Falling through fabric

Students perform aerial arts

Julia Wolfe, Staffer

For almost five years, freshman Remi Aylesworth has been performing in aerial arts, a form of dance where the performer uses scarf-like fabric to dance, hang in the air and fall in rhythm. According to Aylesworth, the art form has had a major impact on her daily life.   

“I really, really love aerial arts,” Aylesworth said. “It’s kind of what I look forward to every week. It’s so much fun, and I think just being in the air is such a crazy feeling.”   

Aerial art originated in the beginning of the 1960s in the French circus. Now, it’s a growing activity in America that recently started having competitions. The practices and tricks involved in the art form are important according to Aylesworth.  

“It’s kind of just muscle memory,” Aylesworth said. “You can’t think about it too much because if you do, you’re not going to do it right. You kind of just have to get whatever move you’re doing down, and then you execute. There’s no overthinking, you just move.”  

Aylesworth, along with sophomores Emma Zientara and Sofi Thomas, perform at New Level Dance Company. Together they perform in level four out of the four possible classes at their studio.   

“You’re there every week, sometimes twice a week, and I think you make such good friends,” Aylesworth said. “The people in my class, we’re all very close. It’s just so much fun because we’ve been through our best and worst with each other, so we’re very close.”  

Besides competitions, thperformers also have a recital every year in June, where people come and watch them.   

“There’s dramatic music and we do drops and cool tricks,” Thomas said. “It’s really fun for the audience to watch, and it feels almost like you’re flying.” 

The sport itself has been said by Zientara to be long and strenuous work, but very rewarding. Each girl works twice a week, for hours at a time.  

“There’s lots and lots of pain,” Zientara said. “But when you get something it feels really good because you feel really accomplished.”  

When Zientara started performing in aerial arts, she didn’t start her experience at New Level. Since she started using New Level though, Zientara explained that she’s become friends with everyone there and is having an amazing experience.   

“I was looking at new studios because I was leaving the one that I was at, and my friend saw this class that we didn’t have at the old studio,” Zientara said. “We tried it and just fell in love with it.”  

Now, the performers spend several days a week practicing, falling and getting back up. While they’ve found it hard work, the girls say they enjoy what they do and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.   

“Falling is a lot more fun than you’d think it would be,” Aylesworth said.