Upswing Bay Aerial Dance Company

We hosted a benefit dinner at Sanctuary Bistro to support local Dance troupe Upswing Aerial Dance Company.  They shared a beautiful dance and music with us.  Make sure that you support our amazing local arts, education and community as it is the crux of society.  Cherie Carson, a compassionate vegan, and the troupe director shared a little about the dance troupe.


I have been creating aerial dances since I arrived here in the Bay Area in 2000. The dancers I worked with inspired me to form a Company and it has worked really well. I am very happy I did.

Cherie Carson’s Background

My background is a contemporary dancer/choreographer. My fascination has been with creating dances in unusual spaces. For example, underwater, in a planetarium, in galleries, reflection pools, hanging from a tree, in a VERY LARGE dress.  It is a fascination about the space around a dancer and how the dance is affected by the space and how the space is changed by the dance.  This eventually led me into the air.


We create our own language for the movements we do in the air. Sometimes (to an outsider) they may sound funny. Some of our dance moves are flower, meat hook, plank or dead man. It helps us remember the steps.


UpSwing Company offers classes, workshops and performances for the Bay Area community. We offer once a year free performance and free classes so that our work is accessible to all. Most important is that we are representing the community through our artform. Especially when we travel to other parts of the country and share what we are doing here in the Bay Area. Expressing and documenting one’s culture is a way of preservation. This is one of the ways we understand our past and a way to connect today.

Art for Healing and Personal Growth

I have personally witnessed how our art form has helped young girls and adults overcome fears, find their own personal empowerment and learn how to work with each other in a positive way. In our youth program, we offer Girls Who Fly and Teens Who Fly classes. They often stay from the ages of 9 through 18 in the after school classes. It is beautiful to watch these young girls mature with self confidence and grace and have the ability to describe these emotions and experiences to each other and publicly.

History of Aerial Dance

Aerial Dance was born out of a modern dance/contemporary dance genre in the 70’s.  Another early influence on aerial modern dance, Terry Sendgraff, is credited with inventing the “motivity” trapeze. Terry Sendgraff actively performed, choreographed and taught in the San Francisco Bay Area from the early 1970s, until announcing her retirement in 2005, at the age of 70. I took over her business and began Studio 12 Flys which became UpSwing Aerial Dance Company in 2011. The motivity trapeze came about as a result of an exploration on a low-hung circus trapeze. The ropes twisted together, causing the apparatus to spin. By formalizing this, hooking both ropes to a single point of attachment the apparatus can spin, twist, as well as fly in a straight line and in a circle.


Hannah Dworkin (also an opera singer who sang the trilogy at Sanctuary Bistro) Alissa Kaplan-Soto, Helen Dickson, Kirstin Brown, Jennifer Alvarado, Cara Zeisloft and Elizabeth Milne-Kahn

Check out Upswing at their next preformance

Our next performance is Dec 19-21, 2015 at Studio 12, 2525 Eighth St, Berkeley It is a celebration of the return of the Sun, “Solstice!” A great holiday alternative. Tix at

Donate to UPSWING

Awe how sweet! Yes we would absolutely love to receive donations. We do amazing work on a shoestring budget. Our success is intrinsic to the community that surrounds us; it is a symbiotic relationship. Our quality and quantity of programming is dependent on the people who continue to support the work that we do.

If you would like to make a direct contribution you can donate via PAYPAL ( or write your check & mail to: Cherie Carson, 426 Orange Street Oakland, CA 94610

For a tax deductable donation, write your check to our fiscal sponsor, Dancers’ Group (put UpSwing PC in the check memo section), and mail to me in the envelope provided

Or by PayPal online to Dancers’ Group:


Thank you, Sanctuary Bistro, for your support and activism in this community. I followed and supported your kickstarter for your space and am so happy that you have created Sanctuary Bistro.  As a vegan myself, I find it becoming more and more an important  statement of who I am and my politics. I am an advocate for organic foods and animal rights. Thank you for bringing these two together. -Cherie

hi res snowbirds

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Closed Monday and Tuesday

 LUNCH: Wed, Thu, Fri:  11am – 3 pm,      DINNER: Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun 5:30pm – 9pm
 BRUNCH: Sat, Sun 8:30am – 3pm

Special events: Visit our events page

PLEASE NOTE: Holiday Hours: 

December 24, 2017: Holiday Pre-ordered Meal pick up.  Order here.

December 24 – December 28:  Closed for the holidays.

December 29 – Closed for lunch, open for Dinner 5:30 – 9pm

December 31, 2017: New Years Eve Dinner: 6:30 seating.



  • Dinner Reservations Strongly advised

    Lunch and Brunch: First Come First Serve

  • 1019 Camelia St., Berkeley, CA 94710

  • (510) 558.3381

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