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Introduction: Aerial arts is a performance art with acrobatic and dance principles that includes a variety of apparatuses, such as silks, hammock, and lyra. Aerial arts has been transforming over the years; it was once a form of entertainment and is now utilized in occupational therapy interventions. Occupational science, the academic discipline of studying occupations, has emerged to inform occupational therapy practice. Understanding the occupation of aerial arts through an occupational science framework, Doing, Being, Becoming, and Belonging, and Model of Human Occupation offered an in-depth description of the occupation that can provide more knowledge on how to use occupations more therapeutically.

Methods: A descriptive qualitative study that used semi-structured interviews (modified version of the Occupational Performance History Interview-II) with a photo-elicitation prompt and observations. Seven aerial students completed the semi-structured interviews. Data from the semi-structured interviews and observations were analyzed with Braun and Clarke (2006) thematic analysis guidelines and were deciphered into the constructs of Doing, Being, Becoming, and Belonging.

Results: Nine themes were identified to describe the occupation. The multidimensional concepts provided insight of the general impacts of engaging in aerial arts and illustrated how value and meaning of the occupation has been shaped with the consideration of COVID-19.

Conclusion: The research contributes to the body of knowledge of occupational science through the example of aerial arts. The discoveries provided foundational insights of aerial arts in a holistic approach that still merits further research, especially with the impacts of COVID-19, to enhance understanding of the occupation.

Publication Date

Summer 8-12-2021


University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences


Occupational Therapy, Acrobatics, Aerial Arts, Dance, Leisure Activities, Qualitative Research

Medical Subject Headings

Occupational Therapy, Gymnastics, Dance, Leisure Activities, Qualitative Research


Occupational Therapy | Sports Sciences


Poster presented at the Summer 2021 Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences held online on August 12, 2021.

Exploration of Aerial Arts as an Occupation