Can I go to a class even if I'm short/out of shape/color blind/unlucky/clumsy/etc?
Yes! Don’t worry if you’re uncoordinated or don’t consider yourself to be strong or flexible. We strive to make aerial accessible for people of all shapes, sizes, and ages.
How strong do I need to be to take circus classes?
You will develop the muscles you need for aerial by taking aerial classes. We tailor the class to the level of the students, so don't worry about how many pull-ups you can do. We take you as you are.
What if I am afraid of heights?
Most beginner aerial skills will not take you more than a few feet off the ground. You are never required to go any higher than you are comfortable with; however, some more advanced skills require you to climb higher in order to do them safely. As with everything in aerial, take baby steps and never try anything you’re not prepared for.
Can my child take aerial classes?
We occasionally have a kids aerial class that is full of games, drills and tricks to introduce kids 7 and up to aerial arts. If you have a teenager that is used to structured classes, they can sign up for adult classes. If your child is under 12 you will need to stay and supervise the class.
What kind of cross training is most beneficial?
Rock climbing, dancing, body building, yoga, gymnastics, and pole fitness are all great for cross training.
For aerial, any sort of weighted exercise that focuses on pulling motions will be helpful: pull-ups & lat pull downs, for example. Handstands, hallow holds, and push-ups are also great cross-training. A suspension trainer can help you get used to suspending part of your body weight in the air.
Many aerial skills build off of being able to hold your weight above a bar for a few seconds. If you’re not up to a full pull-up yet, find a playground or a pull-up bar, jump up to the top, and see how long you can hold yourself there.
Is it safe?
All aerial skills involve a certain amount of risk. We endeavor to minimize this risk as much as possible. Here are some of our fundamental safety rules:
Always have a crash mat underneath you when you are on an apparatus.
Never get on an apparatus without an aerial instructor present.
Pay attention to instructions and progressions; don’t attempt something beyond your skill level.
Resist the urge to teach yourself tricks off the Internet or from other students. If you see something you’d like to try, please talk to an aerial instructor first so that they can help you find a way to practice safely.
Ask for a spot or assistance from your aerial instructor if you suspect you need it.
Monitor your own energy levels and don’t attempt something difficult or new if you are too tired to do it safely (or to come down properly).
If you are an existing aerial student, you can attend Open Aerial to practice skills you have already learned in class on your own. An aerial instructor will be present to ensure everyone’s safety, but they will not be teaching new tricks or skills. Dos and Don'ts for Open Aerial:
Alcohol/Drugs: Arriving under the influence of alcohol or drugs that affect your focus and concentration is prohibited.
Drops: Drops are allowed with the express permission and direct supervision of an instructor.
Skill Sharing: Students are not permitted, under any circumstances, to teach any movement, pose, sequence, or skill to another student. This is known as skill sharing and is strictly prohibited.
Safety Equipment: Students are required to always have a mat under them anytime they are doing an activity or skill where their feet leave the ground.
Attire: Dress appropriately for the apparatus you are working on and include: close-fitting workout clothes that cover legs and underarms, no jewelry, grommets, long/sharp nails or any other objects that can snag or tear the equipment.
Partner/Doubles: Students are prohibited from doubles/partner aerial work unless both participants have completed a doubles class or workshop or have completed a private training lesson on partner safety with their coach.
YouTube/Instagram "Training": Students are not allowed to practice skills or drops that they "learned" from YouTube, Instagram or any other book, video, etc. If a student wants to learn a skill that they saw online, they can email the link to the instructor and request that skill be taught during class or in a private lesson.
Which class should I take if I'm a beginner?
Beginner Aerial will teach you basic tricks on aerial hammock, hoop, fabric and trapeze. If you want to get more flexible, take our Get Bendy class; if you want to get stronger, take the Aerial Boot Camp class.
What do I wear?
Tight athletic clothes that cover the backs of your knees and armpits. Slippery clothing can slide on the silks and hammock, so cotton or other non-slippery fabric works best. No belt buckles or metal parts on your clothes, please. All jewelry will need to be removed before class. Also bring a water bottle, your body will thank you.
Can I take photos/videos during class?
We prefer for students to wait until the end of class to take photos or videos.
Where should I park?
The Wells Fargo parking garage at the corner of 9th and Mulberry is open to the public after 5pm on weekdays and all weekend. There is also metered street parking near the Des Moines Social Club on Mulberry, 10th, and Cherry streets. (You do not have to feed the meter before 8 AM and after 6 PM on weekdays, or on weekends.)
How do I check in for class?
Come in the front door of the Social Club, and come right on upstairs to the Handball Court. We’ll get you checked in for class there.
What happens if I can’t make my class?
If you are able to cancel on the website or through the app ahead of time, you can apply your credit towards another class. Otherwise, please discuss this with your instructor.