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Conversations with Kerry Wee

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kerry Wee.

Hi Kerry, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I’m a proud first-generation Chinese-American raised in the Midwest. I was only four and a half when I took my first dance class and even though I fell in love with it, I was a bit of a late bloomer and didn’t think of it as a career path. I went on to study Politics at Oberlin College in Ohio and dove into building a career in politics with capitol hill internships and working for a media consultant in Washington, DC. In my early twenties, my passion for dancing took over. I packed up my life in DC and moved out to LA.

I went on to dance in the industry for the next twenty years. A couple of highlights were dancing for Motley Crue, Taylor Swift, Shakira, Beyonce & Jane’s Addiction and for show such as Dancing with the Stars, Lollapalooza, The American Music Awards, The Grammy Awards, The BET Awards and Disney.

In 2007, I began to train as an aerialist and now it is my primary focus. I love dancing in the air. It feels like I up-leveled my dance spirit and now I get to fly.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
In 2011, I booked the Taylor Swift World Tour for her “Speak Now” album and would be dancing and performing aerial. It was a physically and mentally challenging process and about six weeks in, I slipped out of my aerial apparatus and landed hard on the ground. My fibula and tibia snapped in half and tore through my skin. The ankle bone suffered a compound fracture and together those fractures added up to what my doctor described as “career ending.”

I went into surgery where the doctor sewed my leg back together with two steel plates and seventeen pins and screws. Sidelined at the worst time ever, I was emotionally devastated and in physical pain. Instead of going on tour with one of the biggest pop stars in the world, I spent the next two years in recovery.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’m so proud of my work recently because I’ve been able to switch the focus from me to other aerialists and dancers. I teach locally here in LA at Womack and Bowman The Loft and I’m really excited to also have an online clientele all around the world through my aerial silks online course, Wrap Your Head Around Silks.

I wrote a book, UNDERSTANDING AERIAL SILKS that comes out on July 1st on Amazon and Audible. It’s designed to be a companion to an aerialist’s training, for those looking for a deeper meaning to the basic instruction given in a class setting. I’m also addressing the super-niche population of pregnant aerialists with my podcast THE EXPECTING AERIALIST. I’m a dance contributor for Backstage Magazine and co-host the podcast GREENER GRASS that dives into business, leadership and motherhood.

In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
Dance on tv and film are booming right now and after we get past the pandemic, I think stage dance will return with incredible energy. The great part is, the world is watching and viewers from everywhere crave content whether it’s digital or live. I think dance and aerial industries will be exciting to watch in the next ten years. Similar to trying to make it as a singer or actor in LA, it’s getting more and more competitive for dancers and aerialists to book great jobs and in turn survive financially.

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Image Credits:

JC Argetsinger Photography Scripter Films Photography

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