Aerial Fitness: Revolutionizing Exercise and Empowering Women

By Zoë Dunning

Amina Ricca, owner of Aerial Fitness, welcomed me into her partially finished studio. Other instructors and workers bustled about in preparation of their open house that afternoon, on November 11, when they would be demonstrating with silks and hoops to interested attendees. Although Amina had hoped that they would be open sooner, they were delayed by the city. They now expect to be open before the end of the year.

Aerial Fitness is a fitness studio that is coming into the Red Bridge Shopping Center for women ages 17 and up. It is divided into two parts, Silks & Pole and Mariposa Juice Bar, each of which has its own separate entrance.

Mariposa Juice Bar serves healthy raw fruit juices with detox and anti-inflammatory properties. The juices are green-or citrus-based, and customers will have the option to add ginger and/or turmeric to enhance the health properties and to meet their individual health and weight loss goals.

Two hoops used for lyra, a purple twin tail silk, and a black hammock silk.

Silks & Pole is the fitness studio component that offers classes for pole, silks, aerial yoga, aerial pilates, bungee, lyra, dances in heels, chair work, floor work, Zumba, Caribbean dance, Bachata (a popular form of dance in the Dominican Republic), and strength and conditioning.

When Amina moved to Kansas City, she brought her experience with these types of exercises with her. She worked in pharmaceutics before she decided to take her passion for dance and exercise up a notch by opening her own fitness studio. “[We are] a fitness center that tests vertical limits. We are a sisterhood and a place to be yourself,” Amina says. Her goal is to get women away from the old workout gym model to do fun, unconventional dance and exercise. “Women should feel comfortable with their bodies and working out. They should feel sexy and strong!”

The studio includes a main classroom floor, two private studios, an assessment studio, and a locker room. Floor-length curtains are drawn closed during an ongoing class for privacy.

As the name Silks & Pole suggests, the studio primarily offers aerial and pole classes. The pole is for strengthening, conditioning, and vertical flexibility, and includes pole dancing. Aerial classes include aerial/antigravity yoga, aerial pilates, silks dancing, lyra, and bungee.

Once classes start, Amina says that only high heels or bare feet will be allowed on the floors. “I find that high heels actually help with the fluency of the dance moves, in addition to forcing your toes to point the entire time, which works your legs out more.” Comfortable exercise clothes that allow lots of flexibility and range-of-motion are ideal. Silks & Pole will sell sports bras, tops, yoga pants, high heels, and more at the front desk.

Aerial Fitness is located in the Red Bridge Shopping Center at 508 East 112th Street, KC, MO 64131. Visit for more information about classes. To contact Amina, email her at or call (816) 694-4707. For employment opportunities with Silks & Pole and/or Mariposa Juice Bar, visit to download an application and send to

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