Lani Corson. Photo by Royce Burgess, courtesy of Corson

Aerial work is growing in popularity in the dance world these days. Don't believe us? Check out this Dance Magazine article! If you're a studio owner who didn't grow up with aerial training (let's face it, how many of us really did?), then you may be feeling a little apprehensive about what to look for when bringing on a new aerialist faculty member. You know exactly what you want from your ballet teachers, your jazz teachers, your tap teachers, heck—even your tumbling teachers! Aerial, however, is a whole other ballgame.

To help you feel confident you're bringing in a teacher who is safe for your dancers, we sat down with Lani Corson, NYC aerialist, circus performer, adjunct professor at Pace University and teacher at Aerial Arts NYC, to get the inside scoop on exactly what you should be looking for.


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You may already be familiar with Bandaloop’s gravity-defying vertical dance. After all, their 2000 performance, Luminescent Flights, set on a rock face in Yosemite, launched Wolf Trap’s Face of America Series, which commissions artists to perform in National Parks. But you’ve never seen it like this.

Thanks to this new GoPro video, you can get a dancer’s-eye view of the experience of using the wall…as your floor. Bandaloop founder Amelia Rudolph and company dancer Roel Seeber rapelled out a window to perform a duet on the outside wall of Oakland, California’s City Hall as part of the Art + Soul Festival. From below, the performance looks weightless and peaceful, like the dancers are moving through water. A GoPro camera mounted on Rudolph, however, reveals the heart-pounding experience of performing vertical dance. The wind is whipping, harness ropes are flying and it’s hard to tell which way it up. But don’t worry—these fearless dancers seem to be enjoying themselves.

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