Monarca in Flight will present an aerial dance performance

Monarca in Flight, the aerial dance troupe that wowed the crowd at the 2016 Taste of Annandale, will appear at the upcoming festival on Oct. 14. The group’s founder, Acoatzin Torres, describes what Monarca in Flight does as “aerial dance performing art.” Troupe members will perform on a vertical rope, a length of fabric, and a steel hoop called a “lyra.” It’s similar to the kind of act often seen in circuses.

He named the group “Monarca in Flight” because the performers are graceful, like the monarch butterfly, and what they do is “like flying, it’s like dancing in the air.”

Torres opened the Monarca in Flight aerial arts studio in Bailey’s Crossroads last October, the same weekend as the second annual Taste of Annandale. Since then the studio, at 3431-F Carlin Springs Road, has thrived, offering a variety of classes for beginners and for people with intermediate and advanced skills.

Class topics include aerial silks, aerial trapeze, lyra, aerial sling/hammock, acrobatics, aerial rope, handstand, flexibility, tumbling, and stage presence.

About 200 students are enrolled, ranging from young children or adults. Some take classes for fitness; others just want to try something different. A few students hope to become performers, although anyone hoping for a career in the circus needs to start really young, Torres says.

Monarca in Flight invites the public to a student showcase on June 3, 6-8 p.m., at the studio to see what aerial dance is all about.

Opening his own studio is Torres’ lifelong dream. A native of Tabasco, Mexico, his background is in dance and costume design. He had been giving private lessons in aerial dance for the past few years and founded Monarca in Flight as an informal aerial dance group.

He encourages people who’ve always dreamed about flying to learn how to dance in the air.

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