I take Aerial lessons from the amazingly toned, Eleni Ziampara at Studio Mix. The first lesson I’ve had with her was actually a private lesson, where I got to know her a little bit better…and accidentally kick her on the head. Whoops! I did say Aerial is hard didn’t I?! Eleni is hardcore. One of the more strict instructors, but definitely the easiest to learn from. She is constantly reminding you to keep your core tight – never let your head hanging – and to religiously learn to knot your leg on the silk correctly. I honestly cringe every time a trainer does not correct people on their form. Eleni has pushed me to do things I never thought I would do, so I just had to interview her!
Meet Aerial Silks instructor Eleni Ziampara.
Tell us about yourself:
Hi! My name is Eleni Ziampara. I have graduated at the department of Accounting & Finance and I am now I’m doing a postgraduate as a Systemic Analyst. I work at Gym Tonic and I’m an aerial silks instructor at Studio Mix.
How did you find yourself being interested in aerial silks?
I’ve always liked the feeling of floating on air. Sports was a big part of my childhood, so from a young age I was athletic. At the age of seven I started competitive gymnastics and continued with several other sports that then become hobbies. Some were similar to Aerial Silks Like acrobatics and trampoline. At 14 years old, I happened to stumble into a small training field near acropolis, were there was a small group of people training aerial silks…. I followed their routine and fell in love with it. I knew at that moment what I was going to do. So when one day a close friend of mine invited me for aerial silks in a climbing hall, I began learning the basics…The rest happened during a holiday at Thessaloniki.
What is your favorite part of Aerial? And most challenging?
By far my favorite are the drops and integrated choreography! Drops are such an adrenaline rush and the feeling that you are falling is amazing! Also, something that I’m passionate about is the pleasure of teaching young kids. They energize and inspire me.
The most challenging for a beginner is to climb the silks and for someone more advanced, it’s the combination of movement so that you have a natural flow while having the strength and stamina to do a choreography.
What are you passionate about besides your work?
I’ll be dull and give the typical answer…My family, friends and boyfriend. Everyone that makes me feel happy and grounded.
Walk us through a day in the life of Eleni Ziampara
It’s August… so I’ll go through a day in the life last season. I wake up at 9am and eat a good and balanced breakfast. I take a shower and turn on the computer to read the news to keep updated and check my e-mails. Around 10am I prepare my schedule and then head to my first class at 11am at Studio Mix. 12:05 when the class is done I catch up with my students until everyone has left and then I eat a fruit. 1pm I head to work at Gym Tonic until 8:30pm. 9pm I have my last Aerial silks lesson and after 10pm I either study or go out for a walk.
Can anyone start aerial? (no fitness background/older age group)
It really depends on the person, as we are not all the same. Either way you will need patience and discipline (and a number of lessons) to be able to start drops and completed choreography!
Sure it helps if you already have a history of sports, have stamina and good flexibility, but the rest doesn’t really matter.
I think if you really want to do aerial, the most important thing to learn is how to use your body and to feel your center of gravity. This is difficult even when you are on the ground, let alone on the silks which stretches from its elasticity! Aerial silks forces you to strengthen and gain flexibility just by using the weight of your body.
Quick tips to staying healthy while you juggle your 2 jobs:
For sure a wholesome breakfast, small meals throughout the day and plenty of fluids (I drink a lot of milk). Also, try to make your two main meals homemade and use products from your local farmers.
Any Holistic remedies that you use?
Actually, I use Aerial as a treatment for my “monthly” pains. When my back starts cramping right before my menstrual cycle, I usually do Straddle Back Inversion, staying there for 2 minutes and subsequently repeating the exercise for 3 or 4 times. After the session I feel much better and with this exercise I avoid all the cramps and back pains, thus avoiding medication altogether!
What do you have planned for the future?
I haven’t yet discussed about my plans for the new season, probably because it has been slow lately due to the political instability in our country that has had an effect on the market and businesses.
I want to continue teaching and advance in aerial silks. In addition I’m interested in finding an occupation that will have something to do with the subject I’m currently studying – the systemic approach of managing an enterprise.
If you could only do one aerial sequence for the rest of your life…. what would it be?
Currently what comes to mind is the double star drop…I’m sure if you ask me again I’ll tell you something else, but still it will be a type of drop.
Follow Eleni on Instagram where she shows us a more personal side as well as Aerial tricks!