You see aerial dance in circuses and burlesque shows, at gymnastics meets and even on the formal dance stage -- but it wasn't always so. And as Nancy Smith of Boulder's Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance will attest, aerial dance has not only grown in stature in this country, but it's part of an international community that could become the next big thing in performance.
Each year, Smith invites the best of the best in the field to Colorado for the Aerial Dance Festival, two weeks of instruction, networking and public shows. "You won't be able to see these performances anywhere else," she says. "This group of artists might be blocked together in performances only one time."
We asked Smith for her list of the fest's heaviest hitters; following is a rundown of the top five.
See also: 100 Colorado Creatives: Nancy Smith of Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance