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ISLAND Q&A | Michele Francis
Michele Francis is a physical therapist, Pilates instructor, and certified strength training specialist. She has been teaching and performing aerial arts nationally for over 8 years.
You can see her performing in the Winter Carnivale, Jan. 20 at the San Juan Community Theatre.
She may only be on stage for a few minutes, but her aerial performance will keep audiences wanting more. The Journal asked Francis about her life as an artist in the air.
When and why did you start aerial performing?
I started aerial performing in 2005 with a group of friends who had a monthly, local wrestling show called “Seattle Semi-Pro Wrestling.” SSP was like a miniature WWF show which poked fun at the professional wrestling culture with both satire and admiration.
Soon after that I became a regular guest aerialist with Tamara The Trapeze Lady’s burlesque review “Columbia City Cabaret.”
What is the weirdest thing that’s happened to you in the air or while on the silks?
I’d have to say that the weirdest thing just happened this past weekend when I was performing at a large casino in Mississippi. I was hit (very lightly) on the back of the head by a mini confetti cannon at midnight.
Is there any therapeutic benefits to aerial arts, if so what?
Yes, of course, aerial training improves strength, flexibility, balance and endurance.
Aerial work is however very serious and dangerous. If anyone is going to try aerial arts on any level I strongly suggest interviewing your potential coaches. Just because someone can perform an aerial move does not mean they are qualified to teach it.