops, and for my students to be able to put together combo’s by themselves in new ways! 

How would you describe your teaching style?

I would say it’s quite laid back – I like to open the door for students to work as hard as they can, but they have to choose it for themselves and some days are harder to give it the 110% you want. I like my classes to be challenged, but equally important, I want the class to have been a positive experience so that the next class is even easier to work at. 

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

Aradia has SO much to offer in terms of not just pole and aerial classes, but the attention and care given to provide workshops like helping with inversions, climbing, flexibility and strength are SO helpful for any student on their fitness journey. Not to mention some pretty amazing guest workshops from celebrated professionals to really increase the learning opportunities. 

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

At some point – things will plateau. It’s frustrating and you’ll want to quit. But keep at it, maybe go back to training moves you love and just work to make them stronger and periodically revisit that ones that you can’t seem to wrap your head around; try other instructors’ classes who may have a slightly different idea to help you. But most importantly, don’t give up. Every journey is different but every journey is improved by training over time!

 

Aradia Fitness Calgary instructor Angela on lyra

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