All girls should wear leotards with leggings or tights (footless). Boys should wear a tight fitted workout shirt and preferably running leggings for Advanced Beginner levels and up (you can wear shorts over them) or fitted sweat pants or dance pants; no baggy shirts or pants. Sweatpants are fine for Cyr Wheel.
No Zippers or Buttons or Velcro (these can tear the equipment.)
Remove all jewelry, if a piercing cannot be removed it must be taped appropriately during the class. Small earrings are okay.
Please wear appropriate clothing to and from the studio. This means shoes, jackets / sweatshirts over leotards in the colder months, etc. Muscles don’t like to get all warm and then all of a sudden be exposed to cold temperatures. Also, even though you may feel super warm after class, it’s not healthy to go outside in a leotard top only in colder weather. Healthy students are a priority!
All medium length hair should be pulled back and secured out of the face; long hair should be pulled back into a ponytail or braids. Hair can easily wrap around the apparatuses and get “stuck”, which is dangerous and quite painful.
We ask that all parents remain in the front lobby during class time (or they are welcome to go run errands or whatnot). The presence of parents is distracting to students, and that is a safety issue when using circus equipment. Parents may wait in the lobby during class time, and the students can walk back to the circus room. After class, students may meet parents back in the lobby. We have parents watch weeks scheduled off and on throughout the year where parents are invited in to watch and take pictures. (Due to the age of the class, we make an exception for the Akronauts classes: Parents may walk their kids into class to get them settled in for the first couple weeks of class.)
Photographs and videos are not to be taken during class times. If there is a move the student would like a video or photograph of please let the instructor know at the end of class.
If you are sick please email / text Jen and let us know. Arrangements can be made for a makeup class.
Please present any injuries to the instructor at the beginning of class, if you hurt something during class please present if to the instructor at that time.
Students are not to use equipment outside of class times except during open gym times.
Students MAY NOT wait for their parents outside the studio for pick-up. Students must remain in the lobby to watch for their parents car. Waiting outside the door on the sidewalk, on the curb, or in the street is not allowed.
Students are not to teach moves to other students under any circumstances.
Coaches do not teach new skills at open gym. Open gym is a time to practice and perfect the moves you have, so you can learn more quickly in class. Coaches are happy to spot, answer questions, change out apparatuses, and the like.
Students may not try out other apparatuses they are not trained on at open gym. Circus can be dangerous if strict precautions are not followed, and something as simple as jumping down off a Lyra can cause a concussion if not done correctly. We stress proper safety technique in each and every class; if a student is not taking the class, they don’t know the safe ways to get on and off apparatuses, and other precautions.
Students may not try out new moves they haven’t been taught that they see other students doing at open gym. Open gym is a time to work on the skills taught in their class, so they can improve and move forward more quickly.
Open gym is not playtime; it’s time to train and improve!
What to bring to class
All students should bring a notebook and pen / pencil to class. It is mandatory that you keep a training notebook.
For Aerials (especially Advanced Beginner and up), you might choose to bring a fitted shirt (running shirts are good) to cover your armpits as needed.
For aerial classes, we ask students to be barefoot. The exception to this is Trapeze, where all students are required to bring socks (preferably ones that go up past the ankle.)
For Cyr Wheel, most students like to wear sneakers or the rubber soled Feiyue shoes ($18-$20 at Amazon.com) which are basically an industry standard. You may go barefoot if you choose. If you wear shoes, they can NOT be your street shoes…think of them like dance shoes; you would never wear them out into daily life because it ruins the bottoms so they were no longer suitable to dance in, and they would get dirty, messing up the dance floor. Same thing for your “circus shoes”.
For Chinese Pole, you must wear rubber soled shoes, like Feiyue shoes ($18-$20 at Amazon.com) which are basically an industry standard. They can NOT be your street shoes…think of them like dance shoes; you would never wear them out into daily life because it ruins the bottoms so they are no longer suitable to dance in, and they would get dirty, messing up the dance floor. Same thing for your “circus shoes”.
Bring lots of water, and make sure to drink it in class. You might also want to bring a protein-rich treat for after class to help build muscles. However, please refrain from eating in the gym. There is a student kitchen at the far end of the main hallway with a table and chairs.
What to do outside of class
Anything physical that you can do, including cardio, will help you. Circus work really targets the upper body and core however, so putting more of your focus on those areas will be a boon to your training in the long run. For core work, hollow body holds or leg lifts will help you, and for upper body pull ups are hands down the most helpful training you can do. If you can’t do pull ups, try negatives, or horizontal pullups under your dining room table! It’s really important to make sure that every exercise you do you’re doing with proper form and engagement to prevent injury.
Stretching at home will help you as well. Simply practice the stretches you do in class while at home.
Things to remember in circus class
Learning circus arts is incredibly hard. A skilled performer will make everything they do look easy–that’s their job. However that can make it confusing for you, the student, because everything feels hard. That’s just how it is. If circus was easy, it wouldn’t be so cool.
Circus class is not a contest. Yes, the former gymnast next to you may have a perfect straddle, and you’re just barely hitting 90°, but who cares? Everyone has different strengths, and learns at a different pace. Some people are stronger, some people are bendier, some have the ability to see a trick once and do it. If one person has all those things as a beginner? Lucky them, but it doesn’t reflect on you. If you find you’re just not getting something in class, and are getting frustrated ask your instructor if you can move on and come back to it later. Many studios will have an open gym time which is great for practicing those nemesis tricks.
The most important thing to get out of a circus class is accomplishing your own goals. It doesn’t matter what those goals are; to just have fun, to get strong, to learn skills for a performance, just remember why you’re doing what you’re doing.
“When your children train at Akrosphere they are not only learning the skills and beauty of circus arts, but also are being challenged in the most positively motivating way possible.” — Letha, Lizzie’s mom
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