Carmen Curtis is a high flying aerialist and mother of two whose amazing successes have led her to becoming the co-owner of Airealistic, an aerial theater company that travels the world performing incredible aerial shows. Carmen’s passion for both teaching and performing have become her reality as she also owns and manages Airealistic Circus and Flying, a Cirque-style school in Ventura. Her achievements are motivations for young girls everywhere to show that with hard work, determination, and passion you can be successful in whatever venture you put your heart and mind towards.
GR: How old were you when you first started dancing?
CC: I started ballet at age 4 but my mom found me goofing off too much and doing cartwheels during class, so that when she put me into gymnastics. Gymnastics was my dream come true, I loved and trained everyday. I continued ballet once a week but my true passion was flipping and swinging in the gym.
GR:How did you get into aerial dancing?
CC:I was a gymnast on a full ride scholarship to UCLA and my coach took me to my first Cirque du Soliel show, “Quidam”. I fell in love with all things aerial and knew where I wanted to go, I wanted to run away with the Circus! I ended up living in NYC and auditioning, following my dream to be on broadway. I landed an amazing show “De La Guarda” harness flying, drumming, chanting and running on walls. From there I got hired to help create “Le Reve” at the Wynn hotel with the director of Cirque Franco Dragone. I got to create aerial acts, help with choreography, perform the lead, and be the dance captain assisting the choreographer and teaching all the new performers.
GR: Do you prefer dancing or teaching?
CC: I could never choose, I feel so fulfilled in both. As a performer you give so much of yourself, but in return feeling the audience enjoy and have an incredible experience feeds me back. As a teacher, it is the same. It is very selfless as in motherhood, but to see students blossom and grow is so rewarding. I love being a mentor and a guide and witnessing students take the information and grow with it.
GR: What did you learn working with Cirque de Soleil?
CC: I learned the most from working with “Dragone”. I learned that a show is not a competition, like that of gymnastics I meet. It is important that all in the show are amazing; you want the clown to be funny, you want the performer to catch the trapeze, you want the music to be on count and the lights to be on you when its your moment to shine. A show is a family, all must work together, trust one another and love one another. It is the whole troupe that make the show great, not the individual.
GR: You have had so many success throughout your career, what have they all taught you?
CC: Just keep believing and working hard. Your dreams may not come true in the order you planned but they will become reality by living each moment to the fullest, truthful and dedicated.
GR: What has been the biggest challenge for you as a dancer/aerialist?
CC: Learning not to judge my self to others. Each of us can offer something great, we are all unique and have lots to offer in our own special way.
GR: Besides dancing what else do you enjoy during your free time?
CC: I love being a mom! I have two amazing children. I love being with them, going to the beach, kayaking, bike riding and traveling.
GR: Where do you find inspiration, especially for choreography?
CC: In stories, I like to have a reason for movements, and intentions.
GR: What motivated you to be a part of Girls Rock SB?
CC: It’s an awesome program I wanted to support. We all need support especially our children. I think it is a great cause and I love the idea of helping give confidence to girls through music and aerial dance!