365 New Orleans: Gravity Defying Fitness

Lower Garden District


365 New Orleans is focused on local artists and businesses. Every single day, for one year, a new person or place will be highlighted. Follow along on Instagram: @365NewOrleans 


A retired aerial artist, Lorelei, started taking movement classes with Martha Graham dancer Willa Shulman in 1969 at age 4.  A career in dance, both modern and jazz, lead to aerial dance and then to circus with a few breaks for injuries in between. After retiring from performing, Lorelei founded Gravity Defying Fitness, the first Aerial Fitness studio in the country.

Lorelei is proud to have been coached in the air by Eat Cake founder Lauren Steiner,  static trapeze, single point trapeze and roman rings by Elena Panova, on Tissu by Amanda Star Kelly and in character by Dominique Jando and Jeff Razz. Lorelei has performed in a variety of venues – theatres, nightclubs, museums and office buildings for a diverse array of causes (from Blue Water Network to Queeruption) and a multitude of troupes large and small (from Circus Finelli to Velocity Circus).

In 2001 Lorelei began as an instructing assistant for introductory static trapeze at the San Francisco Circus Center. By the 2003 she was teaching aerial conditioning, intro to aerial skills and static trapeze. In 2006 she began coaching choreography to aerialists developing their own acts. Moving to NYC in 2007, Lorelei received training from Radu at Radu Physical Culture in the Radu method, as well as receiving NASM CPT certification. In 2008 she added Kettlebell Concepts training to her repetoire, in 2009 TRX certification and in 2017 AFAA.

At 53, Lorelei is enjoying life in New Orleans as well as fitness equally in her adopted home.

1. What products and services do you offer? 

I use circus apparatus and training techniques to get people fit. This developed from teaching at circus school in California.

My clients range in age from their 20s to their 60s. Plenty of my students are afraid of heights as well – they chose to fight through their fear while getting fit.

Defy you age. Defy your fear. Defy your expectations.


2. How long have you been in business? 

I’ve been teaching since 2001 and have been teaching here since 2008.


3. How do people find you online? 

gravitydefyingfit.com, Facebook, and Instagram @gravitydefyingfitness


4. What is lesser known about your business that you wish more people knew? 

You don’t need any experience to start this training! I have worked with people that were completely new to fitness. All you need is a willingness to try!


5. Lagniappe Info. 

All sessions are one on one. It’s much safer this way and you get the attention you deserve.

Working around injuries is definitely in my wheelhouse.

I am also a certified personal trainer if you’re interested in more traditional workouts. this way if you’re a little nervous about starting the aerial portion – you can get to know me and we can ease into that.


If you’re ready to take your fitness into the air, email Lorelei at lorelei@gravitydefyingfit.com


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365 New Orleans

365 New Orleans was created by New Orleans real estate agent, Leslie Heindel. To contact Leslie about buying, selling, or renting a home - please input your info. She will respond within 24 hours.