Interview with Aerial Silks Perfomer Caitlin Wellwood

Caitlin Wellwood is an aerialist living in the Eastern Sierra. She attends Wakeful Ascent Aerial Arts classes and is also a substitute aerial insructor. Caitlin has a rare combination of immaculate technique and unique, personal artistry in her aerial work. Here is Sara’s interview with Caitlin.

How old were you when you first started training aerial silks and where did you practice?
I was about 22 when I got the notion to try an aerial silks class. I started my practice at Hollywood Aerial Arts in Los Angeles, but also attended classes at other studios in the Orange County area soon after.

How long after starting aerial silks did you do your first solo performance?
I trained for almost two years before having an opportunity to do a solo performance at Hollywood Aerial Arts student showcase in 2013.

Do you get nervous on stage? If so how do you manage those feelings?
Every time. I recall how rushed my movement felt in my first performance! My hands were physically shaking from nerves as I approached the fabric. Before performances, I like to have a bit of time to myself to settle into the mood of my act and visualize my routine.

Were you always flexible or did you develop it through aerial silks?
Several years of my childhood were spent training in gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, and ballet. My body managed to retain some of its natural flexibility over the years, but aerial silks has certainly motivated me to dedicate attention to my flexibility and my strength.

What advice do you have for beginner aerialists who are interested in performing one day?
A performance does not need to be overflowing with dramatic “tricks.” Find a couple of skills/combinations that you love and expand on them. Focus your attention on simplifying, refining, and adding intention to your movement – from your wrists/fingertips to your toes. My favorite way to expand my movement vocabulary is to see how much time I can fill within a single song on a single skill. It allows me to focus more attention to detail and feel fulfillment through creative expression.

Video filmed and edited by Sara. Subscribe to the YouTube channel.