Teacher Spotlight: Taylor Ruthven

Tell us about your early life

“I was born and raised in Austin. I have been a theater kid for pretty much my entire life and have a degree in acting from St. Edward’s University.

What first drew you to aerial work? 

“In college, I took a movement class, and one of the units was static trapeze. I absolutely loved it and wanted to do more, which led me to Sky Candy.

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

I have a lot of experience teaching theater to kids, so I was very excited when Sky Candy was hiring new youth instructors!

Training for youth teachers is unique because not only do we learn how to spot and how to teach, but we also learn a lot of behavior management techniques. I also really enjoyed training because it forced me to branch out to more apparatuses than just silks. Overall, teaching has made me a better aerialist.

How long have you been teaching?

“I’ve been teaching for two years.

What is your favorite thing about being an aerial instructor?

“Seeing a student succeed in a skill they’ve been working on for a long time. It’s always an exciting day when one of my youth students can do aerial dance footlocks without any help.

Tell me about a particularly impactful moment you’ve had with a student

“Some of the first youth students I ever taught are still my students now, and it has been wonderful watching them become so strong and confident in their aerial work.”

If you could give a brand new student one piece of advice, what would it be?

The movement patterns and muscles required for aerial work are not often used in daily life. It is going to be hard, and you have to find the fun in that. 

What do you find challenging in your own aerial practice?

“I’m not very good at self-motivation, so I find working out by myself a struggle. I get a lot more out of classes where I have a teacher telling me to do more pull ups vs. open studio where I tell myself one pull up is definitely enough.

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

“I really love going camping with my friends. Every year I help organize a camping trip to the Texas Renaissance Festival for four days. Last year we had 40 people in our group. It’s really fun because I have some friends that I only see once a year on this trip.