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Aerial dance in full swing at Summers Academy

Published: Thursday, July 11, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 12, 2013 8:21 a.m. CDT
Christina Buettner, aerial silk and acro instructor at Summers Academy of Dance.
Mark Simpson, aerial silk and acro instructor at Summers Academy of Dance.

CRYSTAL LAKE – Aerial dance is in full swing at Summers Academy of Dance in Crystal Lake.

Professionally trained aerial silks and acro instructors Mark Simpson and Christina Buettner have begun teaching at the studio, 5186 Northwest Hwy., Suite 115.

According to owner and executive director Vicki Summers, aerial dance is an art form commonly seen in Cirque du Soleil performances. It is a combination of dance and movement of the body while in flight. The dance style trains dancers to move in unique ways that develops core strength and flexibility.

Christina Buettner, aerial silk and acro instructor, performed as a cheerleader during high school in Gurnee. In college, she continued to teach gymnastic classes at Rising Stars Gymnastics Academy in Bloomington, and was an integral part of Illinois State University’s Gamma Phi Circus for three years.

Buettner’s involvement in the circus included performing acts such as aerial silks, acro/adagio, German wheel, tightwire, tumbling, and 10-person bicycle. She was act captain for 10-person bike and aerial silks. In 2009 she was selected to represent the circus in the Turnfest Gymnastics Festival in Frankfurt, Germany.

Mark Simpson teaches adult fitness classes for Focus Martial Arts and Fitness in Lake in the Hills. In addition, he works at South Park Elementary School in Deerfield where he assists in the special education room and coaches tumbling and gymnastics for the after-school enrichment program. He continues to train and perform in aerial silks and acro in Chicago.

Simpson’s specialties include aerial silks, trapeze, double trapeze, acro and double stunts, stacking chairs, German wheel, stilt walking, and Chinese pole. In addition, he is trained in Spanish web, basic tumbling, double mini tramp, lira, teeter board, flying trapeze, rolling globe, tight wire, and juggling. He has performed with Triton Trouper  Circus, Nutcracker Ballet Legere, Aloft Aerial Dance, Aerial Strorm, Circo Rose, and Circus Fans of America.

For more information, call (815) 477-0033, or visit

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