Twisting and turning with the aerial silks

AIRBORNE: Two of the 20 aerial gymnasts that will fly through the air at this weekend's end-of-year showcase for the Moss Vale Aerial Silks. Photo: Charli Shield.
AIRBORNE: Two of the 20 aerial gymnasts that will fly through the air at this weekend's end-of-year showcase for the Moss Vale Aerial Silks. Photo: Charli Shield.

A group of 20 “strong and fearless” aerial gymnasts, who have spent most of the year working up to their final performance, are set to grace the stage this weekend. 

The Moss Vale Aerial Silks end-of-year showcase is themed ‘African animals’.

It will feature aerialists playing giraffes, zebras, monkeys, leopards, lions and snakes, while twisting and turning through the air. 

Each of the gymnasts, who range in age from 10 to 40, will do more than one performance on the hoola hoop and the long, colourful silks that are strung from the ceiling, as well as some acrobatics. 

Moss Vale Aerial Silks owner and instructor Cassie Tate said the team had trained every Monday for one hour in the lead up to the event, as well as some weekend sessions before the show.

She said the art of aerial silks involves skills in strength, flexibility, balance and musicality.

“It’s a fusion of gymnastics, acrobatics and aerialism.” she said. 

Ms Tate, who started in the industry six years ago at Circus Monoxide in Wollongong, said some of her students have backgrounds in gymnastics and dancing, but many arrive with no prior skill set. 

“It’s easier for some kids than others. 

“Most have been with me for a couple of years now.

“But I’ve had two new starters halfway though the year and they’ve done an excellent job to keep up with everyone.

And although getting up on the silks is often “a big learning curve”, the aerial silks teacher said “all you need is a good attitude and dedication.”

“When I watch the girls [I see] they are fearless.

“They are very strong – they use their entire body up on the silks. It shows their strength and athleticism. 

“It’s pretty exhilarating to watch them flying through the air.”

Ms Tate has choreographed the entire show for the fourth year in a row, after establishing the Moss Vale Aerial Silks five years ago. 

The performance will run from 2pm to 4pm (with an interval) on Sunday, December 10 at the gymnastics building at the Moss Vale Showgrounds. 

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children, available on the door. Refreshments are on offer and there are prizes to be won in the raffle, drawn on the night.