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First-Ever US Aerial Championship Event Comes to NYC, 2/6-8

Aerial artists who do acrobatics body-wrapped in fabrics, perform on metal hula loop-like devices suspended from ceilings and participate in unique aerial pole dancing will take part in the first US Aerial Championships Feb. 6-8, at Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Ave.
Hosted by US Aerial, Inc., the event will promote aerial arts in the US by showcasing professional aerial artists on a professional stage and offering them a platform to use as a springboard for their careers. 45 contestants will participate over 3 days. 15 each day.

"Our goal is to increase public awareness of the accessibility, artistry and athleticism involved in the aerial arts," US Aerial Board Chairperson and founder, Tami Joy Schlichter said. "Another of our goals is to encourage participation in all aspects of aerial arts."
Schlichter, a professional event producer and advocate of the aerial arts, founded US Aerial to help grow the aerial industry in the US.

Professional aerial artists will compete for the title of US Aerial Champion in one of three categories: Aerial silks, Lyra or Pole.

Aerial silk is a form of performance in which artists perform aerial acrobatics while hanging from a special fabric. They climb the suspended fabric without the use of safety lines and rely only on their skill and training to ensure safety. The artists use the fabric to wrap, suspend, fall, swing and spiral their bodies into-and-out of various positions in 20' of fly space.

Lyra (also known as aerial hoop) is a circular steel apparatus resembling a hula hoop. It is suspended from the ceiling on which artists may perform aerial acrobatics -- static, spinning or swinging in 20' of fly space.

Pole combines dance and acrobatics around a pole. Often associated with strip clubs, the perception of pole dancing is changing as a result of competition like the US Aerial Championships. It has gained popularity as a fitness exercise and mainstream entertainment by many enthusiasts in gyms and dance studios. Participants will perform using a 15' static or spin stainless steel pole.

Each aerialist will compete in one category for the title of US Aerial Champion in that category. The top three aerialists in each will be honored with gold, silver and bronze awards and a cash prize. The top winner in each category will be entered to compete this year in the PPSAPT (Pole Paradise Studio Aerial Performance Tournament)in Hong Kong.

The Championships will take place during three shows:Friday, Feb. 6 - Women's Lyra, Men's Silks - 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.Saturday, Feb. 7 - Women's and Men's Pole - 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.Sunday, Feb. 8 - Women's Silks and Men's Lyra - 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. Tickets are $75.00 for each day and can be purchased online here: Flash sale from Jan 6 - 8, save $15 for each day or $75 for all 3 days by entering password: HAPPYNEWYEAR at checkout.

In addition to the competition, each two-hour show will feature performances by dance troupes and circus acts.US Aerial Board members, in addition to Schlichter, are Jen James Martin, who teaches aerial skils at New York's Body & Pole studio and is a dance creator and performer. Elaina Royter is a professional aerialist who has performed throughout the US and internationally the past seven years. She has competed and coached for more than a decade.US Aerial is tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All contributions, that are not in-kind donations, are eligible for charitable deductions.

Photo by Wayne Labat, Happy Dragon Photography

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