What Are Aerial Silks?

Also Called Aerial Fabric, Tissu, and aerial dance.

Aerial silks are made of synthetic nylon fabric, and are rigged so that two halves of the fabric hang down from a rig point -- often a beam on the ceiling. An aerialist climbs, dances, spins, stretches, and drops using the fabrics to create performance art.

How Strong Do I Need To Be To Take An Aerial Class?

You don’t need any upper body strength to start. (And there’s no such thing as ZERO upper body strength, so you’re qualified already!) Classes are designed to help you build the muscles needed for aerial work. Beginner classes utilize the knot to get you used to the feel of the fabric without supporting your entire body weight. Supplementing aerial training with additional strength training will allow you to progress faster. And it’s always good to cross train! Pilates and weight training pair very well with aerial work.

I’m Afraid Of Heights. Can I Still Take An Aerial Class?

Absolutely! All moves are learned close to the ground over mats before taking them higher. You won’t be doing moves aerially unless the instructor is confident you have the strength and know the wrap.

Is It Safe?

As with any sport, there are of course safety concerns, which is why safety is the number one priority. The equipment itself can hold over 2000 pounds and is regularly inspected. All moves are learned close to the ground and cannot be taken higher until both the student and instructor are confident in the student’s ability to execute the move safely. The instructor has been professionally trained in spotting techniques, and gymnastics mats are used in every class.

Do's and Don'ts of Class

Please plan to arrive 15 minutes early for your first class. You will be asked to fill out and sign some forms. There will be a 15 minute warm up, and some stretching involving the silks. You will learn terminology, proper body position, and then we’ll start learning poses! You will also learn how to tie a knot in your first class, and some poses you can do from the knot. We’ll end the class with a cool down and stretching. Feel free to take pictures or videos of your new skills and tag us on social media! #cirquedakota

Don’t eat a big meal before coming. Like any strenuous workout, you don’t want a full stomach, especially when you have the potential for going upside down and spinning! Please also refrain from alcohol, drugs, or any other substance that could cloud judgment or increase vertigo.

What Should I Wear?

Leggings or footless tights that cover the backs of your knees. A shirt or tank top that is not too loose. You may want to bring a long sleeve shirt for certain moves (silk burn on the armpit is no fun!). Please do not wear any lotions or oils as they can damage the silks. NO velcro, zippers, or jewelry.

How can I practice at home?

If you just can't get enough circus in your life, I totally sympathize! In between classes, I highly recommend cross-training with yoga, stretching, pilates, weights, cardio...really anything to keep you moving and complement your aerial training! If you're asking about home rigging, please check out this blog post.