RN Takes Learning a New Skill during COVID to New Heights

The following story was written by RN Sydney Prahl-Davis about her passion for Aerial Silks. Sydney works in the Emergency Department in the GBHS Southampton Hospital. Aerial Silks is part dance, part circus-like acrobatics using beautiful fabrics hung from high overhead. It is stunning to watch, and takes a tremendous amount of strength and courage to gracefully twist through the air draped in silk.

The story is part of our Inspired by Passion series focusing on the lives of GBHS staff and physicians.

Sydney Prahl-Davis

I started Aerial Silks at the Collingwood Circus Club just over a year ago, in between periods of lockdown. I fell in love with it after tagging along to a friends’ class, and it was easily the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And the best part – I’ve never had so much fun getting fit!

Aerial Silks has tested my physical strength in a way I never thought possible. If you would have told me a year ago that I could climb to the top of my 20 metre-long silk with only minimal shortness of breath, I would have laughed.

What I love about silks is it’s something different. It’s not your usual “run on a treadmill, lift weights etc.” kind of gym routine.

Each week is a workout for every muscle in my body (at least it feels like that). The warm ups and stretching really help me listen and be grateful for what my body can accomplish, and how far I’ve come this past year. Who knew hanging 12 metres above the ground for 60 seconds would make you feel so accomplished!

I started with a 6 week beginner course, and since then I’ve been growing and moving through the basics to more advanced drops and wraps. Slowly I’m becoming more graceful, and slightly less bent-legged with certain moves, but it’s a work in progress. Each week I learn, practice and stretch a little more than I could the week before.

What’s amazing is Collingwood Circus Club (held in a rock climbing gym) has a fantastic coaching team, and is full of very supportive people (staff and students). I started out as someone who NEVER worked out, let alone climbed a silk or a rope hanging high off the ground, and week after week they supported and cheered me on as I made progress, sometimes small progress, but progress none the less.

If you want something that is a little bit different, challenging and definitely a fun time, I 100% recommend checking out Collingwood Circus Club!

Sydney Prahl-Davis

Photos by Jessica Crandlemire – Light and Shadow Photography