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Studio introducing aerial dance and circus arts to Sarnia

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Cathy Dobson

If you enjoy heights and love the grace, strength and thrill of Cirque Du Soleil performers, this one might be for you.

A new dance studio is about to open that will be the first in Sarnia-Lambton to offer aerial dance classes.

Allyx Smith
Allyx Smith

Owner and instructor Allyx Smith has a lengthy list of credentials including a degree in dance from the University of Colorado and certifications as a Module 2 acrobatics arts teacher and aerial arts instructor.

At the age of 24, she’s already taught dance for nine years.

On Saturday, June 3, Smith is opening Apex Dance Industry, initially as a temporary studio at 824 Phillip St.

The temporary studio will have aerial silks and aerial Lyra (hoops) suspended from an 18-foot ceiling.  However, a permanent studio with 26-foot ceilings is under construction just across the road and should be ready in October.

Smith said an important component of her new studio is dance competition, so even though the permanent studio isn’t ready she wanted to open this weekend to accommodate competitive company auditions this year.

She grew up in Sarnia, graduated from Northern Collegiate and left for university. She had already been taking ballet lessons for years and began performing in a professional company at age 15.  She spent a summer travelling throughout Europe with Blue Lake Fine Arts of Michigan, and knew she wanted to pursue a career in dance.

While studying at Colorado she was introduced to aerial dance and circus arts.

“I began training with Nancy Smith, owner of Frequent Flyers, who is one of the founders of aerial dance,” said Smith. “Learning to combine circus arts and dancing created a spark that I never had before.

“This is something that I hope Sarnia is going to love just as much as I do, whether through classes, performances or workshops.”

With aerial dance you train like an athlete and perform like an artist, according to Smith.

“It’s all about lifting your own body weight and maneuvering in the apparatus. It’s physically demanding and so much fun,” she said.

Apex Dance Industry will offer aerial classes for anyone six years and older. Children only go as high as their own height and learn how to hold their own weight. The aerial silks they use are knotted at the end for safety.

Beginner classes for adults will involve an extensive warm up and address fitness and artistry aspects of the dance.  Adult aerial dance classes for beginners cost $325 for 10 weeks.

Smith’s new studio is offering Circus Camp for children and young teens this summer priced at $395 (HST included) for five days.

Apex Dance Industry also has a full roster of recreational and competitive dance classes in other styles including hip-hop, jazz, ballet, pointe, tap and contemporary. Children as young as three can sign up for those.

The new studio is partnering with the local YMCA so families that qualify can apply for financial assistance.

Smith has hired her former Sarnia dance teacher, Mo McLeod, to assist with teaching, and will bring in special guests from time to time. Meagan Wegg from Cirque Du Soleil is already booked to teach on Aug. 19.

“Dance is very, very popular in Sarnia,” Smith said.  “I want to offer a completely different experience. My studio will be very strongly competitive but have recreational programs as well.”

An open house is planned on Saturday, June 3 from noon to 5 p.m. with a barbecue, games, dancing, prizes and class registration.

Apex  Dance Industry is located at 824 Phillip St. Details are on Facebook, by visiting ,  or call 519-330-1625.  

Got an interesting business story?  Contact Cathy Dobson at [email protected] or call 226-932-0985.

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