Visually moving art in the park

Raquel performs Aerial Silks Gymnastics at Les Shilrley Park in Cannon Beach.

If you’ve been in the area of Les Shirley park on a sunny day, you may have noticed a women with her yards of silk hanging from a tree branch performing Cirque du Soleil-like acrobatics.

What is she doing, you might ask?  It is known as “Aerial Silks Gymnastics.”

Raquel became interested in Aerial Silk Gymnastics when she was 22. A friend from high school was involved in it, and it inspired her to try a new dance form. At the time, Raquel was practicing several types of dancing: fire and belly dancing, hip hop, jazz, along with pilates and yoga.

After taking classes in Portland and practicing Aerial Silks Gymnastics for the past 11 years, Raquel discovered that Les Shirley Park was the perfect location to practice, with just the right tree and branch. After climbing a ladder and securing a metal bracket over the branch, strands of silk are hung 15 feet above the ground, with cushioned yoga mats below.

Residents and visitors frequently stop to watch in amazement as Raquel performs her routine to music. Her routine is a combination of gymnastics, dance, yoga, Cirque du Soleil, flexibility, agility and extreme strength. Her entire routine is like seeing a Cirque du Soleil performance, and watching her graceful movements in the beauty of nature with such a masterful performance is mesmerizing. Raquel has a mastery of mind, body and soul that is something beautiful to behold, like “Visually Moving Art in the Park.”

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