Why programs like aerial acrobatics are so critical | Editorial

Why programs like aerial acrobatics are so critical | Editorial

Aerial acrobatics are a superhuman feat.

To see performers swinging high in the air on fabric, hoops or trapeze is thrilling and awe-inspiring. And when you are watching children and adults from your own community, it’s even more special.

As an audience member of Island Aerial Acrobatics’ show “Connected” in March, I was deeply moved by the power, strength and grace of the artists. It was wonderful to see young men and women stand tall and proud as they shared their gift of movement. At an age where life can feel overwhelming and confusing, founder Maria Bullock and her instructors are offering our young community members a chance to channel their emotion, work towards a goal and make a connection between mind, body and spirit. And that growth isn’t reserved for the teenage students. There are adult acrobatic dancers who have put in hours upon hours of practice to soar with incredible strength.

The performance was just a taste of what the program offers. There were 120 students from ages one and up in the most recent session of classes. From “mommy and me” to a men’s group, there is something for everyone.

We are relieved that the silks program and Orcas Center have come to an agreement on the rental cost and schedule for 2019. It would be a major loss to this community if Island Aerial Acrobatics died. We hope the center will continue to welcome such vital community endeavors.

And when the future of silks was unclear, we came out in droves to raise $6,000 for the “Connected” production. Thank you, Orcas, for valuing the power of this kind of expression.

This year also marked Bullock’s last year as full-time teacher and director. We thank her for opening the door of aerial dance to our community. The effects of her work will be felt for years to come.