Chinook Montessori students learn aerial and acrobatic arts

Published: Jan. 31, 2022 at 6:20 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - On Friday, January 28, students at Chinook Montessori Charter School demonstrated some newly acquired skills in front of their classmates.

Tyler Sloger, Resource Teacher at the school, said, “I feel like a proud mama bear watching these kids, just how brave they were and how much courage they used to get up there and show their moves.”

According to Teal Belz, “The kids are starting to learn the basics of aerial and acrobatic arts.”

Aerial and acrobatic arts involve using one’s body as the primary medium for expressing art. “They start with a floor conditioning class, where they’re learning our key words like tuck, pike, straddle,” Belz said.

The art uses specialized silks to produce a flowing, gravity-defying movement. According to children, “Being open to the experience gives you a whole new view, literally, upside down spinning around in circles, and the kids just love it.”

The students spent two weeks learning some of the basics. Belz said, “They rocked it with confidence. They had every skill set that they needed to get up into the air and to present it to their class, and then to come down with grace as well.”

Sloger agreed, saying, “Probably 95 percent of our students have tried it, loved it, rocked it. We had 40 kids performing today. I mean, the whole thing just turned out awesome, and these kids that didn’t want anything to do with it are now trying to sign up for silks classes with Teal.”

Belz has been practicing aerial for nearly 10 years.“Every day it’s abs day. It’s arms day. It’s legs day, and you’re getting the flexibility training.”

And while Sloger says this is the first time Chinook has introduced its students to the aerial arts, she hopes it won’t be the last.

Those interested in learning more can find information here.


According to Sloger, this event was made possible by the Fairbanks Arts Association (FAA). According to Megan Olsen-Saville, the FAA Arts in Education Program project is part of the Alaska State Council on the Arts and receives funding from several sources, including the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, the Alaska State Legislature, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Olsen-Saville said the FAA and the Rasmuson Foundation also helped with funding.

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