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Overhead Arts Takes Fitness and Performing Arts Up a Notch

By Kelly Church

Outfitted with aerial silks, a static trapeze, corde lisse, and a Spanish web and sling, Overhead Arts is a circus and aerial art training facility in New Bedford, MA. The studio is open to those who are serious about their aerial work and also to those who just want a great workout. Founder and director Teresa Kochis has been training in the circus arts since 1997.

"My advice [to those who want to make a career out of aerial and circus arts] would be to study and practice," Kochis said. "There are some terrific instructors, schools and resources out there to help you get started. We'd love to help you get your feet off the ground at Overhead Arts."

With several trained instructors on staff, including Kochis, Overhead Arts can train students of all ages and experience levels. Kids as young as four can attend the kids class. There are also classes for teens, adults and open workouts for anyone to come and use the studio.

"Most people first think of the terrific upper body workout that aerial offers," Kochis said. "It does help you build strength and definition in your arms and back. Most people underestimate how much of a core workout aerial [and] circus arts is, though. The training involves balance, stability, inversion and more, all of which helps build a strong and stable core."

Additionally, according to Kochis, circus arts improve flexibility and encourage athletes to become more flexible in order to improve. The more flexible the body, the less likely students are to experience injuries and their training program in general will become more effective.

For Kochis, the sense of community that is inspired by aerial and circus arts is one of her favorite elements. Classes are group classes, and the end result is to look like a unified group.

"Aerial and circus are performing arts, so we strive to cultivate a feeling of ensemble and positive group dynamic throughout all of our classes," Kochis said. "We also encourage creativity and individuality, which ultimately can make it more than just a workout."

For more information on Overhead Arts, to see the schedule and sign up for classes, visit overheadarts.com.

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