An aerial dancer is a person who enjoys moving and making shapes with his/her/their body utilizing an apparatus suspended in the air. Aerial dance is an acrobatic art. The most common apparatuses dancers utilize are aerial silks, trapeze, lyra (hoop), sling (hammock), and rope. However, there are many more untraditional aerial apparatuses! These include, but are not limited to net, cube, sphere, umbrella, and ladder! Aerial dancers often enjoy creating their own unique aerial apparatuses.
Aerial dance can be performance based or recreational. Cirque du Soleil popularized aerial dance as a performance art. The shows combine the athleticism of aerial dance with the theatrics of performing arts. Many studios, including Aerial Cirque Over Denver offer performance classes and showcases. Recreationally, aerial dance is gaining popularity as a fitness program. For example, there is a strong focus on building core and upper body strength. However, this is done through learning skills and tricks, rather than traditional and repetitive weight-based movements. This makes aerial dance a unique and fun fitness option. Students often comment on how fun aerial dance classes are.
Finally, it’s important to note, aerial dance is for every-body! There is a misconception that people can only do aerial if they are small, flexible, and strong. This is simply untrue! Aerial dance can be done by people of all ages and sizes. We often get asked about weight. Our studio rigging is extremely strong and a single point can support doubles and even triples. In other words, the rigging can handle multiple people, so it can absolutely support a plus sized body. Our aerial beginner classes at Aerial Cirque Over Denver focus on starting with the basics and building from there. For example, in the first class you would learn spinning, flying, and different body positions. A few classes in, you would be introduced to climbing the silks. However, this is a hard skill! You may not be able to climb the silks by the end of a session and that’s ok.
To be an aerial dancer, you don’t need to be able to do a certain trick or look a certain way. You don’t need a straight arm invert or all your splits. An aerial dancer is simply a lover of moving one’s body suspended in the air.