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Get to Know our Aerialympic Competitors

In its 11th season, the Aerialympics are taking place in various locations for regional aerial competitions from July of 2023 til June of 2024. This year, Wisconsin regionals are being held November 11 & 12th at Warped Studios in Sheboygan with nationals being held in Kansas City, Missouri in June of 2024. Performers have the opportunity to perform in person or "In the Wild'' (virtually via video submission) and have the option to perform on silks, lyra, hammock or trapeze (specialty). With that, performers have to choose the appropriate level or division they will be performing in such as: Novice • Intermediate 1 • Intermediate 2 • Advanced • All Star. Each performance is critiqued by the following criteria: difficulty, technical, artistry, composition and deductions.

For the first time in years, Fly Circus and Aerial Arts has two students and one of our coaches registered to compete in the Aerialympics. We are excited to cheer on Maddie, Crispin and MiJin!

Read on and get to know our performers!

Maddie Chitwood

Maddie will be competing at the Intermediate 2 level in Lyra to a shortened version of “Darkness at the Heart of my love” by Ghost. "This song fills me with passion and feels eerie yet beautiful. I connect most with powerful, dramatic songs that tell a story. Performances drive me to challenge myself. I thrive off challenges…perhaps a little too much. Each performance-oriented routine of mine involves a new challenging pose as a climax. Dance has always been important to me but until I discovered the aerial arts, I didn't have a way to channel that energy. Fly has given me a comfortable, reassuring space to explore that side of myself." "I have been practicing aerial dance since late 2019 and have performed as an aerialist a handful of times over the last three years. Circus artists that inspire me most are my coach Amy Maile, the flow artists of Fox Valley Fire Arts, and Alix Croop. I’ve also had an unhealthy obsession with Johnny Weir and his choreography."

MiJin Homan

In the upcoming competition, MiJin will be performing an advanced hammock routine to the song "CHANGGWI" by Ahn Ye Eun. "While growing up, I never really liked or loved competition; however, due to the competitive environment, I had to learn to thrive in it. As time has gone on, I've learned to simply enjoy the experience rather than striving for perfection."

"Personally, I don't have a specific individual I look up to; however, my partner, Crispin, always keeps me motivated with his amazing sense of performing art and his physical ability. Nonetheless, I love gathering ideas from everyone at Fly Circus & Aerial Arts Studio and watching them enjoy their performances and skills. I am very excited for what the future holds!"

Crispin Bryan

Crispin is performing a Solo Advanced Aerial Lyra/Hoop routine to the song, "I Won't Complain" by Benjamin Clementine. "My performance is really inspired by and made for that piece. This song has lived in my head rent free for years now, since I saw a dance performance to it by Chibi Unity, choreographed by Larkin Poyton. The textures and emotions in that piece are amazing and have inspired me in dance and performance for years."

Crispin has been doing aerial arts for about a year and a half now. "I love performing. The adrenaline rush is very calming and regulating for me. It's something I have loved and been doing for as long as I can remember in different disciplines and I'm very glad to be able to perform with this (aerial arts) discipline as well. Competition is not as important to me as the performance, but I can be quite competitive so it's nice to kind of fuel that side of me for a time. I have competed before, but not in aerial. I have competed in the past primarily in music, dance, and figure skating."

Crispin looks to numerous aerialists for inspiration and motivation. "If I had to pick only a couple, I'd say I spend the most time watching Karin Odermatt and Mariana Meza. People who have more personally motivated me are my partner MiJin, who is also competing, my figure skating coach who is also an aerialist Brittyni Carlson, and those who have helped me in the studio, namely Amy Maile."

Written by Alicia Schroder

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