“Running on the treadmill day after day can be a very boring form of fitness,” said Carmen Curtis, Co-Founder of The Aerial Studio in Ventura, a new City of Ventura Green Certified Business. “At the studio, which is a modern, professional, and recreational aerial arts space, we make working out fun! Students of all ages, from children to seniors, can come in and swing on the trapeze, climb up a silk, and take a variety of aerial arts classes that make working out seem like play. “
Yoga is also taught at the studio and enjoyed for its many healing benefits and classes are given in a special yoga discipline practiced in a hammock suspended from the ceiling that Curtis founded entitled, AIReal Yoga™, the first and only form of aerial yoga accredited by the Yoga Alliance.
“The beautiful thing about practicing yoga in the hammock is that the hammock is a prop you can hold onto to make the moves easier if you’re a beginner, or if you’re a more advanced yogi, it’s a means whereby you can really deepen your posture,” said Curtis.
Curtis received a Fulbright scholarship in gymnastics from UCLA and when her coach took her to see a Cirque de Soleil show for the first time, she new she was destined to become a cirque performer.
“I cried at my first Cirque performance,” said Curtis. “The talent and skill of the performers was just amazing. Coming from my world of competitive gymnastics and watching this creative form of expression and reason for movement, was an awe-inspiring, life-changing moment.”
As fate would have it, Curtis, along with her husband Gregg, also a Cirque performer, later got hired to help create the popular Cirque du Soleil show, “Le Rêve” (2005), directed by Franco Dragone, which still runs at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas.
“It was a fantastic experience to help create the aerial acts and be involved in the creation of the show,” said Curtis. “However, once I had children, my husband and I talked about slowing down our pace.”
Settling in Ventura, and after her young daughter expressed an interest in “doing what Mommy did,” Curtis began teaching her daughter, her daughter’s friends, and even their parents, aerial arts in the family garage.
“It was really our circle of friends that encouraged my husband and me to open The Aerial Studio,” said Curtis. “In addition to being an aerial arts studio, we’re also a production company and create all types of shows for broadcast and stage purposes, as well as for showcases right here in the studio.”
When it comes to becoming a Green Certified Business, Curtis is extremely proud.
“Getting the official sticker to put on the front door means a lot to me,” said Curtis. “To be a part of the local movement of other businesses working to make a difference and do the right thing is extremely satisfying.”
“We try and think green with everything we do,” added Curtis. “For example, we changed out our lighting for LED in a program sponsored by Southern California Edison, continued Curtis. “While we have skylights that light up our space during the day, in the evenings, with the installation of energy efficient lighting, we expect to save on our energy bills.”
“We also recycle everything, work electronically with our billing, newsletters and other communications, and the studio sells locally produced refreshments in glass bottles and offers recyclable bottles for purchase to cut down on plastics,” said Curtis.
Curtis also makes many of her own cleaning supplies, soaps, and yoga matt cleaners and balms for sore muscles, which she offers for sale at the studio.
“We also make our own homemade sticky spray for aerial and trapeze,” said Curtis. “Most grips come in spray cans which harm the environment and since we use so much of it, we’re conscious about staying away from products that are harmful to the planet.
The studio also offers workshops on how to make green lotions, potions, and cleaning supplies.
“We really enjoy sharing our sustainable knowledge with the staff, with the students, and the community,” said Curtis. “In fact, we hope to inspire people by our actions. We use our website and social media outreach to help educate other offering tips on healthy living, how to clean and be green, sustainable nutrition, and other topics. We enjoy working to build this type of community and are looking for like-minded individuals to help support and be a part of it.”
–Maryann Ridini Spencer for SustainableVentura.TV