Aerial arts means using a piece of equipment that is rigged from the ceiling and hangs in the air that the performer moves on and around to create a series of movements. Equipment typically includes the trapeze, hoop, straps or silks - but can be much more diverse. Aerialists can work solo, with a partner (doubles), or even with multiple people.
Although some of our equipment rotates, it is not intended to be swung around. St Albans Trapeze and Aerial only offers static lessons - flying trapeze is a different discipline.
Although there are inherent risks in every physical activity, aerial is no more dangerous than many sports. St Albans School of Trapeze believes in the necessity of 'spotting' for beginners and for anyone attempting new moves (that means we'll be on-hand to physically support and guide you if needed) as well as maintaining proper form in order to reduce the risk of injury. We'll never push you to do anything you feel uncomfortable or unsafe attempting.
Large, thick crash mats are placed under aerial equipment, while acrobalance is performed on thinner, gym-style mats.
We're not going to lie - having upper-body and core strength definitely helps! However, if you feel like you're lacking in this area, then that's all the more reason to take aerial classes. Few things are more efficient at building upper body and core strength then climbing ropes, silks and creating shapes on the trapeze - and it definitely beats doing pull-ups at the gym!
All our classes are 90 minutes long. They start with a warm-up that combines cardio with dynamic yoga-inspired stretching. This is followed with at least two rope or silks climbs (depending on ability). Two or more teachers are always present to cater for differing abilities and in order to safely spot students who need it.
During the class, students are taught moves or combinations either individually or in small groups, or work by themselves on routine creation. A five-10 minute cool-down with stretches comes at the end.
We offer regular taster sessions on Fridays from 6-7.30. If you'd like to come along, contact us to find our when our next one will be. Students at this class are of mixed abilities ranging from beginner to intermediate.
Our Saturday classes run in blocks of six that have to be purchased in advance. These are best for absolute beginners who are looking to get a taste of what aerial skills are all about and improve their fitness quickly. They are also open to those who have previously attended our Saturday classes.
Close-fitting clothes are best to protect your skin and avoid snagging on the equipment. We recommend leggings that cover the backs of your knees to protect them and a top that won't ride up when you're upside down. If you want to do a lot of aerial and circus skills, it may be best to buy a leotard/unitard.
In almost all cases: no. One of our regulars, Alan, has been practising the trapeze (see him in action on our Facebook page here) for over 10 years - and at the age of 71, he's still going strong.
Far more important than age is a willingness to have a go and a determination to succeed - aerial activities aren't easy to begin with, whatever age you are, but the sense of achievement you'll gain when you first climb a rope or do an ankle-hang on a trapeze will definitely be worth it.
We currently only teach those over 12 years old.
If you're looking an original hen night idea or a corporate team-building activity, why not try us out? We can run 90-minute to 3-hour workshops (on weekends only) with a minimum number of 10 people. Contact us for prices and times.
Jules Leotard, the original daring young man on the flying trapeze who popularised aerial as a circus act, would certainly disagree.
Don't be put off by the need for pointy toes and graceful movement - if you're a guy who's looking for those gains, look no further: aerial is one of the most effective workouts you can do, particularly for your lats, abdominals, triceps and quads. And we can guarantee you'll have more fun than knocking out endless sets at the gym.
Feel free to contact us about your abilities and needs and we'll see what you can do. If you'd like tuition on a specific piece of equipment, Fridays from 6pm would be best for you.
Or if you want to practise on our equipment and have a skill-share with our regulars, come along on Friday evenings from 7.30pm and enjoy training in a relaxed and informal setting.