Gone are the days of having to run away to join the circus (unless, of course, that’s your dream). With circus schools and aerial studios popping up in most major cities, you can get your weekly or daily circus fix without abandoning your life.
We have been touring Ontario with our shows for several years, and we are incredibly excited to bring our passion and knowledge into our classes at LOT42 in Kitchener-Waterloo, ON. In this totally unique, fully renovated factory space, students will have access to 25’ of training height, with all points rigged from a 3 tonne crane.
Our classes are taught by professional circus and theatre artists. Since we are actively performing, we keep the aerial program small, with a limited number of spaces. The program is developed and lead by an Ecole Nationale de Cirque certified Instructor of Circus Arts with an emphasis on safety (read her Bio HERE). We believe in empowering our students by teaching them how their moves, wraps and equipment work so that they can keep themselves safe in the air. Our more intermediate and advanced students are then able to use that knowledge to explore aerial theory and discovery artistry and innovation within their work.
(Photo Credit: Laurie Varga)
WHAT IS “AERIAL ARTS”?
Aerial Arts (also known as aerials, aerial acrobatics or aerial dance, depending on who you talk to) have their roots in circus arts. It is a highly physical performance art that involves an apparatus (often a rope, fabric, bar, or straps), which the performer uses to leave the ground (by climbing or being lifted) to perform choreography in the air. This is a powerful art form that relies on the strength, skill and artistry of the aerialist.
We use several types of apparatus in our performances, and offer two options in our classes:
AERIAL SILKS (FABRIC)
Aerial Silks (or Fabric) combine impressive strength, flexibility, movement and artistry to create a stunning performance high off the ground. Using friction and wraps, aerialists climb, twist, and drop on fabric that is suspended from the ceiling.
AERIAL HOOP (LYRA)
An Aerial Hoop, also known as a Ring or Lyra, is a solid steel hoop that is attached to a line (or rope) and hung from a point. The aerialist moves below, through and above the hoop in a performance of strength and grace.
HOW WILL AERIAL ARTS BENEFIT YOU?
We are passionate about bringing the benefits of aerial training to anyone who wants to get involved, no matter their level of strength or flexibility. We are professional performers who are currently active in the entertainment and theatre industry, so if your goal is to become a performer, we can help get you started on that path. However, most of our students are recreational, and for them, this is a hobby that provides a full body workout that develops transferable skills for everyday life and other activities.
- Practical Strength: Aerial training builds core and upper body strength that is useful in day-to-day situations, which keeps you safe and increases your confidence.
- Coordination: Because your whole body has to work in sync, you will become more efficient with your movements.
- Spatial and Body Awareness: Develop a stronger connection to your body, and the way it relates to the world around you.
- Break Down Mental Barriers: You will be challenged with skills that are beyond your abilities (especially if you’ve never done a pull-up before!). If you meet it with commitment and determination, you will amaze yourself when you find that barriers can be broken over time, leaving you wondering, “What other limits have I placed on myself that aren’t actually there?”
- Community: We’ll just say it – our students are awesome! Turn off your phone, step onto the training floor, meet new people and be part of a fun, supportive community.
- Expression: If you’re an artistic soul who loves to move, and you’re looking for a creative outlet, aerial arts can certainly help you there. We love to help students explore sequences and creative concepts. This is a place where creative risk is welcome and supported! But if it’s not your jam, we won’t force you there.
- Oh Yeah! It’s FUN: All the benefits above, without even realizing you’re working on it!
We offer adult and youth classes in Aerial Silks and Aerial Hoop. Ages range from 8 to the adventurous!
Taking aerial classes is more like a hobby than a fitness class. We use a progressive curriculum that we are continuously refining to keep up-to-date with current industry knowledge and our own discoveries. We recommend signing up for consecutive weekly classes in order to progress through the curriculum and get the most out of your training.
Class sizes are small (3 to 6 students per Instructor), and no more than two students per apparatus. We offer drop-in, 5 class and 10 class passes for adults, and six week sessions for kids and youths. BUY A CLASS PASS HERE
An average class begins with a warm up, followed by skill training/conditioning, review, new skills (usually one or two each week), and sequences or challenges to get you connecting moves and gaining a deeper understanding of how they work.
Beginner – Get a basic introduction to aerial silks by learning foundational skills, basic climbs, and a variety of moves from foot locks and simple wraps. Build strength and coordination to hold, lift and manoeuvre your body weight with proper alignment and engagement, and put your moves into short sequences that bring all your hard work together!
No previous experience is required, and all levels of fitness are welcome.
Intermediate – Build on the strength and knowledge from the Beginner levels. You will learn more complex wraps, moves from inverted positions, closed wrap drops, and more challenging climbs. Students will also build endurance by performing longer sequences, and will begin to explore wraps to find new transitions.
Prerequisites: Strong understanding of foundational skills with ability to invert and hip key in the air consistently.
Advanced – Students at the advanced level have mastered the foundational skills and are ready to begin working on more complex techniques and wraps such as open, stacked and multi-directional drops, straight arm and momentum technique, strength-based moves, and self-guided explorations. Improvisation and problem solving is also part of advanced training.
Prerequisites: Several years of continuous training on fabric, comfort at greater heights, strong inversions and hip keys, stamina and awareness in the air.
Beginner – Get a basic introduction to aerial hoop by learning foundational skills, mounts, hangs, spins, supported positions and simple transitions. Build strength and coordination to hold, lift and manoeuvre you body weight with proper alignment and engagement, and put your moves into short sequences that bring all your hard work together!
No previous experience is required, and all levels of fitness are welcome.
Intermediate – Continue to develop your strength and knowledge through more challenging skills and drills. You will explore moves on top of the hoop, learn more complex transitions, and begin to develop your own variations and combinations of moves. Students will also build endurance by performing longer sequences.
Prerequisites: Strong understanding of foundational skills with ability to hang from hands and knees, invert, pullover and do a pull up.
Advanced – Students at the advanced level have mastered the foundational skills and are ready to begin working on more complex movements such as rolls, small drops, meathooks and other strength-based moves, and self-guided explorations. Improvisation and problem solving is also part of advanced training.
Prerequisites: Several years of continuous training on hoop, strong inversions and pull ups, stamina and awareness in the air.
KIDS & YOUTH
Kids Aerial (Ages 8 – 11) – The goal of this class is to help your child develop their motor skills through a combination of activities pulled from theatre, circus and aerial arts. We strive to provide a fun, safe and supportive environment where kids work on balance, coordination, agility, and spatial awareness while developing skills in self-discipline, teamwork, resilience and self-expression.
Open to all kids between the ages of 8 and 11, regardless of experience or physical background.
Youth Aerial (Ages 12 – 15) – This is an hour long class that is focused on both aerial silks and hoop. Class will begin with an engaging warm up, followed by skill training, review, and a new move of the week. Fun games are introduced whenever and wherever possible to help motivate students through conditioning and encourage creativity. The class is mixed level, and students will move through the curriculum at their own rate. Beyond aerial skills, students will develop self-discipline, responsibility, grit, and self-expression.
Open to youths between the ages of 12 and 15, regardless of experience or physical background.