Aerials, acrobatics flip into Osborne Village


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Osborne Village

A dance academy in Osborne Village is soaring into the world of acrobatics, with its addition of aerial and acrobatic training to its repertoire.

“We’ve got aerial hoops and aerial silks,” owner and instructor Melanie Botelho-Urbanski said.

Botelho-Urbanski said that the classes, which begin April 2 and run until June 18, are available to people of all ages. The classes move progressively to help people of all abilities go from zero experience to doing tricks on the large hoops hanging from special ropes and carabiners or on the long “silks” that drape down from the ceiling, made famous by performers in Cirque du Soleil.

The academy owner said when she opened in September, she knew this was something she wanted to offer eventually.

“Acrobatics is my forte. That’s my background … But it’s a lot of logistics,” she said.

But Botelho-Urbanski worked that out, brought in engineers to ensure everything was safe, and now she’s ready to try to show others why it has captured her heart.

“I enjoy it because it’s a real full-body workout. I came up doing dance and acrobatics and gymnastics throughout my youth, then even as an adult when I would go to do a workout, I could never find something that used my whole body like those activities did,” she said.

Botelho-Urbanski said it takes some serious upper body strength to master it, but that strength comes along with keeping at it.

“You just got to keep going. It gets better. The beginning is always the hardest, and I think that’s true of any new hobby you take up, but if you stick with it, inevitably, you’re going to get better,” she said.

But there are some tricks to help people along in the early stages, as well.

“You’ll learn climbs. You’ll learn foot locks, and different things so that you’re not always having to hold yourself up, and you can kind of lock yourself in and hold different poses,” she said.

Botelho-Urbanski said she’d like to see aerials and acrobatics adopted as exercise and as a way to challenge oneself, sort of how pole fitness caught on a few years ago. In fact, there are some similarities between aerial silk and pole techniques, Botelho-Urbanski said.

But whether or not it becomes trendy like that, Botelho-Urbanski would at least like to see kids enjoy the practice as she did.

“For kids especially, it’s a safe way to learn to take risks and to build self-confidence and creativity and friendships and just develop a lasting love of physical activity,” she said. “You start them young and just give them lots of different things to try and hopefully something sticks.”

For more information and to register for classes, visit

Cody Sellar

Cody Sellar
Community Journalist

Cody Sellar is the reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review West. He is a lifelong Winnipegger. He is a journalist, writer, sleuth, sloth, reader of books and lover of terse biographies. Email him at or call him at 204-697-7206.

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