Atlantic Cities

What the Heck Is 'Bandalooping'?

In Monday night's episode of The Bachelorette, this season's titular single lady, Desiree, donned neon leggings, hoisted herself in the air via a harness and cable, and danced on the side of West Hollywood's Andaz hotel with her date, Kasey.

"Bandaloop is an extreme way of dancing that is done on the side of a building," Desiree explains in the episode.

Turns out this dancing-on-the-side-of-buildings or otherwise suspended in the air is actually a thing, called aerial dancing. The dancers who appeared on the show are from the Bay Area-based troupe Bandaloop, who describe themselves as a "pioneer in vertical dance performance." The troupe, founded in 1991, has performed suspended from the top of Seattle's Space Needle, onthe side of Washington, D.C.'s Old Post Office, and the New York Stock Exchange, to name a few.

Thanks to The Bachelorette, the troupe's name is now being used as a verb, as in:

Bandaloop's setup uses rock climbing rope and harnesses. "The company's roots are in the mountains," says managing director Amanda Moran via email. "The first pieces were done in Yosemite, as the founder was both a professional dancer and a competitive climber, 2000 feet up El Capitan," she says.

The David Letterman Building in New York City (Photo by Atossa Soltani/Courtesy of Bandaloop)

Unfortunately for those hopefuls on Twitter, non-reality TV cast amateurs will have to put in some hard work before they're able to snag a date on the side of a building, at least with Bandaloop. "Usually people would first come to our studio and do a workshop there - we have workshops year round," Moran says. "It takes a lot of wrangling with a building to allow for workshops on site, but we do do it."

Amelia Rudolph, Mark Stuver, Kimm E. Ward dance in Salina, Kansa (Photo by Corey Rich/Courtesy of Bandaloop)

Check out the troupe in action, here:

Sara Johnson is a fellow at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

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