Presenting Denver would like to shine a community spotlight on Nancy Smith and Frequent Flyers® Aerial Dance!
Artist: Nancy Smith
Organization: Frequent Flyers® Aerial Dance
Education: The Colorado College, UCLA dance grad program
Hometown: Boulder, CO
Presenting Denver: If you are not a native, why did you choose Denver?
Nancy Smith: Boulder was the perfect town to launch the fledgling form of Aerial Dance: combining dance with the strength, grace and athleticism of aerial appealed to a broad audience and still does.
PD: Do you split your time between dance/arts and another vocation?
PD: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
NS: Race car driver or astronaut.
PD: What is one way in which your work has positively impacted your community?
NS: We give people wings… not just to fly/dance in the air, but to know that they can do whatever they decide. We build confidence and trust in youth in our community and help adults see the world from a new perspective – often upside-down!
PD: Who has been a mentor to you in your career? What is the best piece of advice he or she gave you?
NS: The mother of aerial dance, Terry Sendgraff. Her memoir is a must read: Can You See Me Flying? Memoir of an Aerial Dance Pioneer. She encouraged me, taught me, befriended me, and has been my greatest champion.
PD: How do you turn your breakdowns into breakthroughs?
NS: I recently attended the SAVVY Arts Venture Challenge at the University of South Carolina, led by the brilliant Dr. David Cutler. One of the creative exercises he led included “disaster storming”. Basically, you take a terrible, worst-case scenario creative idea and turn it into something amazing. The alchemy of learning from mistakes, what might have seemed a scary or impossible idea, or impediments to forward progress is key to staying strong and keeping on…
PD: What about this art form drives you?
NS: Seeing the way that aerial dance opens ups the creative spark, fearlessness, joy, and strength in all ages of students drives me to continue. I believe in the power of art and in aerial dance to change lives.