UpSwing Aerial Dance Company film ‘Pressure’ receives award

UpSwing Aerial Dance Company film 'Pressure' receives award
Image courtesy of UpSwing Aerial Dance Company.

Richmond resident Cherie Carson and her aerial dance company, UpSwing Aerial Dance, has continued its award-winning ways for its sixth dance-for-camera aerial work “Pressure.”

“Pressure” won the category of Music Video from Caravan International Film Festival in West Bengal, India. The mobile film festival, a first of its kind festival, screened films from multiple locations, similar to a caravan moving from one place to another.

“Pressure” is a music/aerial dance film about the pressure we live under, the pressure to conform, and it reaches for possibilities on how to deal with the pressure, according to Carson. Aerialists are UpSwing Company dancers Kiran Haithcox and Helium Valentine. 

“Aerial dance is performed to the acapella arrangement of David Bowie and Queens ‘Under Pressure’ which is written and performed entirely by Oakland-based musician David Worm,” Carson said.

The pandemic of 2020 increased the pressure for many organizations, including UpSwing Aerial Dance Company, which was forced to close down. But Carson successfully pivoted by creating dance-for-camera to restart the company. The company has created six dance films thus far that have collectively been selected for 66 festivals and 15 awards. “Water Spirit,” for example, was honored with Outstanding Achievement Award in the category of Film on Nature/Environment/Wildlife from World Film Carnival-Singapore.

“UpSwing continues to create these dance-on-film projects,” Carson said. “This new direction created by a shut down is a silver lining in a challenging time.”

To learn more about Cherie’s work and this creative dance company, which operates out of STUDIO 12 in Berkeley, go to