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Tuesday, February 07, 2023

Twenty feet up in the air, gracefully twisting her body and wrapping pieces of silk around her feet and hands, A’shayla Passaretti flips upside down and dangles above the studio floor.

“It’s kind of like a flying sensation,” said the second-year UF public relations graduate student.

Passaretti, 23, is an aerial dancer and co-president of Volaticus Aerial Dance club. Starting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Volaticus Aerial Dance will have its Fall showcase in the Nadine McGuire Dance Pavilion, Room 11.

Aerial dance incorporates acrobatics, classical dance and equipment that is hung from the ceiling, said Calli Brockett, a 21-year-old UF history senior.

The showcase will feature 11 individual performances and two group pieces. Donations are welcome, but the event is free and open to the public.

Performances will showcase the aerial silk, a long fabric that hangs from the ceiling; lyra, a dangling hoop; static trapeze, which stays in one spot; and corde de lisse, which is a hanging rope similar to the silk.

Passaretti was barely able to touch her toes when she joined the club four years ago.

“We have all skill levels,” she said. “People come in, and we will teach them from the ground up.”

Co-president Brockett started aerial dance when she joined the club her freshman year.

Between group practices and her individual time, Passaretti spends more than ten hours a week practicing.

Performing to “Demons” by Imagine Dragons, Passaretti has been perfecting her routine for a month and a half.

“It’s funny because I’m actually terrified of heights,” she said.

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A version of this story ran on page 4 on 12/3/2013 under the headline "Aerial dancing club to hold Fall showcase this week"

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