Dani Duncan had a one-way ticket to Vancouver, a suitcase full of aerial silks, and a place to stay for three weeks when she first decided to come to Whistler from her home in Northern Ireland.
“I had no intention of starting a business here. I thought I would do one season,” the owner of Treeline Aerial, a circus skills and alternate fitness community hub in Whistler, says.
“All that went out the window. I fell in love with Whistler.”
Duncan was introduced to circus when she was hired as a dance instructor for a children’s camp in Pennsylvania. When she arrived, she was unexpectedly transferred to the flying trapeze discipline and never looked back.
Duncan then discovered aerial silks, a type of circus performance in which artists perform acrobatics while hanging from suspended fabric.
“It’s a really physical activity but it’s not technically a sport. It’s a performance art that originates from the circus,” Duncan says.
“A lot of people are attracted to having a creative outlet that keeps them in shape.”
Missing her silks while in Whistler, Duncan pursued an opportunity to teach a class at Whistler Gymnastics and Treeline Aerial was born.
“For me, it’s been really motivating to see how many people have jumped on this journey with me,” Duncan says.
“Our clients love the community here. We really like to think we’re creating a safe space and environment where people can challenge themselves physically and creatively."
Getting started with aerial silks requires no previous experience or physical abilities. In addition to aerial classes, Treeline also offers aerial yoga, pole, and hoop classes as well as bachelorettes and parties.
Duncan took the plunge in 2020 and signed a five-year lease to create her own space for Treeline Aerial tucked away in Function Junction.
“I really wanted to create a fun and unique space where people could come together and challenge themselves in a variety of ways,” Duncan says.
As pandemic restrictions continue to loosen, Duncan is encouraging people to come back to pursue their fitness goals.
“It doesn’t matter how long you haven't exercised for or if you feel like you're out of shape,” Duncan says.
“We want people to come back and we’ll support them in whatever they need.”
To learn more, visit www.treelineaerialbc.com.