FAQ – West Coast Aerial Arts Festival (Pending Update for 2018)

Participants’ Welcome Letter

Welcome, Aerial Arts viewers.   This page will encompass information you need to know regarding our 6th Annual West Coast Aerial Arts Festival (WCAAF), on November 8 – 11, 2018 here in sunny Orange County, California.

The WCAAF will have aerial arts competition comprising of (3) fundamental aerial apparatuses, the Aerial Tissu also known as Silks, Fabric, Chiffon, Ribbon; Aerial Hoop or Lyra; and Single or Double Point (Static) Trapeze.  Said competition will also be divided according to age group and be separated between amateurs, semi-pro and professionals.  The Festival is also have other exciting activities including workshops, showcase performances and hangout time with your newly found friends.

The competition will culminate with an aerial concert showcasing the winners and special guests on November 11, 2018. Our special thanks to our main main sponsors, the  Aerial Dance Theater and the Ruby Karen Project for organizing, donating and sponsoring spaces to hold both competition and concert award’s night – WCAAF’s Culminating Exhibition.


  1. What are the Competition Categories

There are be as many as 17 categories available for competition entry (scroll down for details)

Categories DISCIPLINE Status Level
Amateur or Professional
7 – 12 years old (Kids) Tissu, Hoop, Trapeze Amateurs
13 – 17 years old (Teens) Tissu, Hoop, Trapeze Amateurs
18 – 25 yrs old (Young Adults) Tissu, Hoop, Trapeze Amateurs
26 – 49 years old (Adults) Tissu, Hoop, Trapeze Amateurs
50 yrs old and over (Seniors) Standard or inventive  apparatus Amateurs
OPEN:  Theatrical Act·
Youth Solo (7-17 yrs old)·
Adult Solo  (18 & over)·
Group (7-17 yrs old)
Group (18 & over)
Standard or inventive  apparatus All Semi-Pros and Professionals

If there are 5 or more entrants in one apparatus, we will open a separate division.


*There shall be a minimum of 3 entries to proceed with a category. One or more categories may be joined in with nearest and most fitted category depending on the entries. If one of the group entrant is a Semi-pro/Professional, the category shall belong to the Professional division.

****In cases where the candidate’s age is borderline two age categories, the determining age will be the candidate’s age by Dec. 31, 2018.

  1. Definition: Amateur – Semi-Professional – Professional?

Amateur: Any person who has not received compensation as a result of any aerial performance or for instruction. Verifiable statements (AAA form) from the contestant’s instructor/ mentor, coach or any reliable person that can attest to his/her activities shall be submitted as part of the application.

Semi-Professional: One who received compensation as a result of up to 3 – 5 events in a year, whether for instruction OR performance.

Professional: One who, whether intermittently or regularly receives compensation in more than 5 events/ year for either instruction or performance.

*Semi-Professional and Professional applicants will be combined in one division and shall be designated as “Professional”, unless there are three or more entrants under the “Semi-Pro” level,

The organizing committee will see fit to segregate or create another division based on the number of entrants, the number of Semi-Pro and Professionals and the apparatus.

  1. How do I apply?

Complete the application package and pay the fees Be prepared with a digital photo and your BIO that needs to be uploaded for the souvenir program.  Deadline for submissions:
Early Bird Fee: $150.00 /entry / category (until September 1, 2017 PST)
Regular:  $175./ entry per category (Sept. 2 – until Oct. 15, 2017 PST)
Late Registration: Additional $50/ category (Oct. 16 – Nov. 1)

  1. How much does it cost to enter the competition?
    Please CLICK HERE for complete list of fees and submission deadlines

***NOTE:  You cannot enter in two (2) categories of the same type… e.g… open group category.

Refund are only allowed within one (2) weeks of your purchase or 10 days prior to the festival date, whichever is earlier.   We however, will apply your payment to the following year less any administrative costs.

