After our gravity-defying aerial yoga class we caught up with Keeva and Brennan, founders of Fl’air Studios, to find out all about their aerial arts studio and their colourful careers as dance and trapeze artists…
Why did you decide to open Fl’air Studios?
Keeva: We met almost 10 years ago in the US as performers. Brennan was an acrobat and I was a dancer on a cruise ship. We both went our separate ways when the contract finished, and I got a new job as a dancer in Berlin. 6 years later, Brennan came over for a few weeks and we had so much fun. He went back to the US but coincidentally got a last minute contract at the Wintergarden Varieté.
Brennan: So just two months after visiting here I came back for a 7 month contract. At that time we’d both separately been thinking about the next step. We really love performing but obviously we can’t do it forever. In the US there are so many aerial studios and as much as I wanted to open one it didn’t make sense to do it there because it’s so expensive and there’s so much competition.
Keeva: Then everything just fell into place. There was a space here in Berlin that I was training in but it burnt down so I had literally nowhere to train. And if you earn your living with acrobatics and suddenly you can’t practice, it’s a big problem. So I was going crazy trying to find somewhere and then I found this beautiful space.
I applied for it and I got it, but when I wrote the business plan I realised I couldn’t do it alone. Brennan had come back into town. I thought there’s no way he’d move from the US to Berlin. But when I asked Brennan to be my business partner he said yes!
USC: What’s your background with aerial arts?
Keeva: I was a ballerina and then an acrobat so I perform aerial acrobatics.
Brennan: When I was 13 I went to a resort called Club Med. They had all these activities for guests to try and flying trapeze was one of them and I really loved it. I started going to a school called Trapeze Arts in Oakland, California and that was my second home for five years. I would do normal school and then be there for hours and hours.
Then the day I turned 18 I accepted my first contract and after that everything just kept lining up. Since 2008 I’ve been travelling around the world with cruise ships, circuses, and other shows.
After ten years of touring I needed to settle down and be in the same city for more than a few weeks. So when Keeva called about opening up Fl’air Studios, everything just fell into place.
USC: What’s the aim for Flair? What do you want to create here in Berlin?
We want to increase the awareness of aerial arts and aerial fitness. People can be afraid to try it – they think you have to be very strong and flexible but it’s not true. You can do it no matter what age or whatever strength you are. We can all get so much out of it and that’s something we want to spread out to the community.
USC: Are there many other aerial fitness studios in Germany?
Keeva: Not really. There are other studios but we all have a different approach and styles.
Brennan: It’s slowly catching on here in Germany. Pole dancing is very popular now and that’s a natural gateway. A lot of people come here after trying pole dance.
USC: What are the benefits of aerial arts?
Brennan: They’re all slightly different. Aerial yoga is definitely the most calm and the most gentle on the body. Aerial hoop and silks is more of a work out.
Aerial arts gets you out of your comfort zone. It’s great mentally and physically – it kind of shakes things up because it’s so different. It helps you think under pressure. When you’re stressed at work or having a bad day you can take a breath, calm down, focus and think rationally.
Keeva: I notice as well the people with less experience often do better. They come here systematically and get better and better week by week. They train more effectively than some professionals!
USC: Do you have any success stories or moments that have made you really proud since you opened?
Keeva: We had one student who was interested in joining before we even opened and since that day she’s come every single week. She’s worked really hard and a month ago she did an entire performance for a wedding for a family member.
She bought her own silk and costume and she picked a song and she used the moves she’d learnt in class to create a sequence. It was absolutely awesome.
If you’re interested to try an aerial arts class, check out Fl’air Studios website to see what classes they have available and check our Brennan and Keeva’s performance arts websites:
Urban Sports Club has plenty of yoga partners in Germany, Italy and France.