Love at First Flight

"From the time I was 4, tight-rope walking and becoming a ballerina were on my list of “dreams to be”. So, when the opportunity to try aerial dance came along, I was elated; after all, it seemed to combine the beauty of ballet with the thrill and balance of the high wire! Entering the studio was enchanting. Feeling the way my weight shifted as I pulled myself to standing and shaped my body against the trapeze bar and the ropes, touching the silks and climbing against the give and take of their fluidity and strength—it was love at first flight! And I haven’t doubted my love for it since.

I have struggled to learn new moves, to challenge my body and mind in flexibility, imagination, and persistence, but always with resulting growth. Aerial dance is an expression of grace, of beauty, of learning that the work to achieve the goal is sometimes as important and beautiful as the goal itself. My body and the dance in communication with the silks and trapeze can be my words when I don’t have the voice or know the words to say. It is an exercise in trust of self, others, and the world around us. We may not defy gravity or break the laws of physics in aerial dance, but we internalize the principles of each in some way that makes it feel as though we have wings, as though, for a little while we can stretch them to fly."


Rachel Veal | Aerial Student since May 2013