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Posted on Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

Aerial fitness studio opens in Pittsfield Township

By Lizzy Alfs


Veronica Callan, one of the instructors at Ann Arbor Aviary, performs in the space at 4720 S. State.

Courtney Sacco |

Good news for fitness enthusiasts with a sense of adventure: an aerial arts studio opened its doors Friday in Pittsfield Township.

The owners of Ann Arbor Aviary, located in a warehouse space at 4720 S. State St., describe the studio as a fitness center and performance arts space. It offers instruction in the aerial arts, including static trapeze, silks, lyra and aerial rope. It also offers dance, yoga and barre conditioning classes.


Ann Arbor Aviary co-owners Lia Lilley and Anne Ryan inside their new studio at 4720 S. State St.

Courtney Sacco |

“We couldn’t find anywhere to practice in Ann Arbor, so we were driving out to (Detroit Flyhouse) two or three times a week,” said Ann Arbor Aviary co-owner Anne Ryan.

Tired of the long drive and costs involved, Ryan and her partners started looking for a space in the Ann Arbor area to open their own studio.

“This place came up and it has the little reception area up front…and in the back we had this warehouse with the high ceilings,” she said.

Ann Arbor Aviary celebrated its grand opening on Friday with aerial performances and a local artist gallery —something they want to continue on the last Friday of every month with an event called “Lift Off.”

In the beginning, the studio will offer three classes per night Mondays through Thursdays. Fridays are reserved for workshops and events, and there will be classes and workshops offered on the weekends. The studio will also host private events.

“We’re trying to promote this in the yoga community and in the athletic community,” Ryan said. “We definitely want to talk to sororities and fraternities and stuff like that.”

Although aerial performances can look challenging, Ryan said newcomers shouldn’t be intimidated: “Everyone can do a little something. The first day you’re here, you’ll be able to do something,” she said.

Co-owner Lia Lilley added: "It’s a really good activity that you can show solid progression through."

Ryan suggested people interested in trying a class attend a beginner’s workshop.

For more information, check out Ann Arbor Aviary’s Facebook page or website.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at


Bertha Venation

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 6:11 p.m.

ooooooooooooo she flies through the air.... with the greatest of ease..... the pretty young girl on the flying trapeze...


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 5:27 p.m.

That lady obviously forgot to pay her gravity bill.

Dog Guy

Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 9:44 p.m.

This aerial exercise sounds much like pruning white pines in a heavy wind. I'll try if it helps to wear a capeless superhero suit while squirreling about the treetops, but Wonder Woman wouldn't suit me.


Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 6:48 p.m.

I hope this leads to more fitness entrepreneurs coming to A2, especially indoor trampoline parks for adults!

Bertha Venation

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 6:13 p.m.

I remember years ago, we used to go to Gymkannah (I forgot spelling). It was across from Krogers on Maple Rd., where Top 'o' the Lamp is now. What fun!

An Arborigine

Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 5:38 p.m.

Younger crowd indeed, at my age these activities would be prefaced with "to induce vomiting".

Bertha Venation

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 6:12 p.m.

HA! Good one, Arbor!


Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 2:22 p.m.

Definitely for the younger crowd I think. But there will probably be someone my age (sixtyish) who is adventurous that will try it. Wishing them much success.

Lizzy Alfs

Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 1:36 p.m.

I was reading more about the aerial arts, and it seems like it's a growing trend across the country. There's this place called "Antigravity yoga" in Florida: "They say it makes them feel airy and light while helping to relieve compressed joints and align the body from head to toe. Trainers say it provides the benefits of yoga without straining muscles." Very interesting. Good luck Ann Arbor Aviary!

John of Saline

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 2 a.m.

1. Will you give it a try? 2. If so, will there be pictures for


Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 12:58 p.m.

I think it's cool to have a facility like this around here. Sounds like a fun way to move and exercise, perfect for that grown-up kid who wanted to join the circus when he was young. Good luck to the Aviary.


Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 10:01 a.m.

(Posted 1 minutes ago) ????

Susan Montgomery

Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 1:38 p.m.

Kyle, I think she might be referring to the plural in minutes...

Kyle Mattson

Sun, Mar 24, 2013 : 1:35 p.m.

Indeed, Arieswoman, there's one benefit of being an early bird, you're first to some of the newest headlines of the day!