When most people think of dancing, they usually imagine dancing with two feet planted firmly on the ground. Not the case for this style!
There is another type of dance that takes place in the air, thanks to the help of silk fabrics, and there is a class offered for this unique type of dance right here at ETSU.
The aerial dance class has been offered to students since 2011 and has been a continuum for both art and exercise.
“This is aerial dance,” instructor Jennifer Kintner said. “So it’s got a history in modern dance, which is very free movement, and we’re taking that idea up into the air and we dance on fabric.”
Aerial dance takes the physics most people associate with dancing on the ground and changes it by having the students dance and balance only on silk fabrics hanging from the ceiling, bringing new levels of a physical challenge for the students.
“Basically I’ve had to build up my arms, core and legs,” student Randi Jakob said.
The aerial dance class is open to anyone who is interested in taking it, whether they have a background in dance or not.
“I joined the class to get a good workout,” student Anna Catlett said. “I’ve been involved with this class for just this semester. I actually did gymnastics a long time ago, and I haven’t done it in a while, so this is kind of like that same stuff…It’s kind of like having to learn that stuff all over again.”
While the class is an interesting and new learning experience, students must also show that they have mastered the basics of aerial dancing.
“This is a class to learn the basics, but I do have to do a performance at the end of the semester for a final,” Jakob said.
Despite the physical challenges brought on by the class, many students enjoy dancing in the air.
“I just like that we are learning new stuff all of the time,” Catlett said. “It’s fun. it’s a good kind of challenging.”
Aerial dance classes are held in Brooks Memorial Gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:15 p.m.