There is a certain allure and mystique to the circus that most people can only experience by watching contortionists and trapeze artists twirl and glide from the sidelines. Though everyone has that visceral desire for the talent and strength to swing from hanging apparatuses when they see Cirque Du Solile, few have the freedom or moxie to sign up for life as a circus performer.---
Aerial Arts of Utah takes the unattainable out of ethereal circus acts and brings the skill of rope climbing or partner acrobatics to a level accessible to the average Joe. The company, which is having a two-year anniversary open-house this Saturday, offers instruction and performance on aerial fabrics, trapeze and a slew of other gravity-defying exercises to satisfy the inner acrobat in everyone.
“Our classes are really diverse,” says Elizabeth Stich, Aerial Arts of Utah's artistic director. “We have everyone from children to people in their 60s and 70s, and a variety of sizes and flexibility. Our basic class is accessible to everyone.”
Hanging upside-down from a hoop in midair can be intimidating to our vertical species, but Utah Aerial Arts has a variety of qualified instructors who will hold mini-sample classes at the open house to give curious onlookers an introduction to this aerial art form.
One of the sample classes that will be taught at the open house is fabrics, the act of climbing, twisting, turning, hanging and dropping from a long bolt of fabric that looks like a cross between something Batman and a tropical bird might do. Other sample classes, equally as adventurous and visually beautiful, include trapeze, lyra (which is similar to trapeze, but on a hoop), and acroyoga, a partner form of acrobatics performed on solid ground.
Attendees of the open house will not only get to try their hand at beginning aerial arts, but they will get a glimpse of what is possible after practice and skill building as instructors glide through the air with the greatest of ease. Aerial Arts of Utah's instructors don’t put on just another dog-and-pony show, their performances go a step further than just showing off their amazing gymnastic and athletic dexterity.
“Our approach also emphasizes creative expression and artistry. As many of our instructors, including myself, come from a dance background, we use the different aerial apparatuses as a way to expand our potential to dance in the vertical dimension,” says Stich.
This Saturday’s free open house will be held from 1-5 p.m. at the Aerial Arts of Utah studio at 1301 E. Miller Ave. (3128 S.) in Salt Lake City. Utah Aerial Arts will also hold a two-year-anniversary fundraiser gala the following Saturday, May 12, at 7 p.m. to raise funds for new equipment to broaden the spectrum of circus-inspired and vertical-dance classes and performances offered. For more information, please visit AerialArtsOfUtah.com.