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SIS at iFly Seattle

One of my favorite Drop Zone diary entries is, “How I feel when a SIS event comes to my DZ.”

And why? Cause the ladies rock it out for a weekend of learning, dressing up, dancing, and inspiring others (including the guys).

October 18 – 20 marked the second annual SIS event at iFly Seattle. Why have a “SIS” event at a wind tunnel? Owner Lysa Adams and event organizer Elle Dasilva came up with a SIS event as many skydivers utilize the tunnel for training. With having many gal pals and organizing several all girl huck jams, the idea was born to make a SIS event where more experienced flyers would coach and teach and share their knowledge to the newbies.

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I asked Elle to share her story on how the SIS event changed, influenced and inspired her. “I was in skydiving for five years and I got to a point in my life where I let fear take over and I couldn’t jump anymore. The wind tunnel kept my flying skills current, but I still felt I was missing out on the skydiving community. Participating in the SIS skydiving retreat in Seattle got me in contact with many new female skydivers that I wouldn’t have met otherwise.

Fear was a common topic for me and during the SIS event seminars, I learned how the coaches overcame their fears, and it gave me strength and hope to get myself back into the sky where we love to play. And now, I’m back in the sky and I can share my experience with other girls!”

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A dinner was included as a part of registration where several coaches gave talks on overcoming and dealing with different levels of fear. As one of the speakers I said that we’re fortunate to be in skydiving where the pros are reachable and most are approachable, unlike other professional sports. Sometimes people have fear of approaching us, but I let it be known that if anyone has any question or concern regarding skydiving, to feel free to reach out their hands to us so that we can share our knowledge.

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Brianne Thompson of Axis School of Flight added, “Each one of us [coaches] didn’t follow the same path to get where we are today. So have the courage to try to things and carve your own way!”

Carolyn Chow of Monkey Business and shared her experience of how she participated in, and now is a part of it.

After dinner, Nancy McFadden shared her incredible story from having a life-threatening injury to becoming a skydiver, then lead the group of girls in a Zumba routine with amazing enthusiasm and energy!

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The roster was full of heavy hitters in each discipline and proved to be a winning combination. Girls got to work on everything from basic belly, 4-way FS drills, to huck jams, all levels of freefly and dynamic flight. There were many success stories in girls transitioning from belly to back fly, girls holding their sit, nailing their head down, and rocking out some incredible dynamic moves.

Brianne Thompson
Carolyn Chow
Deb Correia

Cat Adams
Amy Chmelecki
Melanie Curtis
Melissa Lowe (formerly Nelson)
Kim Winslow

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Vertical Suits
Cookie Helmets
Velocity Sports

Last years’ event 15 girls registered, this year were 31! iFly Seattle knows how to put on a well-organized event and is already working on the 3rd Annual SIS Tunnel Retreat October 17-19, 2014.

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Elle concludes the event by saying, “It does not matter who you are and how many jumps you have, you are always learning and we all have our own paths to achieve happiness and success. SIS is the reason I got back into the sport and I am very happy it exits!”

About Melissa Lowe:

Melissa Lowe (formally Melissa Nelson) is a 3rd generation, well-accomplished skydiver logging over 10,000+ jumps. She's an AFF-Instructor and travels the world organizing at events. She earned her pilot's license in 2012 and is currently finishing her late father's book, Sugar Alpha, due out in 2013. Melissa currently lives in Moab, UT where she currently co-runs Over the Edge, Moab and Arches Air Sports with her fiance, and lives her other life as a BASE jumper, yogi and slackliner.


By Melissa Lowe on 2013-11-04 | Last Modified on 2017-01-17

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