Finding an exercise that can also be entertaining can be quite a challenge, but a new studio in Tallahassee’s Railroad Square is working to combine physical fitness with rhythm to create art.
Alexis Barnett is the manager of Flow Movement Arts Studio. “We are a group of people who have a common dream in seeing people be active and enjoy themselves, as well as learning skills to perform – building confidence and really enjoying each other’s company and making friends. Here at this studio specifically, we offer about six or seven different arts and there’s something for everybody. Flow is kind of a blanket term for when you see people performing poi, staff, fire fan or aerials, whether that’d be on the trapeze or silk, because we’re all finding flow through these movements – through these acts and the different things that we do.”
Instructor Mel Aguilera loves teaching stretch and flexibility because being able to help people reach a place they’d never reach without his aid helps them feel confident in themselves. They’ve done something they didn’t know they could do before – and to Mel, that’s the best part. “Emotionally and physically, it’s just better for your overall well-being, like being able to open up your body and relax your muscles. It just makes you calmer through the day and a lot more relaxed.”
Scott Atherton is also an instructor at Flow Movement Arts Studio. “I think Flow is a such a great name for the place because everything is just kind of flowing together; it’s come together organically. Juggling and poi – they both share that kind of rhythm aspect. It the ball going on the string, “jump jump jump” and you can match that with the music and that’s really what it looks like – a performance.”
Often, people walk by in Railroad Square and find out about it. Sometimes they’re invited to juggle with the practitioners. They’re also encouraged to visit Flow’s FaceBook page.
Flow offers three level to every class: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Mel Aguilera thinks people need to challenge themselves and this is a good place to start.
“Anybody can go and work out and isolate muscles, but can you find that flow? Can you work these into a routine? Can you make an art about it?” asks Alexis Barnett. “There’s something so beautiful and activating about that internally for the soul. You take care of the body and then you incorporate other aspects. Your soul comes out when you’re dancing. You’re incorporating these arts into what you do. So I think it’s taking it to the next level. You can work out, you can train – but then you bring in the arts and start to present something that’s within yourself.”