Newsam Entertainment “Aerial Dance”
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” – Leonardo Da Vinci
Aerial dance is the organic fusion between different forms of movement, both on the ground and in the air. It allows dancers to ascend or descend with the support of various apparatuses.
Unlike traditional dance training, our unique style aims to unite the aerial tricks of circus and yoga with the aesthetic flow of dance. By eliminating the arbitrary separation between ground and air, our style merges the creative and technical aspects of different styles of movement, building an exciting new vocabulary for dance.
The sequences are executed according to the level of participants so everyone will have the opportunity to benefit physically and creatively while exploring various types of devices.
Experience has shown us that in order to create and choreograph in this art form, we must develop our own language. New forms of expression allow both teacher and student to interact with the apparatus, encouraging versatility and efficiency.
We are thrill to share with you our knowledge of various styles of dance, yoga and aerial circus. We hope that you will journey with us as we continue to show you more of this revolutionary style of dance. Stay tuned!
Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.
I have taken classes with both Monica and Graciela Newsam. They are fun and motivating. Monica pushes me to work harder in a friendly environment. I mostly have practiced on silks, but I have spent one or two times working with the lyra (the hoop) and trapeze. Some tricks are easier on the trapeze than the silks and vice versa. It just depends on the type of movement. In this video there are a lot of balances, which we are currently working on in class. This not only takes a lot of core strength but also back strength. When working on more difficult tricks Monica is very careful and has us use mats and spots us in case we make a mistake. Like the video shows, warming up and conditioning throughout the week for aerial dance is necessary. I try to work out and stretch several times per week, but at least once a week to work on my core and upper body strength for endurance. My favorite, but simple, trick I learned is called bird’s nest. It is not featured in the this film, but it can be done on the lyra, trapeze, or silks.
I have had the distinct pleasure of taking Monica’s class at Webster for two semesters come May and besides having a delightful time in the air have picked up on many useful things about dance and how to better employ the facilities of my body to make art, including when to let go of control and take risks.
In the past fall and spring sessions I have come to value the infinite worth of warming up before dance or exercise of any kind. The muscles must literally be warm and flexible in order to perform the rigorous tasks that aerial dance throws your way. Monica’s warmups target each muscle group necessary for holding, pulling, stretching, twisting and gripping (which is often the easiest function to forget before you get up in the air holding a pose). A faster heartbeat requires the mind, while relaxed, to be even more focused on the moves at hand and to aid the body in mind over matter strength.
Floor work before air work is a lovely foundation to build by strengthening your core and helping all your other appendage muscles to stretch with the resistance of gravity and the ground. This strength have served Monica and Graciela well in their endeavors and is the sole reason they can hold the positions you see in the video and also how they gain momentum in all those flips over the trapeze bars.
They understand a lot of work must be laid down before jumping to the aerial work.
Just to begin; children that tell their parents, “I want to run away to join the circus.” have obviously not watched the first half of this video! Aerial is hard work!! It requires extreme cardio and deep strength training. It appears that the most successful aerial dancers are very flexible, lean and STRONG. It is obviously not an art form that comes easily, you really have to put in the work. However, that is one of my favorite parts of it; what you put you into it, you gain. It was exciting to see that some of the positions and movements on the lira were the same as on the silks. Monica and Graciela made them look so easy, even with some a hard apparatus like the lira. Amazing video!!
I love this video! You guys make such a fierce team. I am curious to how this work alters when you have a partner to work with. I loved watching the two of you working together on the trapeze and hoop. I admire how much training it takes to prepare the body to do this work. I know the core and upper body needs a lot of attention, but I can see from the video, that running can also be a wonderful warmup. The drive that both of you have to do this work is very inspiring. I am amazed with how effortless you make it look. I would love to see you both perform together one day!
As one of Monica’s current students, I can attest to how applicable and necessary it is to build a solid foundation of strength and flexibility. When I began taking Monica’s class roughly seven weeks ago, my flexibility greatly exceeded my strength. But after many weeks of exposing myself to the prep-work and training both mentioned and demonstrated in this video, I can honestly say that both my flexibility and my stamina are beginning to work in tandem with the fabric. I now possess the ability to move through combinations and exercises with fluidity and ease.
This rings true for the work we do in class both on and off the fabric. In addition to the physical demands of aerial dance, the art form requires a great deal of mental astuteness and agility. Like any other dance style, the dancer must be able to think ahead in the combination in order to flow from movement to movement gracefully. However, this is especially essential when one is suspended in the air on any type of equipment. The dancer must always be alert in order to ensure his or her safety, especially in tricks where he or she is working farther above the ground.
Overall, the preparation discussed in this video is truly vital to the proper execution of any trick in aerial dance. I find this especially beneficial as a student, because I am able to see and feel my hard work as it comes to fruition when I master a new trick or complete a series correctly.
Monica is an excellent instructor who focuses on teaching her students the fundamentals of aerial in a safe and creative environment. Aerial takes an incredible amount of strength and flexibility, but this video makes it look effortless. I am working with Monica to improve my aerial technique, and I spend time outside of class stretching and working out for conditioning. She recommends that we work on our own so we can come into class ready to work and expand our knowledge. I saw many different apparatuses being used in this video that looked beautiful, and I was intrigued by the use of partners. Doing aerial requires trust in yourself, but also trust in your partner. You both have an incredible relationship that allows you to explore and take your aerial practice further to discover even more about yourself and the art. The understanding of aerial comes with an extreme amount of practice and dedication, and I hope to learn even more through the rest of my semester with Monica.