the biomechanical | the theoretical | the chimerical

April Skelton is an aerialist, educator, and dance trapeze evangelist based in Asheville, NC. Born and raised in the land where Appalachia melts into the Deep South, April has been working in aerial arts since 2005, after beginning her own training at Canopy Studio in Athens, Ga., under the direction of Susan Murphy. Her training and experience as a movement educator includes her background as a physical therapist assistant, working as a longtime instructor at Canopy, a teacher trainer for Born to Fly, and serving as education director at one of the nation’s foremost aerial dance schools, Frequent Flyers, in Boulder, Colo.

She has performed and staged work across the country with the international Aerial Dance Festival, for which she is also a recurring faculty artist, for Apogee Aerial Dance Festival in Seattle, and for companies and clients including Flight Collaborative (NYC and Boulder), Aerial Estuary (Charleston, SC), Asheville Aerial Arts, The Georgia Aquarium, Hotel Indigo, and Harrah’s Casino. Among others, she has studied under Aimee Hancock and Elsie Smith of NECCA, Rain Anya of Paper Doll Militia, and her mentor, Susan Murphy.

April has choreographed and performed works on aerial silks, bungee harness, invented apparatus, static trapeze, pole, and lyra, but her favorite work is on the dance (aka single-point or low-flying) trapeze. Out of the community of artists at Canopy Studio, April adopted and helped develop the particular dialect of dance trapeze she speaks most fluently: a merging of vertical skills borrowed from aerial fabric and sling with the dynamic precision of static trapeze. She is currently a faculty member at Empyrean Arts in Asheville and travels regionally and nationally to teach and perform. 

photo by Nina Reed Photography