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Ahead in the Air:

relationships in space


Ahead in the Air: Aerial Dance

Ahead in the Air  is an artistic and pedagogical collaboration between Eddy Ramirez, professional dancer and skilled aerial dance specilist, Nicole Hardenburgh Czelaski, dance specilist from Round Top Elementary School, and Dr. Mila Parrish, Head of Dance Education at the University of South Carolina. 


In Aerial Dance, you use every inch of the space around you stretching, bending, twisting and soaring in space. This past spring Ahead in the Air: Aerial dance worked with 120 students from Round Top Elementary School. Ten USC Dance Education students trained with Eddie Ramirez to prepare for the demands of aerial dance. Ahead in the Air: Aerial Dance's  five-day workshop focused on helping children investigate the geometry of space encouraging students to admit their fears and to trust.   Commitment to investigations in space, Ahead in the Air, teaches children how to take the initiative, admit their fears and to trust themselves and one another.



Dr. Mila Parrish is nationally and internationally recognized for her work in dance pedagogy, educational technology and interdisciplinary instruction. She received a BFA in choreography and performance and K-12 Teachers Certification from the University of Michigan; an MA in Dance Education from Columbia University in New York and a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in Art Education. Her research and publications have established new trends in movement technology, integrated curriculum and teacher training in the digital arena.  In her short time at USC, She has established instructional initiatives including, Aerial Dance, Dancers Connect a free community dance program for area high school students, iDance SC a standards-based curriculum delivery system of dance instruction using videoconferenced technologies, reconstruction initiatives and community service programs. She is a leader in the dance education community offering professional development courses, seminars and workshops thought the US and in Canada, China, Finland, Brazil, Greece, Portugal and the Netherlands.  Recently, Parrish gave the Keynote Address on Dance and Technology at the Taipei Dance Education Research Consortium in Taipei, Taiwan.


Nicole Hardenberg Czekalski grew up in Columbia, South Carolina and graduated from Dreher High School. She then attended Winthrop University as a Dance Education major. After graduating Nicole taught for 2 years at Busbee Creative Arts Academy (6th-8th grade) and then moved to Richland 2 and began teaching at Round Top Elementary. She has currently teaches at Richland Northeast High School and has directed and choreographed 5 full length ballets and choreographed 6 musicals over her 6 years of teaching


Eduardo 'Eddy' Ramirez was born in Los Angeles, California, raised in Hailey, Idaho, and has been in Columbia, South Carolina since summer of 2005. He started climbing shortly after taking ballet classes with the Sun Valley Ballet School in 2003. Eddy came to Columbia, S.C. to pursue a career in ballet. Upon arrival applied at Columbia City Ballet and the local climbing gym, Stronghold Athletic Club. He retired from dancing in 2009, and since retiring has focused his energy into climbing and giving back to the sport. Eddy worked for Stronghold Athletic Club for three and a half years and while at Stronghold, started as a belay slave and climbing party belayer. Soon there after he started teaching the beginner climbing clinics and co-coach the climbing team.

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