UpSwing! Aerial Dance Company UpSwing is a contemporary aerial dance company that features the repertory of Artistic Director Cherie Carson. Ms. Carson combines contemporary dance, yoga, uniquely distinctively rigged aerial equipment and site specific venues in creating her work. The dances can include video, larger than life light effects and distinctive costumes. Ms. Carson has created works for non-traditional spaces, such as: swimming pools, planetariums, reflection pools, museums, coffee shops, banyan trees and art galleries. The company performs on trapeze, stilts, rope & harness, slings and on the floor while exploring choreography that moves between the worlds of shifting perceptions of space.
Cherie Carson, Director, co-directed Chappstick and The Cars performance duo in Atlanta for 6 years. Her first aerial performance was in 1990 in Joanna Haigood’s “Sleep” with Several Dancers Core in Atlanta, GA. She has been creating dance performances since 1987. Cherie currently teaches adults and company classes.
Jennifer Alvarado who goes by Jem has a focus on coaching aerial fabric for all ages. She has been teaching for over 10 years starting out as a P.E. teacher at Challenger private school, then transitioning into a yoga teacher and aerial coach. Jem's aerial experience is an evolving, loving, and empowering relationship with the flow of silk fabric. She is an aerial performer and fire dancer and leads classes and retreats around the world. Jem's aerial artistry is infused with creative self expression, exploration of movement, and opening to creative possibility's. www.FlyingYogaLove.com
Kirstin Brown has been dancing for over twenty years in various styles of dance. Her background includes jazz, ballet, modern and belly dancing. She has performed all over California, Las Vegas and most recently, Vashon Island. Her most recent love is aerial dance, which she has been studying with Cherie Carson and Ashley Foster since 2010. She's very excited to perform with UpSwing Aerial Dance Company and hopes to keep dancing for many years to come. Kirstin teaches the Teens Who Fly classes in 2014.
Hannah Dworkin is an accomplished Aerial Dancer, Opera Singer and Actress based in the San Francisco Bay area. Hannah is also holds an MA in music and music education and specializes in working with students with special needs.
Ashley Foster was introduced to aerial dance through classes with Terry Sendgraff and performed with 'Terry Sendgraff's Aerial Dancer's' and the Technomania Circus. Ashley continues to develop her aerial dance and performance skills with Cherie Carson and as a solo artist. When not dancing, Ashley works with clients, by appointment, as a costume and custom clothing designer.
Kiran Haithcox is a Pilates instructor at The Working Body in Oakland. She has loved aerial dance since her first class ten years ago with Terry Sendgraff, "the mother of aerial dance", where she also met Cherie Carson; or perhaps she has loved aerial dance since she was little and her older brother, Steffan, would swing her around on the beach.
Elizabeth Milne-Kahn has been doing aerial dance for ten years. This is her second year dancing with Cherie and is happy to be performing with Upswing. Elizabeth has previously danced with Miranda Company in Santa Cruz.
Alissa Kaplan Soto is excited to be back in the bay area. While in NYC Alissa was a company member of Julie Ludwick’s Fly-by-Night Dance Theater. She has also performed with Terry Sendgraff Dancers and the early stages of UpSwing with Cherie Carson and looks forward to returning to the group. Besides dancing Alissa is also an artist, teacher, and anthropologist. www.alissakaplan.com
Sarah Stolar, aka Sarah Starlight, is an interdisciplinary artist, hoop and fire dancer, aerialist, and dedicated yoga practitioner. She has been exhibiting and performing for almost two decades and currently teaches art, dance, and yoga throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Daughter of an accomplished artist mother, Sarah grew up in art studios and ultimately received a MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, where she also currently teaches drawing and painting. Her visual art is represented by the Bohemian Gallery in Kansas City, Los Angeles, and Montevideo. Sarah is also a passionate and experimental aerialist working in silk, rope and harness, and bungee. www.sarahstarlight.com
Cara Zeisloft is delighted to appear with UpSwing. She began dancing and acting as a child in Portland, and has appeared locally with the Chimene Pollard Dance Group. She's still feeling the thrill from recent performances with We Players in Hamlet on Alcatraz. Cara is a psychotherapist in practice in Berkeley.
Richard Kittle, Rigger for UpSwing Company, has worked throughout the Bay Area with aerialists and aerial companies including Project Bandaloop and Kim Epifano.
Upswing Aerial Dance Company Yelp reviews:
Anne H, Berkeley
“UpSwing Company - Loved the act at the end of the night.”
Wanugee N., Pleasant Hill, CA
Your dancers were fantastic! Very sensual!"
Michelangelo S. Sacramento, CA
“But my most favorite performance at the entire event was the aerial artist group "Upswing". These ladies were extremely elegant and lovely in the way they flowed through the air and on the ground as they hovered on elegant fabric "swings". Gorgeous costuming, elegant & breathtaking choreography, it was a visual poetry for we visual participants...”
Bill B. El Cerrito, CA
“The ‘Snowbirds’ aerial dance was an impressive conclusion to the event…”