Roll up, roll up for a class that offers fun and flexibility

Angela Hawkes says aerial hoop is great for strength and toning
Angela Hawkes says aerial hoop is great for strength and toning

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Ever wanted to perform daring acrobatic feats and stylish big top moves?

Did you once have dreams of running away with the circus and are now working hard in a job that’s, well, a little more mainstream?

Now there’s a chance to learn some of the skills of circus performers after a hard day in the office.

Aerial hoop is a new fitness craze that taps into childhood dreams and is great for fitness and toning.

Instructor Angela Hawkes says: ‘I think the appeal of this is that whole idea of wanting to join the circus as a child.

‘It’s kind of your opportunity to run away and join the circus after you’ve finished work.’

Angela teaches aerial hoop, as well as other fitness sessions including pole dancing and aerial silks, at her studio Paradise Fitness in The Tanneries, Titchfield.

The exercise style involves performing a series of moves in a suspended hoop.

It offers many fitness benefits including strength, flexibility and toning.

And when students have developed those and can put together routines, it serves as an excellent cardio workout.

Aerial hoop is new in the fitness world but is becoming increasingly popular.

‘It’s fun and that’s the most important thing. If exercise isn’t fun, it’s a chore and you’ll find it hard to keep doing it,’ says Angela.

‘We have a really nice relaxed environment and everyone looks out for each other.’

Being great in the hoop demands strength and flexibility but Angela says beginners shouldn’t be daunted.

‘You start off at a very basic level as you learn how to do different seats [sitting poses].

‘Then once you’re happy with this and start to build strength, the moves get more exciting.’

The hoop usually hangs at about head and chest height but can be lowered for absolute beginners.

The studio is also running a half term session in hula hooping, aerial hoop and gymnastics for 11 to 16-year-olds. The workshop takes place on Monday, October 28.

For information on classes at Paradise Fitness go to or call Angela on (07849) 614577.