Hang on!


Julyana Ayache

Dasher began pursuing her extraordinary talent of Aerial Silks 8 years ago while in 3rd grade. She attends the Rock Climbing Gym, Escalade, 3 to 4 days a week in 1 hour practices. Dasher plans to further develop her skills by traveling and experiencing new places to perform, inspiring young learners to take on the challenge.

Julyana Ayache, Reporter, Photographer

Aerial silks—a whimsical talent, not usually found, but often admired— captures the attention of any audience as these performers show off their flexibility with tricks on loose fabric or ribbons suspended from the ceiling.  A skill and talent out of the ordinary, two sophomores, Aydin Dasher and Kelly Waldron, possess this unique talent replicating eye-opening stunts, and sharing their special hobby.

Dasher’s first introduction to aerial silks began eight years ago; she attended Escalade, a rock climbing gym, and the silk curtains caught her eye. As an instructor noticed Dasher’s attention towards the practice, she asked the newly impressed 3rd grader if she would like to try out a couple simple moves, and Dasher quickly agreed.  The instructor immediately complimented Dasher on her form and mentioned that she carried a natural ability.

As Dasher mentioned the idea of taking classes to her parents for such an uncommon practice, they soon encouraged Dasher to further her ability into it after learning more about the activity.   

Practicing for this newly found skill does not come with ease. Dasher mentioned that she struggled to achieve enough upper body strength and endurance needed to maintain balance on curtains at first.

The Drops stand out to Dasher when practicing aerial silks. Described as a form of free fall, drops consist of rolling up before letting go into a new pose. Through Dasher’s progress in eight years, aerial silks has helped her increase upper body strength and flexibility.

Not only do aerial silks benefit Dasher physically, but it also benefits her mentally.

“Aerial silks has definitely helped me with my stress, because if I’m ever stressed from school or something, I have silks at my house, and I just go and practice on them. I consider it to be like my happy place,” Dasher said.  

Although aerial silks occupies three to four days of Dasher’s week with one hour practices, she manages to participate in other extracurriculars as well. She runs Cross Country in the fall and plays Lacrosse in the spring.

Dasher plans to further her goals in aerial silks and keep it as an ongoing skill and ability through her years. In the future, Dasher hopes to pass on her one of a kind passion to younger kids and inspire them to take on the amusing performance.

“I plan to keep doing it [aerial silks] when I’m older too because I want to travel. I know one of my old instructors traveled and brings her silks everywhere. At every state sign, she’ll hang the silk there and get a picture of her in front of a sign, and that’s what i want to do,” Dasher said.

Sophomore Kelly Waldron also practices this unique art. Waldron first became inspired about four years ago, and her parents supported her idea with the thought of this as something new, unique, and entertaining. As Waldron began attending her own practices, she fell in love with the performance.

“Aerial silks has definitely helped me be more confident with myself and a lot more social because I get to meet new people that come to the gym, and I get to teach some people sometimes. It’s just really nice getting to interact with new people everyday,” Waldron said.

When she first started out, her coach told her she was a natural with the curtains, and with Waldron’s natural flexibility, the new skill became more convenient for her. Like Dasher, Waldron considers building up strength and endurance as a challenge when beginning the new skill.

“I did have a lot of trouble with strength, especially in my shoulders, because I’m double jointed, and since I’m double jointed, my shoulders dislocate, so it makes it a lot harder. I have to make sure I’m working out and doing push-ups and stuff like that,” Waldron said.

Waldron plans to teach others when she progresses, and she plans to keep doing what makes her happy and what she enjoys.

“One of my favorite things about aerial silks is getting to show people what I learn and their reactions of what I do in the air—it’s really entertaining,” Waldron said.

A talent not widely expected, two students at NC make the dream of dancing in the air a reality. Impressive moves predominately demonstrated by circus performers have been acquired by two young, everyday students, making their performances unforgettable.