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Class Action: Circus Arts at The Muse

A Circus Arts aerial hoops class at The Muse.


A sign outside The Muse in South Williamsburg asks “Why lift weights at the gym when you can fly?” That’s a darn good question, considering how much fun the circus school’s classes can be. Think acro balance, wall running, silks, and static (as opposed to flying) trapeze.

But before you can get much out of anything here, like the sign suggests, you need a pretty solid gym foundation—and some strength. Students tend to be a young mix of professional performers, former gymnasts and ballerinas, and very fit amateurs who take pride in their quirky hobby. Not beginners.

And the teachers, some of the city’s best in their particular, esoteric fields, assume a fairly high baseline: Acro balance begins with instructions like, “Let’s warm up our headstands now,” and pretty much everyone dropped into one. Without a wall.

Upside down at my first Acro Balance class at The Muse.

In other words, if you’ve already got solid core strength, great balance, and mad inversion skills, the Muse classes are a great place to deploy them. Signature classes include:

Acro balance, a sort of extreme partner yoga in which students support each other in a variety of gravity-defying positions and tumbling sequences (it helps to have a high tolerance for intimacy and other people’s sweat).

Wall-running and bungee, which involve being suspected in harnesses from the ceiling and running sideways or turning flips. Fuerza Bruta, here you come.

Trapeze, whose routines consist of standing, sitting, and hanging on a stationary bar rather than catching tricks.

Expect any of the above to leave bruises. Then again, The Muse is that special place for yoga and fitness daredevils who won’t mind a bit. —Ann Abel

Who it’s for: The fit and adventurous, acro-yogis, fit fans of Fuerza Bruta and the circus looking to build their repertoire of strength-based tricks.

Class prices: They range from about $18 to $35 depending on whether you’re on the mat or in the air.

The Muse, 32D South 1st Street, at Kent Ave., Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 929-400-1678, visit