Mixed Media

Flying High

Kathleen Golde, an adjunct instructor and professional dancer, instructing a student in her aerial arts course at UB.

Photo: Douglas Levere  

Attention Peter Pan wannabes: You can learn how to fly—with a few colorful strings attached. Kathleen Golde (pictured above), an adjunct instructor and professional dancer, teaches two courses in aerial arts at UB. On any given day, “Golde,” as her loyal protégés affectionately call her, can be found onstage at the Katharine Cornell Theatre, sending students shimmying up long, drape-like fabrics, or silks, as she barks commands and demonstrates movements. Wrapping the fabrics around their feet, hands and torsos, they twist their bodies into spins or freeze several feet in midair, unraveling into dramatic drops or gentler resting poses. Students run the gamut from dance majors wanting to increase their range to the merely curious. Golde’s goal is to nurture the growing demand for this athletic, emerging art. “I hope to teach this full time someday,” she says.