Aerial dance defies gravity

“It feels like I am five years old again!” said Karen Dade, owner of Aerial Arts of Bozeman, as she spun through the air. Co-owner Galen Eldrige stood nearby, looking just as excited as Dade. New to aerial arts? So was I, but apparently this new trend has been taking off around the Bozeman area.

Aerial dance is a subgenre of modern dance first recognized in the United States in 1970. This dance involves an apparatus that attaches to the ceiling, allowing performers to defy gravity and swing their bodies freely through the air. Described both as an artform and an active sport, aerial dance is fit for participants of all ages.

Aerial Arts opened in Bozeman just over a year ago, in November 2014. Dade and Eldrige were eager to bring the artform to Bozeman after attending classes in both Salt Lake and Seattle. Eldridge was drawn to the art form mainly for the athletic purpose: “This is a very creative sport it takes a lot of strength, balance and coordination,” said Eldridge. “But it is also a lot of fun to see the progress you can make as you continue to return.”

Dade was drawn to aerial dance as a fun new way to stay in shape. With a long background in ballet, Dade was trying to find a way to mix up her workouts after ballet’s impact on her feet and heels. Taking to the air can make the workout easier on the body, easing pressure on joints and high impact parts of the body. Proponents of aerial dance also believe it is beneficial in relieving stress and increasing flexibility.

“I cannot express enough how much fun aerial dance is,” said MSU student Sarah Lutz. “I really had no experience at all doing this but I tried it and just fell in love. It doesn’t feel like a workout at all, I actually see it more as a very beautiful artform. The colors of the apparatuses are gorgeous while they swirl around your body, magical really!”

The studio offers weekly classes with a special drop in rate of $15 available to MSU students. The schedule can be seen on their website and on ther Facebook page at