Aerial Silks Club invites students to defy gravity

Rose Schimmel, a third-year student at New College, has organized the Aerial Silks club.
Rose Schimmel, a third-year student at New College, has organized the Aerial Silks club.

By Ian Sandridge

New College offers students many clubs. Some are identity-based, like Queery. Some are about activities, like Baking for a Cause or Anarchy Deathsticks (knitting and such). And a few are sports-related, like Swim Club or Powerlifting.

But how many allow you to dangle upside down by your feet suspended in the air with a brightly colored silk keeping you up off of the ground?

The answer: None, at least until Rose Schimmel, a third-year student at New College, organized the Aerial Silks club.

Schimmel began learning the silks when she was 17. “I had many years of experience in acro and dance, but wanted to try something new,” she said. She has now been learning for two and half years, and she soon expects to become a certified silks instructor.

Students can typically find her practicing underneath the large banyan tree just outside the Hamilton Center from time to time, often while listening to music. “I find myself practicing to more calm music that doesn’t have too quick of a tempo,” she said. “This is because silks require a lot of focus — the music shouldn’t be super distracting.”

Schimmel hopes to open a space off-campus dedicated to silks training, and eventually a space on campus. To do so, the Aerial Silks club holds monthly fundraisers at Evo Athletics, a gymnastics and sports facility near campus, which also give newcomers a chance to try the activity. The monthly meetups are open to all.

— Ian Sandridge is an intern in the Office of Communications and Marketing at New College of Florida.


Located in Sarasota, New College of Florida has educated intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement since its founding in 1960. As the State of Florida’s designated honors college, New College provides an exceptional education that transforms students’ intellectual curiosity into personal accomplishment. The 110-acre campus on Sarasota Bay is home to more than 800 students and 80 full-time faculty engaged in interdisciplinary research and collaborative learning. New College offers nearly 40 areas of concentration for undergraduates and a master’s degree program in Data Science.

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