Dancing on Air


Mention the words “jumar” or “hanging belay” around climbers and you are likely to see more grimaces than grins.  Ascending a rope and hanging in a harness are not the most graceful, or enjoyable, aspects of climbing.  However, there is more to the story than bruised backs and tangled foot loops.  Members of the Chiang Mai dance, yoga, and climbing communities got to experience a new perspective on these skills Friday with help from Sonya Smith, a professional aerial dance artist.

Based in San Francisco, Sonya has been dancing and “flying” on static ropes since 2001.  She has performed with the prestigious Project Bandaloop, an acrobatic troupe famous for dancing on the walls of the Sears Tower and 2500 feet in the air on El Capitan.  While the CMRCA Bouldering Wall has only a small percentage of that grandeur, it afforded us more than enough creative and physical opportunity.  Sonya’s grace in the air and her skill in teaching us young birds was exceptional.  Now we have a lot to do next time we are stuck in a hanging belay!

CMRCA was thrilled to host an event that brought folks from these three vibrant communities together to engage in a common challenge.  Special thanks to Laura of Dance Chiang Mai, Rose of Wild Rose Yoga Studio, and everyone who took flight with us during this great workshop.  Hope to see you back at the CMRCA Bouldering Wall for Ladies’ Night on December 29!

Be sure to check out Sonya’s work at www.seesonya.com, and stay tuned for the next dance…