One Trapeze at a Time
Words by Sam Lauron Photos by James Cano & Ashley Haguewood
Austin is home to a variety of art forms: music, photography, ceramics and even aerial.
Sky Candy (a clever play on the phrase ‘eye candy’) is an aerial and circus arts studio and performance space. Aerial combines elements of acrobatics and dance using apparatuses like silks, ropes, hammocks and trapezes.
Owner Winnie Hsia began her aerial journey in 2009 and quickly realized how the art affected her body image.
“It changed how I viewed my body and helped take away a lot of insecurities I’ve had for a lot of my life,” says Hsia. “I started to view my body as something that could become strong, rather than something that had to be thin.”
Along with fellow aerial enthusiasts in town, Hsia decided to open up her own aerial and performance space in 2010 and started by setting up an outdoor rig at the Vortex theater on Manor Road. Since its humble beginnings, Sky Candy has grown to accommodate two studios on the eastside and sees hundreds of diverse students each month come in to learn about the high-flying art.
While Hsia and fellow instructors enjoy teaching aerial, their passion for performance is still alive and well. Sky Candy hosts about seven showcases a year, most of them centered around E.A.S.T., that act as an opportunity for both students and instructors to offer performances. They also hold more professional showcases that take place outside of the studio in bigger venues several times a year.
Sky Candy is currently operating out of two studios but will be consolidating both spaces into the new Springdale General community in March 2018. The new space will be twice the size of their current studios and will include features like a lobby, a student lounge and even a small gym. “It’s exciting to be moving into a space that will feel like our dream home,” Hsia grins.
While the business has grown and expanded over the years, one thing remains the same: Hsia’s passion for the art and her enthusiasm for sharing it with the community. “I really enjoy feeling strong, empowered and capable, but I also love sharing that feeling with other people.”
You can stay up-to-date with Sky Candy’s upcoming shows and classes, including this month’s Pink Floyd Tribute show, Dark Side of the Moon, at skycandyaustin.com.
Sky Candy by the Numbers
square footage of Sky Candy’s future home in Springdale General
approximate number of new students Sky Candy sees per month
number of classes held per week, which includes open studio, series classes and private lessons
number of instructors at Sky Candy
507 Calles St. #117 or 2400 E. Cesar Chavez St.
As of 2018, Sky Candy’s new location will be in the brand new Springdale General housed among other Austin creatives. For more information, visit springdalegeneral.com or call (512) 273-3744.