Welcome to St Albans Trapeze and Aerial Arts. We offer classes for adults and children in static trapeze, aerial silks, aerial yoga and more in a friendly and welcoming environment.

Upcoming classes and news

***No 2pm teenagers class today (30 November)***

All block-booked children's and teenagers classes Trapeze and Aerial Silks Classes are currently full for this term - contact us if you would like your child/teenager to be put on the waiting list for classes in the new year. 

Aerial Hoop Classes for Teenagers: Wednesdays at 6.15pm in Harpenden

Christmas 2019 Showcases:

14 December Student Showcase (featuring Beginner/Improver Teenagers and Children's Classes) in Harpenden and
15 December Student and Teacher Showcase (featuring Intermediate Teenager's Class and Beginner/Improver Adults) in St Albans.

We are St Albans' only aerial community. Started by professional circus artiste Gaynor Godiva in 2004, our Friday evening group has been meeting regularly for years - and we now offer a range of lessons for both children and adults. 

We believe that trapeze and aerial arts can be learned and enjoyed by anyone. If you want to get fit, strong and flexible in a fun way - or simply if you've always dreamed of running away to the circus! - our classes are for you. There's no upper age limit and you don't need to have any prior experience to take part - just a willingness to give it your best.

Our regular teachers have all been practising for over five years and have CircusFit qualifications while our guest teachers are professional aerialists and circus performers.

Trapeze

Static trapeze is our bread and butter - it's what we start our beginners on and it's our most popular piece of equipment. Not to be confused with flying trapeze, static trapeze is all about making strong, beautiful shapes while you move your body around the trapeze. We also teach basic doubles trapeze on request.

Aerial Silks

With billowing ribbons of fabric and seemingly death-defying drops, aerial silks performances look glamorous and daring - but be warned, these stretchy pieces of fabric can be tricky to conquer at first! However, the feeling of defying gravity is definitely worth it. 

Aerial Hoop 

Increasingly popular in recent years, the aerial hoop (or lyra as it is sometimes known) offers huge potential for a variety of different tricks, poses and spins. 

Rope

Also known by its fancy French name, corde lisse, aerial rope is exactly as it sounds. While we always teach basic rope climbing as part of our classes, the art of aerial rope offers so much more and will do wonders for your fitness.

Straps

Two straps with loops for the hands attached to a pivot, aerial straps require extreme strength and precision in order to successfully execute tricks and moves. Not a piece of equipment for those new to aerial! Taught on request by straps artiste Leanne Laird.

Aerial Yoga

A fusion of aerial arts and traditional yoga, aerial yoga offers a mindful and relaxing way of increasing flexibility, mobility and strength, as well as improving posture.

Where are we

The Yoga Hall
11 Hatfield Rd,
St Albans
AL1 3RR

Map Yoga Hall

The Grove Junior School
10 Dark Ln,
Harpenden
AL5 1QA

The Grove Junior School Harpenden

Classes and Times

Mixed Ability Aerial Classes

Where:The Yoga Hall
When:Fridays 6:00-7:30pm
Who:Beginners/intermediate, ages 16+
Classes for beginners and intermediates. No commitment needed for these classes as long as you've booked on at least 24 hours before hand.

Beginners/Improver Static Trapeze and Aerial Silks Classes for Teenagers

Where:The Grove Junior School
When:Saturdays 2:00-3:30pm
Who:Ages 12-18

Classes for teenagers beginners focusing on static trapeze, aerial silks, as well as some aerial hammock. 

Aerial Hoop Classes for Teenagers

Where:The Grove
When:Wednesdays6:15-7:25
Who:Ages 12-18

Aerial hoop classes in Harpenden for teenagers offer a chance to gain skills and techniques on the aerial hoop while improving coordination and physical strength.

Aerial Yoga Classes

Where:The Grove Junior School
When:Sundays, Wednesdays 9:00-11:00am Sundays, 7.40-8:40pm Wednesday
Who:All abilities. Ages 18+
Aerial yoga offers combines aerial arts with traditional yoga. It uses a low fabric hammock which supports the user's weight, helping them to relax, stretch, and improve posture. Please go to www.aerialyogawithali.com to book. 

Intermediate Static Trapeze and Aerial Silks Classes for Teenagers

Where:The Yoga Hall
When:Saturdays 4:30-6:00pm
Who:Intermediates.  ages 12-20

Classes for improvers/intermediates focusing on static trapeze and aerial silks. Pre-requisites: must have a basic knowledge of static trapeze moves; be able to perform French and Russian climbs; and be able to invert ('straddle up') and hold for at least 5 seconds.  

Adult Beginners Static Trapeze and Aerial Silks Classes

Where:The Yoga Hall
When:Saturdays 4:30-6:00pm
Who:Complete beginners/improvers. Age 18+
Get to grips with aerial silks and static trapeze and seriously improve your upper body and core strength in these aerial classes for adults.

