Aerial Candy Puts the Fly In Dance

Can you give us a little introduction into what “aerial” is?

The definition of aerial in the dictionary is: “existing, happening or operating in the air.” Aerial dance is a form of dance that incorporates a hanging apparatus — usually from a ceiling — that allows a dancer to explore their space in three dimensions.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Candace Cantu and I am the founder of Aerial Candy (aerial dance studio located in Takoma Park, Maryland) and Candescent (a circus based entertainment service). I’ve spent the last decade educating myself in yoga, pole, and circus arts. I have over 7 certifications related to these styles of dance and when I can, I take classes at the local community college in anatomy and physiology.

Was performance or dance something you’ve always wanted to do or was that a byproduct of your getting into aerial?

I think it’s always been something I’ve been interested in. I remember always “putting on plays” as a child and dancing around the house, doing flexibility and tumbling that I had learned on the playground. I had no formal dance training until I was in my 20s. I started working for Zhantra Entertainment around 26 and in a show at 27 which exposed me to aerials.

Now tell us a bit about Aerial Candy; what it is what you offer and the whole nine.

Aerial Candy is a circus style dance studio that does aerials (no tumbling, etc.). We specialize in aerial silks and lyra, but also offer a variety of different apparatus in our open gyms (mini-cube, flying pole, sphere, or straps).

We are NOT an aerial yoga class. The mission statement of Aerial Candy is to make circus accessible to the modern person of all sizes, shapes, genders, and ages! And in an all-in exclusive experience that everyone can take part in and enjoy the health and exercise benefits of this beautiful circus art.

 

How in shape does one have to be in order to perform aerial? From the looks of it, you can’t be a slacker on fitness and be good at it.

People are often intimated by the idea of aerials, but you can start at any age and fitness level! We even offer children’s workshops about once a month. At Aerial Candy we design our intro to silks classes so that silks are accessible to everyone of all fitness levels!

What’s been one of the most interesting events you and/or your team have had to perform at?

This year our studio wanted to do something special for our big annual student showcase, so we decided to put together a fundraiser! We successfully raised $5,000 for House of Ruth Washington D.C. which aids women and children and even some men who are victims of domestic violence.

What are some different elements aerial is performed on or with? Is it things like, silks, poles or chains?

We have a lot of different aerial apparatuses. We mainly just teach aerial silks and lyra, but we also have a flying pole, chains, a mini cube, aerial net, and others for more advanced students in our open gyms.

Are classes pretty popular? Seems that they would be!

Our most popular class is the intro to silks class! It has a tendency to sell out so I would recommend signing up early!

If readers were interested in getting into aerial, at your studio or others, what classes would you suggest they start their training/learning with?

I would suggest that they try one of the intro classes. The intro to silks or the intro to aerial hoop allows them to learn the basics and get acquainted with the apparatus and dance style!

The intro classes also help you build the muscles needed for more advanced movements in higher level classes. They can find us online at www.aerialcandyfit.com and on Instagram @aerial.candy!

Candy Cantu (kneeled center), Owner of Aerial Candy

Photography credit: Kevin Brookes | Studio Brookes


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