Move N Soar is a fitness, dance and aerial arts studio that opened in September 2013 offering a variety of specialized fitness programs. Located in Market Mall, it is also the first Antigravity studio to open in Saskatchewan and the only place that offers Antigravity training in all of Canada.
“Antigravity is basically making yoga accessible to all. You use a hammock that stretches out to ten feet long. We have a big apparatus so we have 20 hammocks,” said co-owner Kelly Duncalfe-Baker.
The format allows people to go deeper into yoga poses and try things that they wouldn’t normally be capable of on land because the hammock fully supports your body weight.
Duncalfe-Baker first encountered Antigravity in Thailand while completing a month-long training course. Move N Soar offers Antigravity Restorative, which places the hammock one foot off the ground, and Antigravity Fundamentals, which has the hammock at hip-height. The hammock allows for simple inversions while incorporating elements of pilates, calisthenics and dance.
There are huge health benefits to Antigravity including core strength, increased muscular flexibility and the decompression of the spine because the hammock is there to support the movements and reduce impact.
“Doing sit-ups in a hammock when you’re teeter-tottering is unbelievably hard,” said Duncalfe-Baker.
Originally Antigravity was used by professional gymnasts but Move N Soar has made it accessible to everyone.
“A lot of people meet [Antigravity] with fear because of the thought of being off the ground. There are different levels for those people who are afraid of heights,” Duncalfe-Baker said.
In addition to fitness training, Duncalfe-Baker received instruction as a dancer at La Danse School of Dance in Saskatoon. She then attended the Royal Winnipeg Ballet for four years, the Alberta Ballet Company for two years, the Sheridan College of Performing Arts in Ontario and spent seven years dancing professionally on cruise ships.
After dancing professionally, Duncalfe-Baker heard about Zumba and became a certified instructor. She was the first person to implement Zumba in the city.
Zumba is a dance-based fitness class that uses both music and movement inspired by various styles of Latin American dance.
“People didn’t have a clue what [Zumba] was,” Duncalfe-Baker said. “They were calling it Zamba, Zinga — no one could even pronounce it, and so I started doing free demos everywhere.”
“At the beginning everyone was like, ‘I don’t dance!’ so once we got over that stigma, the more people tried it, the more they came and it wasn’t just dancers. It’s dance-based, but it’s more of a fun workout,” she said.
Duncalfe-Baker soon began teaching Zumba classes at Motion Fitness, the University of Saskatchewan, YMCA, YWCA and running her own classes as well.
After organizing a fitness business through rented space, Duncalfe-Baker decided that she wanted to have it all in one location. That’s when she was joined by partner Yuki Miyaoka Block and the two opened Move N Soar this past fall.
Duncalfe-Baker said her dance training has played a huge role in her career.
“Dance helps with my classes, it lets me do my own choreography for Zumba and it’s about performing too.”
Move N Soar offers different programs in Zumba, conditioning, yoga, Aerial Hoop, Aerial Silk and Booty Barre. Alternate fitness like this makes certain art forms more focused and available to a wider audience.
“Aerial Silk uses 18 feet of material. You learn conditioning, you learn to climb it,” Duncalfe-Baker said. “It’s basically taking Cirque du Soleil and making it accessible to everyone.”
Booty Barre is a standard ballet class with a modern twist for those who have always wanted to try other dance forms.
“It’s less disciplined than a traditional ballet class. The same moves are used to popular music with the addition of weights, resistance bands and balls,” Duncalfe-Baker said. “It’s very modern ballet.”
Move N Soar focuses on keeping their training and certification top-notch, often sending instructors to complete training outside of Canada.
“Between Yuki and I, we’ve trained in Canada, the USA, Australia, Thailand and in Europe. We’re always staying on top of fitness trends and always looking at new certifications,” Duncalfe-Baker said. “Our training is very extensive and I think when you’re dealing with peoples’ bodies it should be.”
Visit Move N Soar in Market Mall at 2325 Preston Ave. South and check out movensoar.com or their Facebook page for more information on classes, scheduling and upcoming events.
Naomi Zurevinski / Culture Editor