While athleticism is a huge part of LSU culture, these athletes take sport to a whole new level– dangling 27 feet in the air, while incorporating artistic elements.
Class consists of lectures, taking notes and power-points for most LSU students, those enrolled in aerial arts spend their class-time suspended in the air performing acrobatic art, supported only by their own grip.
The class is a unique combination of athleticism and artistry, requiring great physical endurance and strength, as well as artistic ability.
To prepare to do these amazing feats, aerialists spend about 15 minutes at the beginning of each class warming up “muscles they didn’t even know they had,” and hours training outside of class.
“There’s something about holding your entire body weight with both hands. you’re not likely to let go," said Aerial Arts professor, Nick Erickson. "That’s the blessing of the work, really, is that even though it’s dangerous and there’s a risk, nobody in their right mind is gonna wanna let go,”
For many students, the class serves as a much-needed break among other coursework.
Fourth-year student and aerial arts teacher’s assistant, Chase Savoie says that while the artform can be dangerous, she loves the challenge of combining athleticism with artistry.
“Since I’m a Biochem major, I’m always in my head, I’m always doing science, I’m always focusing on things, I’m always thinking about stuff," Savoie said. "Aerial silks is a very physical thing, so I always tell people it’s a different kind of stress. I switch stress, I change from being so caught up in my head about everything that i need to do or everything I’m focusing on that day, and get to focus on my body and focus on something I wanna do and create,”
While aerial arts may not be a sport, participants have a chance to summon the strength of a sportsman and incorporate their own creativity– all while trying not to fall from great heights.