For the past four years, Amanda Scott has worked with her own hobby and her preferred way to stay fit that’s unique to Jackson.
It’s called aerial silks, and she said while it is complicated, it’s simpler than it may look from someone who’s never tried it.
“I did train for a couple years before I really started doing it, but you don’t have to do that before you do it,” said Scott, who is the aerial silks instructor at Arrow Athletics in North Jackson. “Anyone can come in off the street at any fitness level and try it.”
Aerial silks consist of a large piece of fabric – called the silk – hanging down from a height of 15 to 20 feet in most cases.
The participant will then pull him or herself up the silk and try to maintain balance and control.
The work has evolved over the last 20 or 30 years into a fitness competition almost like a Crossfit competition.
Earlier this year, Scott represented the state of Tennessee at the national aerial silks competition and will be representing the country in the worlds aerial silks competition later this year in Europe.
“In Europe, they really take the sport of aerial silks seriously,” Scott said. “There were some Europeans who are living here that were competing in our national competition, and the coaches they had were instructing their people as adamantly as any coach you’d expect here in any sport we watch here.
“So this is a big thing for them, and it’s slowly growing here.”
Scott has been teaching an aerial silks class at Arrow Athletics for four years, and it’s consistently grown in that time.
Also in that time, she’s put together a production that is a type of capstone project for the class each year.
“We really use it to show what we’ve all learned at all skill levels within the class,” Scott said. “And it’s all ages too.”
This year’s edition of that show will happen twice this year on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 13 and 14, at the Jackson Fairgrounds Arena in Downtown Jackson.
Tickets are available online at arrowathletics.thundertix.com, and the charge is $25 for adults, $18 for ages 3-17 and $15 for the kid pit, which is floor seating for children ages 5 and older.
“That’s really cool because you’re sitting on the ground, and you’re close enough to the stage that the performance comes really close to you and you see it at a different angle,” Scott said.
The production is called “House of Misfits,” that’s about these different creatures that are typically not viewed kindly by humans, such as spiders and other creatures like that. Each of the three previous productions the group has put on has been “House of Misfits” with Scott adding a twist to the plot or the production in different ways.
This year’s twist is there’s a multiverse aspect to the show that will add a different layer to the storytelling that involves more than 30 performers.
“There will be a lot of students involved, but there are adults who come to the classes too and have gotten good at it,” Scott said. “I will be performing, and I’ll be doing a performance with a lawyer from here in town that I doubt anyone that works with her in her day job would expect her to be involved in aerial silks, but she’s really developed her ability and looking forward to her being a part of this.”
Doors open at 5:30 p.m. each evening at the Fairgrounds with the show set to start at 6 p.m. There will be a pre-show performance from a couple of students who won a state competition earlier this year as well.
“This is a fun show, and we’ve grown every year,” Scott said. “And if anyone is looking for something new to try for fitness or a hobby or just to have fun, come to the show and see what we’re doing.
“You might see it’s worth a try.”
Brandon Shields, email@example.com