February 25, 2023 Student Highlight: Alyssa Philbrick

Could you introduce yourself?
My name is Alyssa and I moved to Portland from Florida in 2017.

How did you learn about aerial arts/circus?

A host of one of the podcasts I listen to does aerial and frequently talks about how much she loves it. This inspired me to seek out local aerial classes which is how I found Afterglow.

When did you start taking classes?

I started taking classes in June of 2021.

What is your favorite aspect of aerial & circus classes?

Aerial classes are the only workouts I’ve ever done that I actually enjoy. I love that I get to build strength in fun and interesting ways. I also love how aerial challenges me mentally and physically at the same time. When I’m in class, my mind can only focus on the move I’m learning, which is a great break from daily stresses.

Where do you see yourself going with this? Do you want to do a performance someday, or is this more of a fun recreational activity?
I think one day I might like to perform in a student showcase. But my main goals with aerial are to build strength and continuously challenge myself to learn new things. 

Do you have a favorite apparatus? Why or why not?

My favorite apparatus is silks. There are so many beautiful poses and tricks you can do. I also like how my whole body is engaged with every move I try.

What advice do you have for a potential student thinking about starting classes?
You have to start somewhere! I was nervous in the beginning because I didn’t think that I was strong enough or flexible enough to be able to do anything. I took the beginner class for a year before moving to the next level. I saw so much progress in that time and it has been so satisfying to do things I never thought I could do. All of my classmates and coaches have always been very supportive and encouraging. It is the most fun I’ve ever had exercising and I’m glad I had the courage to try it out. The sampler class is a great way to try out different apparatuses to figure out which one you want to pursue.