Ilsa's Prof. Aerial Dance Education Fund

Please help me learn how to fly!

When I first happened upon Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance School I immediately felt excitement bubbling up inside of me. As I clicked and explored their website a world of possibility expanded before me.
My imagination leapt and I began to fantasize, the tips of my toes gently brushing the ground as I swing on a suspended rope; feeling the silks whipping around me and cinching tight around my waist as I glide through the air; the thrilling moment of free-fall in the midst of an aerial fabric drop.

Dancing through the images in my mind, with each moment my certainty grew. I knew I wanted nothing more than to be trained by that cohesive company of dancers that create such beautiful art in the air. I couldn't contain myself a moment longer and I began to prepare my application for their year-long professional training program.

I recently got notification that I have been accepted! One of the hurdles to overcome presented itself immediately. I will need to raise the tuition, which is $5900, before September 3rd, 2013.
Also the program is located in Colorado and they don't provide housing so I will need to have some money saved up to support my living expenses while I am at school.

I will be earning as much as I can this summer by working and selling things I have created but I'm writing to you now in the hopes that you might be willing to make a contribution to further this educational experience.

Frequent Flyers is an aerial dance company and school of 24 years. They perform frequently indoors and out, seamlessly blending aerial work with dance. The professional training program is a 9 month long aerial dance concentration through the MFA program at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Throughout the program I will be learning to build my aerial skill set through many different forms. These will include fabric, trapeze, hoop, even working with stilts and invented apparatus (such as suspended ladders, pipes or wall creations to climb and hang on).

I will be given the opportunity to find my own unique aerial dance style through FF's movement aesthetic centered on flow, economy of movement, effortlessness, and lines in the body. Within this structure, once I begin gaining momentum and vocabulary, I will be able to develop and hone improvisation and composition skills. This will all be within a supportive group company environment, and I will get to test my compositional skills on a dedicated group of movers which will help plant the seeds of my teaching career down the road.

To top it all off at the end of the school year we will get to perform in two professionally produced shows and my long term goal is to earn myself a position in their dance company or in a company like it after completion.

To make this experience possible I have a lot to prepare, in addition to the financial hurdle I will be leaping over some physical ones too. Aerial dance requires a lot of body conditioning, strength and movement technique. For the past year I have been taking as many aerial classes as I can, building this foundation, and quenching my creative thirst.

Every class I take I fall a little more in love with the art of defying gravity gracefully. I have also begun running regularly, attending yoga, and going to the gym to accelerate my progress in the air. Throughout this whole learning process I have been paying closer attention to my mind, body, and spirit.

Aerial dance has affected me positively on every level, enlightening my life, and this is why I know I must pursue this path.

There is no doubt that there will be many physical challenges ahead but right now the biggest challenge is my tuition. I will be working hard all summer; house-sitting, and printing postcards to sell in hopes of raising as much as I possibly can by September. However I know that contributions from friends and family are going to be an important part of my fundraising strategy and greatly appreciated. If you have any other fundraising ideas I would love to hear them.

Thank you so much for your support. I can't wait to go!

Ilsa Greatorex-Duncan

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Ilsa Lynn Greatorex-Duncan 
Brooklyn, NY
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