What is Aerial?
Aerial arts encompass a broad range of acrobatic, yogic and dance movements on a suite of aerial appratus hanging from either fixed or movable rig points, at varying heights. The apparatus our club currently train on include the Aerial Hoop (aka Lyra), Aerial Silks (aka Tissu) and Aerial Rope (aka Corde Lisse).
Club Times and location
As a club, we practice most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays ~6-8pm. We have two rigs up in the Clay Factory on campus (up the hill, behind the PIs' housing). After your first try-out/attendance, we will add you to our messenger group, where we confirm practise times, share pictures, plan lift sharing, etc. One of our members has also kindly offered to start an instagram account for the group, @oist_aerialists, feel free to follow it and submit your pictures!
Cautions about clay factory: there are no toilets or safe drinking water. Please use the toilet prior going up to building (otherwise you will have to use the bush), and bring your own water. It is not a child-friendly space as it is also being used as a wood-workshop and storage space. The clay factory gets really hot in summer so always bring water, towel and a mosquito repellent spray.
Dress code is sportswear/gymwear. We recommend leggings rather than shorts, and sleeves rather than sleeveless, to protect your skin. No jewellery.
We ask members to bring ¥150 to every practise they attend, as part of a general equipment-upkeep piggy bank. Club managers may ask members once every few months to contribute as group to get certain supplies or replace equipment. It's always voluntary though, you contribute if you can.
Teaching and Safety
The style of the group is "open source" or "community teaching". The group club managers will teach you some basics and foundations at first, but as with the nature of circus arts in general, everyone develops diversely based on their own skills/backgrounds/pace. While we train as a group, we also train independently (using books, and the wealth of youtube and instagram tutorials available online), which means you are responsible for your own safety and progress, and you help to spot/teach others what you know, as surely the others in the group will do the same for you.
You will see we have all varieties and levels at the club. Aerial/Cirque is all about embracing all bodies and abilities and skillsets.
Everyone who signs up for the club is asked to fill in a liability form exempting OIST and the club managers from liability in case of injury or death sustained at practise.
The OIST Aerial Skills club has been running since 2017. Started by 2 people with a single aerial rig and lycra silks, the club has expanded to include 2 aerial rigs (kindly installed by volunteers from OIST BFM), 3 aerial silks, 2 lyras and recently, a corde lisse. Over the last 5 years, we've had over 30 members from the OIST community come and go, maintaining a more or less constant core group of 6-10 members. We've had several collaborations with clubs outside OIST (Connect Gym Okinawa, Ue Mai's School of Hip Hop Dance, Night of Dance) and at least 5 of our club members have performed outside of OIST at local Okinawan dance showcases and nightclubs. Some have even featured in a documentary and starred in a local dance film!