It can takes years to master Aerial

Our students have found that our approach to teaching aerial can really smooth out the learning curve and help them break through plateaus and achieve their goals.

The magic is in our approach. We don’t subscribe to the “change this one thing and everything will be perfect” gimmick because each body is unique and each person learns differently. The way that we teach our students emphasizes an understanding of how and why the supports work, so students can take mastery of the skills and make them work on their own unique body.

Here is how we teach our in-person students and how we present our tutorials online.

It all starts with working on the skill ourselves

When we are researching a new skill to teach, we start by exploring the supports so we can figure out where we can pause, go slower (or sometimes faster), and add in stylization. We also dive into all of the steps to see if there are any we can remove for efficiency, or add for accessibility.

Then we explore the skill with our aerial peers

Before teaching a new skill to our students, we research it with our aerial peers. We’re learning how it works on different bodies, different brains, and for people with different strengths and weaknesses. We’re also gathering important unique perspectives from others who already know how aerial works.

Assess the building blocks of a skill

We consider the students we have in class and whether they have all the necessary prerequisites and if they still remember how to do them well. If they don’t then we teach the building blocks first. If they do, we often review the building blocks as a warm up prior to teaching the new skill.

Review the common mistakes

We use our understanding of the common mistakes to prepare our students to succeed. We will add drills and related skills earlier in class and even in previous classes, to help students avoid the common mistakes altogether. And if they still make the mistake we are prepared with troubleshooting cues to help them navigate through the problem area.

Crystal Clear Demonstrations

Now that students are set up to succeed, we demonstrate the skill we are teaching. We pause mid skill to talk about the key concepts. We’ll slow down during a skill to highlight pathways. We demo the skill with extra hand grabs and other steps to make the skill more accessible, and we demo it with as few extraneous motions as possible to show how to do the skill efficiently.

For certain skills that we may not demo fully ourselves, we find unique ways to demo the key concepts or moments of the skill so that our students can visualize exactly how it will work.

Explore related skills and ground drills

We troubleshoot with related skills that share a similar action or pathway. In this way, students learn new skills, have fun, and make progress all at the same time. We also use a lot of ground drills (floor-ials) to help students tap into specific details without the complexity and fatigue of being on the apparatus.

Offer variations

Variations are slightly modified or very similar skills that can be easier or harder. We use these variations to help with managing classes with different levels, or if some students have a different amount of experience with the skill. Variations can also be a great way to modify choreography and explore creative expression.

Keep an eye on the next steps

It is always important to keep in mind what students will be working on next, both in the immediate future and further down the road. This helps us and them understand why the current skill needs to be mastered, because of where it can lead in the future!

Teaching in a spiral

We never follow a script and we never approach learning with one linear journey. We spiral around all of the different components of a skill as we teach. We teach one thing knowing how it will help us teach the next thing, and we keep our students feeling empowered and having fun throughout their journey!

We hope this helps you better understand what we offer at Aerial Fit® Online and the depth of our devotion to the art and science of aerial teaching. If you enjoyed this breakdown, you may also like to learn more about how we make our tutorials.