Frequently Asked Questions

I'm a complete beginner - can I book onto a class?

Yes!  

Adult beginners should book onto the Beginners/Improvers classes in either Trapeze or Silks at6pm at The Yoga Hall, St Albans.  If you have never done any aerial before we would recommend you try Trapeze first.  Silks requires more initial strength and stamina.  All our adult classes are drop-in, so you can always try both! 

What do you mean by aerial? Does the trapeze swing about?

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, and can be swung back and forth St Albans Trapeze and Aerial only offers static lessons - flying trapeze is a different discipline.

Is it safe?

Although there are inherent risks in every physical activity, aerial is no more dangerous than many sports. St Albans Trapeze and Aerial Arts 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 and aerial yoga are performed on thinner, gym-style mats. 

We keep a ratio of at least one teacher to up to five students for our childrens' classes, or one teacher to seven for the 12+ classes. (More advanced students will be invited to practise by themselves at times). At least one teacher present will have first-aid training, and all the teachers have Enhanced DBS checks.

Both venues have been surveyed by structural engineers Austin Trueman and has been found to be safe for aerial activities. 

Am I fit enough to do aerial skills?

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!

It's also important to realise that aerial skills can be quite demanding at first - it's fairly unusual to be able to climb a rope on your first attempt, and even achieving the basic 'pike' position underneath a trapeze bar can be tricky. However, even if it takes a while to be able to master skills like these, just the act of trying to do them is fantastic strength conditioning. 

I've just done my first aerial class and everything hurts! Is this normal?

Yes! Aching the next day (and possibly a few days after that) is completely normal. It doesn't mean you're unfit - simply just that you've given muscles that may not have previously been used much an intense workout. If you start attending aerial classes at least once a week, these aches will get fewer and farther in between as you get increasingly stronger. 

Is aerial yoga suitable for me?

You don't need to have done either aerial skills or yoga beforehand to do an aerial yoga class! Your weight isn't important either - the hammocks are rated to hold up to 500kg. 

However, it does help to have enough mobility to be able to stand one one leg and raise the other to a 90-degree angle in front of you (you don't have to be able to do this with a straight leg, or be able to hold it there for any amount of time - but we do often stand on one leg and put the other foot in the hammocks, which are approximately hip-height.) If you find yourself hopping about a bit in class while doing this - don't worry! It's totally normal and all part of the process of improving strength and balance. 

Please note that aerial yoga is not suitable for you if you have high or low blood pressure, glaucoma, osteoporosis, or have recently had surgery or botox.

See more details about our aerial yoga classes here. 

We are not currently running yoga classes, but will make an announcement on our homepage if they return.

What happens in classes?

All our adult aerial classes are 90 minutes long. They start with a warm-up that combines cardio with dynamic yoga-inspired stretching, and then we move onto practising skills and poses on the aerial silks or static trapeze.

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.

Which class should I attend?

Adults:

If you have never done any aerial before, or are still quite new to it then adult beginner/improver classes are on Fridays at 6pm at The Yoga Hall, St Albans.

If you already know the basics of aerial silks (French climb, Russian climb, double and single footlock, straddling up from the ground and inverting in the air) then Aerial Silks for Adults - Intermediate classes are on Sundays at 2.30pm at The Yoga Hall in St Albans.

If you already know the basics of static trapeze (able to hold front balance, star back balance, inverting in the ropes, solid gazelle) then Static Trapeze for Adults - Intermediate classes are on Fridays at 6pm at The Yoga Hall, St Albans.

Teens:

Teen Aerial classes suitable for beginners and improvers are on Saturdays at 12.25pm and 1.30pm.  They are 1 hour long and are held at The Grove Junior School in Harpenden.

Teenager intermediate/advanced classes are on 3.15pm on Saturdays.  Pre-requisites for these classes: aerial silks - competent at French and Russian climb, able to invert in the air multiple times without assistance, catchers, hip lock. Static trapeze: able to hold front balance, star back balance, inverting in the ropes, solid gazelle. 

Private lessons for ages 5-70 are also available - please contact us if you would like to book one. 

How do I get there?

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

The Yoga Hall is in between the Peacock pub and where the museum used to be. Parking around this area can be tricky - please leave time for this. Nearest public car parks are The Maltings and the Civic Centre.

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

To get to Grove Junior School, drive all the way up Dark Lane (almost up to where it looks like a dead end), and then turn right into the staff car park (the gates will be open). The entrance to the junior school is at the front of the building, and the sports hall is on the right just after you walk in.

What should I wear?

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.

What are your prices?

£17 for the Friday and Sunday adult sessions (90 minutes) 

Our Saturday teenager and children's classes (1 hour) can only be bought in half term blocks, so the prices vary depending on the length of term though it will work out at £14.50 per class.

Tryout sessions for teens and children (1hour) are £14.50. 

To book a place, please click here.

How do I book on to a class?

To book a place in an aerial class, please click here.

For the classes that can only be booked on a half-termly basis, we do try and give 'first refusal' to those already attending our classes - so if you see that a class you'd like to do isn't available to book on the website, that means it's fully subscribed. In this case, please email us to register your interest and so we can put you on the waiting list.

Am I too old to do trapeze and aerial skills?

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.

Can my child attend classes?

We currently run weekly hour long children's classes for ages 7-11 at The Grove Junior School in Harpenden, every Saturday at 9am, 10.05am and 11.10am.  These classes can only be booked on a half-termly basis - see other FAQs for more info.

For ages 11 - 17 we have classes at The Grove Junior School in Harpenden every Saturday at 12.25pm and 1.30pm.  These are also booked on a half-termly basis.

Do you ever run workshops/parties?

If you're looking an original hen night idea or a corporate team-building activity, why not try us out? We can run 1 hour workshops (on weekends only) with a maximum of 16. Contact us for prices and times. We also run children's circus skills lessons and parties on request.

Are aerial arts just for women?

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.

I've done aerial arts before. What can you offer me?

Feel free to contact us about your abilities and needs and we'll see what you can do. If you want to practise on our equipment and have a skill-share with our regulars, come along on Friday evenings from 7.45pm and enjoy training in a relaxed and informal setting. 

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 to contact AT stalbanstrapeze.co.uk

 

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