Pay Your Application Fee

  1. Are there nearby accommodations for our Foreign/ Out-of-Town applicants?

We have arranged a group discount with Ayres Hotel $121. + tax. Pleas mention code: “Aerial Arts America” or Event Code #11530.  This includes Free Breakfast for 2 (and $10 for additional guest), free parking, Free Wi-FI and delicious fresh baked cookies!!!   Make sure you book no later than Oct. 18, 2017.  I suggest you book early, especially if you will be reserving double beds.  Depending on the room availability, Ayres Hotel might be able to extend the reservation deadline.  This hotel is within 7-10 minute walking distance to Aerial Dance Theater.  There are other hotels around.  Click here for an Expedia list of hotels in the neighborhood or AirBnB

  1. What are the awards?

Each category will have an award consisting of a trophy/ medal and more from our sponsors.   We also have prize money for the Top 3 Overall Winners.  In addition, the Overall Winner will be the featured guest artist at the subsequent WCAAF.

Aerial Arts America is also raising funds and gathering sponsors for non-monetary prizes.  More information will be posted as new development arises.

  1.   (a) Will the public be able to watch the competition and/or showcase? Yes.  Pleas visit our Calendar of Events.   Ticket sale will start on Oct. 31, 2017 with this TICKET PURCHASE LINK.  

           (b) Will there be a culminating showcase for the winners? Yes. 

Yes, all 1st Place Winners will have the chance to perform their winning piece on the last day (Sunday) sometime between 6-8pm.  All contestants will also be performing in group pieces.  Staging and rehearsals shall take place at Aerial Dance Theater or an alternative venue on Sunday (please check schedule for times).

  1. How will the competition be judged?

The panel will consist of 3 judges, carefully selected based on their master credentials as teachers and professional artists.   The criteria for judging will be based on technical skills, choreography and transitional interpretation, artistic elements and overall interpretation of their act as it relates to musicality, rhythm and dynamics.

Compulsory moves shall consist of at least one (1) drop or roll, (1) one flexibility and (1) strength move.

  1. What is the minimum number of contestants to open a category?

There shall be at least 3 contestants to open a category, otherwise, the founding organizer will make a judgment call to either move the applicant to the nearest division by age, apparatus and status or open the category based on emerging necessity. Also note that if one of the group entrant is a Semi-Pro or Professional, the category shall belong to the Professional division.

When entering a group category, the oldest entrant shall be the determining factor.

  1. What is the required Aerial Percentage Content (APC)?

For any category, there must be at least 80% aerial related movement within your act.  Please remember, that although your ground moves may be technical, beautiful, creative and entertaining, as an aerial arts competition, the judges are required to score according to movements that are above the ground.

  1. Is there a limit to the category I apply?

No, so long as you pay the application and other related fees, and submit your entry before the deadline.

  1. Some technical information you need to know.
  • Height from the hardware to the floor is between 18 – 19 feet (depending on the point)
  • The applicant has a choice of bringing her own apparatus or using our apparatus.
  • If the applicant chooses to bring his/her apparatus, this shall be inspected by our certified rigger
  • There will be a hoist available. The hoist speed is 8ft./min. (No drops, swings or dynamic moves)
  • There shall be a 3:1 pulley system. If you opt to us this, you need to bring an assistant in order to use this 3:1 point. Please notify our technical director, Luca Cecchini (lucachn@gmail.com), no later than October 31, 2018.
  • Mats are mandatory.  Any acts that require flat flooring shall have with them a person who will drag back the mat when the contestant starts her aerial executions.   Any area that has swinging has to be covered by mat/s.
  • If you are using the hoist or the 3:1 point, please have your hoist/ pulley operator present.   Said operator would need to meet with our technical director.  Please check schedule of events for rigging time.
  • Please consult with our technical director, Luca Cecchini (lucachn@gmail.com) for any questions or rigging set-up.

If there are questions we have not answered, please email us: info@aerialartsamerica.org

  1. What is the duration of your act?

Kids 12 and under: 3 – 4 minutes;                     Teens/Adults 13 years old and over:  4-5 minutes.

