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Page last updated at 14:21 GMT, Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Edge Hill students swap books for bungee ropes
Performing Arts student

Performing Arts students are flying high as a university in Ormskirk becomes the first in the country to offer courses in aerial performance.

Edge Hill University students are swapping books for bungees to learn techniques using rope and harness for vertical dance movements.

The new module started this term and students are having their first assessments this month.

This field of dance is used in opening ceremonies including the Olympic Games.

The university, in conjunction with Wired Aerial Theatre, decided to introduce the aerial performance option as part of its degree syllabus so that students could realise their potential as creative artists and performers.

Students are also learning about the history and safety aspects of the genre and hope to become graduate high flyers.


"We're hanging from the ropes and we're bouncing in the air and flying through the air," says student Sophie Cowhill. "It's absolutely amazing."

Tara Pender is hoping the course will give her the edge over other dance graduates: "Theatre's changing so much at the minute... if I incorporated it in any piece of theatre, it's going to make it stand out."

Karen Jaundrill-Scott, programme leader for dance at the university, agrees that it will "almost certainly" increase the graduates' employability.

"Aerial performance has reached an exciting stage of its evolution as people realise and acknowledge the range of possibilities it affords for the dance genre as a whole."

Student Danny Baker represents England at ju-jitsu, and says the agility, speed and stamina have helped his martial arts: "They're big parts of both, so they might not necessarily be directly linked, but there's big things that connect."

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