Fitness classes pair yoga with circus arts in Ybor City

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Now that the kids are back in school, why not take the time to learn something yourself and explore the Tampa Bay area’s circus roots at the same time?

The fitness classes at Keep Yoga and Circus Arts in Ybor City never get stale, putting a twist on traditional yoga by combining it with circus apparatuses, taking the balance, focus and stretching to the air.

Co-owner Jessica Watson drew on her circus background to develop classes for the masses.

“My mom was in the Sailor Circus in Sarasota, my grandma was in the circus. They taught me a lot of what I know how to do,” said Watson.

She says she spent years in the backyard with her family learning how to tumble, twist, and fly. When she met Kaley Gay, a yoga instructor and professional dancer, the two hit it off and Watson started teaching Gay all of her circus stunts.

Over time, friends gathered in the now-roommates’ yard wanting to learn circus arts too. And that’s when the idea of opening a fitness studio took off.

Gay stresses that beginners don’t start with the high-flying acrobatics, the goal is to work up to it in time. She says her students range from age eight to pupils in their 60s.

The Keep Yoga and Circus Arts studio also has a performance group, Aerial Dragons, that gives students a chance to show off what they’ve learned.

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