The timing of the act shall start from when you start your move, whether from the wings or from the ground, even without touching the apparatus.  Any act that fall outside the duration frame will have a 10 point deduction.

File format for your music. Please send your music with file extension/ format: Audio CD or MP3 with 320 kbps via email no later than Oct. 31, 2018. A back-up copy should be stored in a USB drive/ Ipod and maintained under the applicant’s control during the event.

  1. How do we exercise safety during the competition?

Aerial Arts poses many risks including slips and falls that may result in injury or death. The organization prioritizes in safety and shall exercise any and all precautions and safety measures in order to make the event a safe place. Our certified rigger shall check your apparatus when you register and sign in. There will be mats on the floor during the competition. Contestants should only perform moves and/or choreography that they have mastered.   If for any reason, any part of your act is considered unsafe (including any resulting entanglement), the organization has the right to end your act in order to prevent any or potential injury. Additionally, all contestants, performers and guest artists are required to sign a Release of Liability form.

  1. Is costume a major consideration?

No, costume is not a determining factor.  Costume is allowed provided that there shall be no props involved.  Your costume would need to be approved by our compliant committee.  If you are unsure, we recommend that you email a picture of your costume to us, info@aerialartsamerica.org to ensure that you will not incur any deductions.   Any costume not previously approved may be rejected at the competition rounds if the committee finds that said costume is in violation of its policy and/or if it seems to be unsafe.

At the culminating showcase – Nov. 11, we encourage our participants to bring in the entertainment element of their performance including additional costumes & props (provided these are approved).

  1. Media Recording:

We have had many challenges over the past two festivals regarding video recordings of the competition. This year, we intend to place stricter rules regarding the video recordings. There shall be no video recording at both competition days. A professional videographer will be covering the competition and all applicants can order a video of their own routine.   Please cooperate and help fund our future festivals by adhering to this rule and at the same time, help support our cause by ordering your own videos with us.  A compliance staff will be walking around and if you are caught taping , we will warn and/or temporarily stop the competition and identify the person.   A 10-point deduction shall apply against the applicant being taped. The media card will be confiscated and returned when we have erased the data.

Due to a variety and device features, and in order to carry out all compliance tasks relating to media recording policies, there will be no photography during the competition days, Nov. 9 & 10, 2018.   The same penalties shall apply as if you were videotaping.  For the Nov. 11, 2018 Culminating Exhibition,  you will be allowed to videotape and photograph (without flash) provided that you are not obstructing the view of people watching.

Media Orders:  Please note that AAA is reliant on volunteers to handle media orders.  Please allow 1-3 months for post production of videos and photos.  We try our very best to inform you when the media’s are ready.  We will provide more information via email regarding media orders (purchase), as we are still working out vendor set-ups.  Please know that for privacy and preservation of creative properties, we cannot release any media file that is not yours.  All videos of 1st place winners will however be showcased 3-4 months before the next festival.

  1. Invitational Applications

We welcome showcase artists at the festival’s welcome and culminating nights.  These pieces focus more on creativity and theme based performances, given the performer’s elite skill set.  Simply submit (via email) your act on Youtube  (private setting) for consideration.  You shall hear from us no later than Oct. 15, 2018  for either of the performance dates, Thursday, November 8 – Welcome Night or Sunday, November 10 – Culminating Concert.  Please note that even as a showcase performer, you may be required to pay the application and other related fees, upon acceptance.


For any questions, please contact us. Other festival departments are as follows:

Ruby Karen
Festival Coordinator
(714) 846-6143 – Landline; (714) 330-7484 (mobile)

Luca Cecchini
Technical Director

Barbra Seay
Contestant Coordinator

Alexandra Akscyn
Sponsor and Souvenir Program Coordinator

Karen Lin
Workshop Coordinator

AJ Vasquez
Music and Stage Production

Caitlin Terry
Volunteer and Judge Coordinator

We look forward to having you be a part of the WEST COAST AERIAL ARTS FESTIVAL!

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