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When you see acrobats gracefully float on fabric, you are watching a performance incorporating aerial silks. This art form is also called aerial ribbons or tissues and aerial contortion. Using aerial silks is not confined to mesmerizing circus acts anymore; dance studios and fitness centers teach silks training as an increasingly popular way to work out. This challenging, innovative regimen promotes physical and mental health in many ways. Practicing with aerial silks can increase focus, strengthen muscles, improve circulation, and much more.

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1. History of Aerial Silks

Aerial silks performances are one of the most popular physical disciplines incorporating the use of hanging apparatuses -- aerial arts. The practice may have developed in a French circus school around 1959, where a student presented an act using a long ribbon of fabric. From that time until 1998, many artists experimented with fabric in their performances. In the 1990s, a group of French and British acrobats inspired by this art form helped spread it around the world. Many historians credit Andre Simard and Cirque du Soleil with the invention of aerial silks in the 1980s. At the least, this world-renowned group certainly made the art form popular.

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