[Rachel Jacqueline | South China Morning Post]

“I love the mixture of grace and strength that aerial acrobatics demands. I also enjoy the feeling of suspense.”

Stephanie Reid grew up dreaming of being a dancer or perhaps even joining the circus one day. It turns out dreams can come true, and sometimes, they can work out even better than planned.

Today, Reid is an aerial arts performer and instructor – a combination of choreographed movements with acrobatics and dramatic body contortions, all performed while hanging on a piece of fabric, or sometimes a hoop suspended in the air.

“I love the mixture of grace and strength that aerial acrobatics demands. I also enjoy the feeling of suspense, particularly when I am performing some of the riskier drops,” the 31-year-old Briton explains, referring to manoeuvres where she drops from the silk and unravels, only to capture it again before falling to the floor.

“There are always new tricks and combinations being choreographed in aerial, there’s always room for improvement, and I love to learn.”

It’s also intense and demanding on the body – not to mention a serious workout, as testified by her taut figure. “You need a lot of strength and stamina. Strength is elegance in aerial arts: the stronger you are, the easier it is to make the movements look graceful.”

After completing her studies, Reid travelled to Europe and then Asia, working as a professional dancer in various shows and on board luxury cruise liners. In 2009, she settled in Macau where she worked at the Grand Lisboa. It was there she was chosen to perform in their aerial silks nightly show and first learned the art. She brought her skills to Hong Kong, where she established the Aerial Arts Academy.

[READ MORE]