Posted by Tricia Sharp
When Stephanie Hamilton, President of the Anacortes Noon Rotary Club, heard about our very own Brianna Hackler, local Aerial Artist, she was curious about having her come in to do a program for her club.  "No one will care,” she said. "It'll be fun!" she said. "It will be good for them,” she said... 
Brianna asked, "So your club is open-minded to New-Age Aerobics and Aerial Training?" Stephanie responded, "They need to be! It will be good for them and fun; how's October 16th?" With a little hesitation Brianna agreed. Thinking about her journey and how far she has come within the Aerial Arts community, Brianna decided to call upon her own Rotary for support. 
So one morning, as her Happy Buck, Brianna desperately called upon her fellow Rotarians for good vibes. It's one thing to demonstrate how to pole-swing with people you have gotten to know and trust since joining Rotary; but to go into just any ol' Rotary club and show them how to swing around a pole might be a little intimidating. It takes a tribe. A group of people that have your back to let you know, "You got this! We're here for you!" and to help de-awkwa-fy (Tricia's vocabulary meaning: make the situation NOT awkward)
Mid-afternoon, everything seemed to be going smoothly; Brianna showed some videos, educated about the different Aerial Arts and then led some volunteers to try out the 9' chrome pole she set up in the middle of the room. "Try to hold yourself up." she explained to Tim Garrison, as he slowly slid down the pole and realized he had zero upper body strength. "It really makes you realize what muscles we don't use—it's great for toning and strength building," Brianna continued. Then after moving on to Mark Wenzel and Peggy Flinn (who did an amazing job pirouetting around the pole) the pants came off! That's right, Brianna needed bare legs so they can stick to the pole as she climbed up. That's when the majority of the cameras came out. 
"Sir, please put your camera away... sir... Sir!"
Even with all eyes on her, Brianna never skipped a beat. She twirled around that pole effortlessly and did some amazing stunts. The crowd was in awe. At one point, she looked like a ballerina spinning on top of a jewelry box.  To see it in person was amazing, brave and powerful. Inspiring actually. We felt so proud of our friend and fellow Rotarian. Everyone at the noon club was very open and accepting of the Aerial Arts program, and I think they left thinking "What else are they doing over there at the morning club?" I guess they'll just have to come check us out! 
It's amazing what we can accomplish when hearts and minds work together. See how leaders from countries, cultures, and occupations around the world are taking action — to enhance health, empower youth, promote peace, and improve their community. Join leaders at Fidalgo Island Rotary - the FUN Club!
For more information about Bellingham's Aerial Arts visit Bellingham Circus Guild.
For more photos of the Noon Club Aerial Arts program CLICK HERE.