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Aerial Silks at Sunset
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Just Hangin'

Ever wanted to know what it's like to move and dance like an acrobat, suspended in the air and as free as a bird?

Welcome to Fun with Fabrics, an inside look into the world of aerial movement.

Have fun exploring the site and getting an inside look at this mesmerizing movement style!

Aerial Dance

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Practicing for a Halloween-themed aerial dance show, Cheyenne Miller, Julia Nowak, Nikki Pesce and Jamie Relth practice their suspended moves at Levity Academy in San Luis Obispo on Oct. 5. “It’s a form of self expression, and for me it epitomizes strength, grace and beauty wrapped up into one,” co-owner GiGi Penton said. Maya Hampsey, biology freshman at Cuesta College, has practiced aerial dance for six years. The Halloween show will be her first performance since she was hit by a car. She has slowly started practicing again for the past seven months. Hampsey said it was really frustrating because she knew menatlly what her body was capable of, but there were a lot of moves she couldn’t do for some time. Refusing to let a difficult recovery process stop her, Hampsey continues to practice and push herself to the limit. “It’s all about being in tune with your body and listening to your body,” Hampsey said. As the music starts, Cheyenne Miller, Julia Nowak, Nikki Pesce and Jamie Relth dance to their silks to practice their “Clowns” routine. They ran through the piece three or four times throughout the night, while Penton gave shouts of encouragement over the circus-themed song. Aerialist Nikki Pesce kicks off the “Clowns” routine with twirls and squats before starting her aerial moves. Penton applauded Pesce many times on her back bends and flexibility. Pesce taught an aerial class right before practice. “There’s nothing like it. It’s completely unique, using something as innocuous as these silks, hanging from the air,” her student, physics junior Lisa Schwartz, said. Julia Nowak, suspended from a rope, does a full midair split. Nowak, like all of the other aerialists, completed a full stretching routine prior to attempting any aerial moves in order to fully warm up and prevent injury. Adding on to the move, Nowak releases part of the rope, relying on one hand to keep her body suspended. Nowak completes the move with a full spin. “Especially with the more advanced students, we’re all learning together and teaching each other,” Hampsey said. “Anyone can do aerial. It looks intimidating, but you can definitely pick it up.” Cheyenne Miller attended an hour-long aerial class before heading straight into rehearsal for the show. She has also been working on a solo dance piece for the show that she choreographed. Coming out of a move, Miller untangles herself from the silk.
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Inside Scoop

We asked three yogis what they've learned from practicing aerial yoga. Click on the images to hear the answer! (Double-click to pause audio).

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Aerial Yoga

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Aerialist and aerial yoga instructor Lily Quirk talks about what the gift of teaching means to her.

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Perks + More