Teacher Spotlight: Becca Strong

What first drew you to aerial work? 

“I began hula hooping as a fun way to exercise at home in 2009/2010 and got completely hooked on circus arts. I became pretty involved in the flow/fire/circus community, and my love just grew from there.

The first time I remember seeing an aerialist perform was at Burning Man in 2011. I had just recently closed my business and was soul searching to see what direction I would go next. I saw a performer on the silks and thought it was the most extraordinary thing I had ever seen. I knew immediately that was what I wanted to do.

I came home and googled “aerial silks Austin” and found Sky Candy. I took my first class that fall, shortly after Sky Candy moved into the Calles St. location (which was still very much under construction).

Tell us about your first aerial class

“My first aerial lesson was Intro to Aerials with Andy Agne. I remember it was in the back room (that later became an MMA gym) and someone was practicing on the silks adjacent to us and I was absolutely mesmerized.

I had signed up for the class thinking I would want to learn lyra because I had a background as a hula hooper and was drawn to the circle shape, but the moment I touched the silks, I was in love. I fondly remember it as one of the best days of my life.

How did you decide to become an aerial instructor? What was your teacher training process like?

“The Nimble Arts Teacher Training program came to Austin and I jumped at the opportunity. I knew that I wanted to feel confident in my ability to safely share my knowledge and skills with other people, even if I didn’t plan to work as a teacher.

How did you get involved with Sky Candy?

“I pretty much obsessively consumed pole and aerial classes at every studio in town. I was a regular everywhere. After I did my teacher training, I taught at Celestial Silks in San Antonio and then at Lache for a while. I wanted to work somewhere I could get more hours and started at the front desk at Sky Candy, eventually shadowing to become an instructor.

How long have you been teaching?

“I have been a teacher at Sky Candy for 2.5 years.

Tell us about your experience as an aerial performer

“I have been a performer since the day I finished my first Silks 2 series. I started performing at every single student showcase available to me to build my confidence and skills, then transitioned into performing professionally about 7 years ago with S&S Productions.

I have been in numerous Sky Candy mainstage shows, as well as other local shows, and have performed at festivals domestically and abroad. At Quest Festival in Vietnam, I worked as the lead aerial rigger in addition to performing.

Describe your teaching philosophy. What would a student experience in one of your classes?

“I want to know what you want to get out of the experience. I want to provide a stimulating and fun class environment that is tailored to best suit the needs of everyone involved. I am passionate about the benefits of recreation and physical movement and want to share that passion with others.

What is your favorite thing about being an aerial instructor?

“I love sharing the joy of movement and the self-confidence and strength that aerial dance imparts. My favorite class to teach is Intro to Aerials because I love being there for a student’s first moments, when they discover a new joy in and love of aerial arts.”

What’s your favorite way to indulge?

“Exercise has always been my drug of choice! Though I’m also fond of Lone Star beer and Bulleit bourbon.” 

Aside from aerial work, what are your passions, hobbies, and interests?

“I am passionate about recreation! I love anything that involves movement, especially outside. I love hiking, biking, exploring. I love water and anything water-related. I own two stand up paddle boards so that I can take a friend out with me to explore the water. I am an advanced scuba diver and I love to travel and do destination dives. Some of the locations I have gone diving include Bali, Honduras, Belize, and Mexico.

Since COVID-19, I have been expanding my repertoire of creative endeavors that can be done at home including gardening, macramé, watercolor, drawing, jewelry-making, and, most recently, teaching myself to make stained glass. I also recently adopted a sweet 18-month-old Great Dane mix named Cricket.

What else would you want students to know about you?

I am the lead rigger at Sky Candy and wrote and oversee all of the protocols for installation, inspection, and use for all of the equipment that keeps people safe.

My favorite apparatus is the rope but my specialty as a performer is duo on any apparatus (lyra, trapeze, silks, rope, straps). I miss duo work the most of anything during the COVID-19 crisis.”