Since April 2019, FM Aerial & Movement Arts has offered aerial classes for the community to take part in. As the studio and variety of classes have evolved over the years, Owner Yvette Reyes has pushed through various challenges to continue her goal of offering a space for people to come and have support, community and fun.
FM Aerial & Movement Arts has and continues to grow in the community under Yvette’s leadership, but she accounts a lot of that to different mentors and friends along the way. The first time she visited the studio (that she now owns), she was a 20-year-old, fresh graduate from welding school, attending a pole class in 2016.
“I had first moved to Fargo right after I finished welding school. Being a welder and a woman is really isolating, especially because I worked the second shift, working from 4 p.m. until 3 a.m. I didn’t know anybody in Fargo… so, trying to find friends was something that was, as an adult, hard. There [were] no women as my coworkers,” Yvette said. “So, I ended up doing a Google search.”
After a few searches, Yvette found a local, four-week pole dancing class. She went to the class and met peers who would go on to be friends and even continued students as she transitioned to owning the studio. With community found, Yvette soon found an opportunity present itself—the owner of what was at the time called, Total Woman, was going to close the doors.
Each of FM Aerial’s apparatuses (pole, lyra and silk) has a four-week introductory class series in addition to the regular class levels. This is a great series to sign up for to learn the basics of the apparatus and explore something new! Sign up at fmaerial.com
Yvette’s experiences from her childhood and teen years of moving into small communities and wanting to find a place she belonged, along with a desire to not lose the space she’d grown to love as a student, inspired her to make the decision to purchase the studio and keep the business open.
She rebranded to FM Aerial & Movement Arts because she wanted to move away from just solely offering pole classes to more of the aerial arts. With the help from a few experienced friends over the years, she now is able to offer adult pole, lyra and silk classes, as well as youth silk classes. The organization performs locally at different events like galas, as well as at community events hosted by Folkways in Fargo frequently.
There are a variety of adult classes offered for pole, lyra and silk. But there are also youth classes! Youth classes are separated into two classes by age (6 to 9 years old, and 10 to 14 years old) and dive into the skill of aerial silk arts. Sign up at fmaerial.com/ schedule–sign-up
There are two studios, one that houses the pole classes and one that has a structure built to withstand the silk and lyra classes. The different aerial arts, or apparatuses as Yvette refers to them, offered at the studio differ in skill, how they are performed and practiced, and what aerial tools they use.
Here’s How It Works:
Aerial Silk uses two panels of fabric, raised to the ceiling from one point. Yvette describes it as a “flowy apparatus” where the aerialist uses gravity and strength to maneuver and wrap themselves up in the silks and climb into various points in them.
“There is an opportunity for adrenaline if you’re looking for that,” Yvette laughed.
Lyra uses an aerial hoop, which is a metal circle that spins while the aerialist moves within it. Lyra tends to be something that those new to aerial arts can catch on to a little bit quicker than some of the other apparatuses.
“If you’re not scared of spinning, [Lyra] is a great option. It’s also a lot more beginner friendly because we can have it at varying heights,” Yvette said. “If you’re a person who thrives on wins and feeling successful, which I think is a lot of people, I would say that Lyra is a good option.”
Pole uses either a chrome or stainless steel pole, and it can move or it can be stationary. Aerialists use dance elements with the pole, and start with and can keep one foot on the ground—so again, it can be a great class to start with for those who have never tried aerial arts.
“I call it the gateway into the circus arts because it’s the most accessible out of all of them,” she said. “…It is a fun way for people to build their upper body strength without feeling like exercise.”
Yvette said most of the people who take classes at FM Aerial & Movement Arts are newer to the community and are simply looking for a new hobby to get them around people, just as she was when she began at the studio.
If you’re new or interested in something regarding the aerial arts, you might find comfort in knowing that building a welcoming and safe space to learn is a constant goal for Yvette in all of her classes.
“Growing up in a really small town [and switching] schools when I was really small, everybody already had their friend groups, so coming in it was really hard to break into that. It was something that carried with me all these years,” she said.
Yvette always checks in with students and classes, asking how they’re doing and how she can make this the most comfortable experience for them.
Check out FM Aerial & Movement Arts website at fmaerial.com to learn more about each class and sign up!
FM Aerial & Movement Arts is located at 508 Oak St N, Fargo, ND 58102.