May 3, 2020 Student Highlight: Ursula Cortez
Hi, my name is Ursula Cortez.
How did you learn about aerial arts?
When I was in the first grade I wanted to start a sport or a hobby, and while my mom was searching the internet she came across aerial classes for kids.

When did you start taking classes?
I started my aerial lessons in the first grade. When I was 10 I went to a Cirque du Soleil show, O in Las Vegas, and that was the first time I saw contortionists. I was fascinated. I tried doing contortion on my own, but my mom didn’t think that was safe so she found a proper training program for me, which I started at the age of 11.

What is your favorite aspect of aerial circus classes?
I love learning dynamic tricks or anything where I can really use my flexibility. I really enjoy choreographing for aerial,  so any time I get to work on a new trick is super exciting for me.
Where do you see yourself going with this, do you want to do more performance someday, or is this more of a fun recreational activity?
I definitely want to try and make a career out of this. It’s something I’ve been working on for a long time, and I feel confident in my skill level. I love working on routines.  The thought that I could one day do this as a job is a dream that I have every intention of chasing.

Do you have a favorite apparatus? Why or why not?
My favorite apparatus is the Lyra. I like that you can’t bend it, and because of it’s metal material, it’s sturdy and reliable. You have to manipulate yourself to do tricks on it, which ends up looking really cool! The Lyra is incredibly dynamic. Hitting positions and poses on it successfully can be truly awe-worthy in the right setting.

What advice do you have for a potential student thinking about starting classes?
Listen to your teachers and make sure to focus on precise technique. Be prepared to look silly and expect hard work. Never train by yourself when you’re just beginning. It can be dangerous and you could end up permanently damaging yourself, which nobody wants. If you want to pursue a circus art make sure to research it and find the best-fit trainer for you. In the end it will all be worth it because you’re starting a really fun and creative practice!