It’s the kind of joke that pops up often online.
So Katrina Diaz sees a lot of friends share this playful lament about the responsibilities of growing up: “I just want to stop being an adult and run away with the circus.”
“That’s literally what I did,” Diaz said.
At least one version of the circus.
It happened about five years ago, when adulthood was taking its toll.
Diaz was exhausted from her busy work at the company, which came with a schedule that left little time for her husband and young daughter. When she took the time to work out, it was like another thing on her to-do list.
“I was looking for a therapy release for myself,” she said.
Diaz entered her first aerial class, the kind that involves training while suspended in the air.
“It took over my whole life very quickly,” she said. “I just fell in love with it.”
It was way more exciting than an hour on the elliptical machine.
“I could go disconnect from reality for an hour,” Diaz said. “It’s this crazy full-body workout without feeling like it was a full-body workout.”
Soon, she began to call this weekly class her “Thursday Therapy.” She enrolled in other courses. She began to replace some teachers. Soon she quit her job at the company. She taught full time.
“It sparked a new obsession for me,” Diaz said.
Since then, it has gone up a notch.
In January, Diaz opened his own aerial studio called Urban Cirque.
The studio, offering several types of classes, is located near the intersection of Platte Avenue and Powers Boulevard.
His place joins a small, growing airline community in Colorado Springs. Studios like Pole Revolution and Springs Dance offer aerial classes. During the Meadowgrasss Music Festival in 2021, aerials performed with live music in the background. Downtown locations such as La Burla Bee and CO.ATI host artists.
“Over the past few years, it’s become more accessible,” Diaz said. “People are looking for new and exciting ways to have fun and challenge themselves.”
For beginners, this type of activity can certainly be difficult. And intimidating.
“It’s quite common for people who walk through the door to be unsure and think they can’t make it,” she said. “When they leave, they just can’t wait to come back.”
This is how Diaz felt, which she often reminds her students of.
“I did everything wrong at first,” she said. “It took me 100 times to do something right.”
She likes to see this happen for others.
“I really enjoy helping others achieve what they are capable of,” she said. “We can really surprise ourselves.
Urban Cirque classes provide opportunities for this, with options for beginners and intermediates.
The lineup also includes “Circus Bootcamp” and a class for “teenagers who dream of joining the circus one day.”
“I think it’s something special about us,” she said. “We are the place any beginner can go.”
Diaz’s classes often include her 13-year-old daughter. Aerial brought them closer.
“It’s a fun escape,” Diaz said. “It shows you that you are capable of doing things that you never thought you could do.”
She hopes to show it to others too.