Training Well, Training Safely

Aerial arts are highly specialized disciplines that yes, can be a huge amount of fun, but they also do need to be taken seriously, without taking short cuts in training practices just to get to the “big tricks”. Ballet, jazz and modern dancers spend on average over 10 years training to perfect their technique before performing professionally, and becoming proficient in aerial dance, whether it’s just for fun or whether one aims to perform at a high level, also requires dedication and time.

Students need to train carefully and patiently, no matter how strong they may be when they begin. Just because someone can climb a 16-foot rope does not mean they are ready to flip upside down, maneuver through a complex multi-stage wrap and then roll down towards the floor. Learning the correct wrap sequences and movements, and understanding how and why they work (and equally important, understanding what doesn’t work and what to avoid doing) takes time, and is unlike any other dance or acrobatic training.

If a student tries to move ahead too fast too soon, they are unnecessarily increasing the risks of injury. Imagine trying to do a round off back handspring to double back salto before you know how to do a basic cartwheel! How many divers could safely dive from the 10-metre platform before learning how to dive from the 1-metre board? Aerial dance needs the same approach: focus, discipline even while you’re having fun, and lots of time and patience to perfect and refine your skills.

In Aerial Danz, we place great emphasis on training safely, not only with specific safety rules and a detailed curriculum for each level, but also by building a solid foundation of correct basic technique, strength, control, and body alignment. Each class begins with a structured floor warm-up and conditioning exercises on the aerial apparatus for building core strength, flexibility, and control. For body balance, coordination, spatial awareness, and performance abilities, all aerial students are required to take dance technique classes in addition to their aerial classes.

Students must spend a minimum of one full year training in each level before moving on to the next level, though some students may need to spend more than one year in a particular level to improve and achieve the required skills and experience. As everyone learns at their own pace, we have set prerequisite skills for each level to determine when a student is ready to move ahead.