Children's Aerial Circus Skills Classes

Where:The Grove Junior School
When:Mondays/Sundays  Mondays 5:30-6:30pm

Sundays 11:30am-12:30pm
Who: All abilities. Ages 7-11
Fun children's circus skills workshop for those aged 7-11, focusing on static trapeze, aerial hammock and aerial silks. 

Intermediate/Advanced Silks and Trapeze Workshops

Where:The Yoga Hall
When:

Occasional Saturdays

6:30-8:30pm
Who:Intermediate/Advanced. Ages 12+
Fast-paced workshops led by Leanne Laird focusing on improving technique and strength on aerial silks and static trapeze.

General Practice and Workshops

Where:The Yoga Hall
When:Fridays 7:30-9:30pm
Who:Intermediate/Advanced (invitation only)
An open session for people with some experience to work on routines in a relaxed informal environment. 

Teachers

Kate Hounslow

Former Opera House lighting technician Kate became hooked on trapeze at London's Circus Space (now the National Centre for Circus Arts) when she joined their adult programme in 1998 - there she discovered the joy of hanging upside down by unexpected parts of the body on a variety of pieces of equipment, including static trapeze, corde lisse and silks.

She continued training there just for the fun of it until having children seven years later. She came to St Albans to retrain in 2012. Kate is our head of health & safety and aerial rigging, and also in charge of organising our children's aerial circus birthday parties.

Leanne Laird

A professional aerialist and performer for over seven years now, our head instructor Leanne Laird first started training in aerial arts at Circomedia, where she specialised in aerial acrobatics. She has since performed in venues including London's infamous Club Antichrist and for a variety of agencies. Leanne has a comprehensive knowledge of anatomy and its application to aerial activities and injury prevention. She recently spent three months training aerial full time at Greentop Circus in  Sheffield, where she specialised in aerial straps.

While Leanne devotes most of her energy to straps (a physically demanding discipline not to be undertaken without prior aerial experience), she has a diverse knowledge of all the main aerial apparatus including static trapeze, aerial hoop, corde lisse and silks. She is available for intermediate and advanced teaching and private lessons on request.

She can be found on social media as @leannelairdaerialist.

Ali Walker

Ali is our resident aerial yoga teacher and is also in charge of marketing and communications for St Albans Trapeze.

Ali has been teaching aerial skills for over five years now. She studied and trained aerial arts for three months full time at the Essential Aerial Professionals course at My Aerial Home in London in 2017 where she specialised in solo static trapeze.

Now retired from competing, Ali and Pete won the semi-finals in the UK Aerial Performance Championships 2016 and performed in the finals of this competition in 2017 with their doubles trapeze routine. Ali won the semi-finals in 2017 in the instructor category on solo dance trapeze. In 2018, she was invited to join the cast of 1920s-themed show Party Like Gatsby.

She can be found on social media as @alidoesaerial.

Peter Wilson

Despite not discovering aerial until his early 40s, Pete, 54, is now an enthusiastic proponent of the benefits of aerial skills for everyone. He has been practising at St Albans for over 10 years now, and most enjoys doubles trapeze, silks and partner acrobalance. 

Pete was awarded first place in the amateur category for trapeze at the UK Aerial Nationals 2015, and along with doubles trapeze partner Ali, achieved first place in their heat of the semi-finals in the UK Aerial Performance Championships 2016. He also performed in the finals of this competition in 2017.

He currently attends many aerial and acrobalance conventions up and down the country, and also trains regularly at the Cambridge Circus Community. He also built this website!

Sarah Aitchison

Our children's teacher Sarah is usually found hanging upside down, studying for her degree in psychology, or eating pizza (though not all at the same time). She was first taught the joy of aerial circus skills by Rachel Walker (Ali's older sister) when she was 10 years old, after which she auditioned and succeeded in gaining a place in the National Youth Circus Group at London's National Centre for Circus Arts. As a result, Sarah has a wealth of knowledge, empathy and experience to share with the children who attend our classes.

Sarah specialises in aerial silks and improvisational static trapeze, and loves nothing more than devising new shapes, moves and transitions on aerial equipment. She's also adept at doubles trapeze, rope climbing and static cloud swing. She teaches in our Sunday children's circus skills class and also helps out with our children's circus parties.

Natalie Ryan

Office worker by day and aerial silks superstar by night, Natalie has been practising aerial silks for five years now. She mainly works on aerial silks, but is also competent on static trapeze and aerial hoop. As well as training on Friday evening, Natalie can also be found teaching the teenagers in our 4.30pm intermediate class, and occasionally helping out with the Sunday children's aerial class.

When she's not upside down, Natalie enjoys live music with her friends, having fabulous hair, and the companionship of her feline friends.

Want to know more?

Aerial skills are one of the most effective ways to improve strength and flexibility in a very friendly atmosphere. Skills can be adapted to all abilities. It's also a lot of fun!

We've put together answers to some questions we're often asked.

For any other queries about classes, parties or private sessions, just drop us a line.

 

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