What is aerial silk?

Aerial Silk, also called Aerial Contortion, Tissu, Ribbon or Fabric, is a form of aerial arts. It is a sport in which you climb in a long piece of fabric (the silks) and wrap your body around this fabric in different ways so that you can stand, hang and “fall” in a controlled manner.

Why would I practice aerial silk?

Elegance. You learn to use and move your body in a different way than you are used to. Aerial silk is a beautiful sport and art form to watch from the sidelines, but even more thrilling to do yourself. The audience is often impressed by the combination of strength, flexibility and sensuality that aerial silk radiates. Of course, as an aerialist, you can decide for yourself what you want to emphasize on in your own act.

Flexibility. Your body will become more flexible. During the warming-up, in the air and during the cooling down we pay attention to stretching exercises and improving your flexibility. You will notice that your muscles will become more flexible over time. Our instructors are certified to safely guide the development of your flexibility.

Strength. During the aerial silk classes you will make use of your whole body. It is truly a full-body workout, and you will see that climbing, hanging and maneuvering your body quickly builds strength  in your arms, core (abdomen, back and pelvis area) and hands.

Balance and coordination. Your sense of balance will increase together with your coordination ability. Some aerial poses have similarities with poses you might know form yoga. And just like with yoga, coordination and balance are important factors to create and hold beautiful poses. An additional complexity with aerial silk is that the silks, unlike the rigid ground, are moving around you. So you have to work a little harder to get into the poses, but you are also able to do thinks because you can move around freely.

Confidence. Aerial silk is a sport in which you will not only develop physically, but also mentally. While participating in aerial silk classes, you will constantly be challenged to push your limits: Do you dare to hand from your hands to perform a certain exercise? Do you dare to let go to perform a certain drop? It is a continuous game of exploring your limits, developing confidence in yourself and also confidence in others (the instructors).  Every victory (be it physical or mental) will bring you a success experience, a sense of victory. You are able to do more with your body than you think, and this will contribute to a positive self-image.

Is aerial silk dangerous?

Every sport carries its own risks. Therefore it is good to be aware of the risks that you encounter when practicing aerial silk. For aerial silk it is most important to keep in mind what your own abilities and limitations are and to follow instructions carefully. In addition, it is important to build up your skill set from a fundamental base. If your strength, insight and self-confidence is good enough, you can continue with the more complex, riskier challenges. The instructors always try to keep a close eye on everyone’s development to limit the risks.

What does an aerial silk class look like?

An aerial silk class lasts 60 minutes and consists of a warming-up, training in the silks and a cooling down.

Warming-up. It is important to start any training with a proper warming up in which you prepare your muscles for the tension and strain that is going to be exerted by them during the training. By doing so, you can limit the chance of injury. Our warming-up takes about 8 minutes and consists in general of three parts:

  • Cardio: think about running, getting your knees up high and jumping jacks
  • Strength: think about squats, lunges en abs exercises
  • Flexibility: think about stretching exercises (just to mobilize) and rotations for example from the arms

Training in the silks. This is of course the best part of the class and also takes up most part of the class. In about 45 minutes we pay attention to building strength, gaining flexibility and insight/coordination while learning new techniques, repeating and perfecting previous learned techniques and giving you time to practice your own favorite moves, sequences and drops.

Cooling down. During the cooling down we make sure that your body comes to rest and we pay attention to stretching the muscles, because they are nice and warm after training. Think about stretching the back, legs and shoulder muscles. Our instructors are certified in safely guiding the development of flexibility.

What is the minimum age for a membership?

Our regular classes focus on an adult audience. The format and pace of the lessons fits the way this age group learns and develops itself. That is why generally for our classes a minimum age of ~16 years applies.

What do you wear during an aerial silk class?

Wear tight/formfitting clothes. Preferably leggings and a sports top. By doing so you prevent clothing from getting stuck in the silks. Additionally we advise you to cover your skin to prevent you from getting burns or abrasions.  Except your feet, because we practice aerial silk barefoot to ensure that you have enough grip on the fabric.

What about hygiene?

The silks are cleaned regularly, however cleaning the silks too often is at the expense of the durability of the fabric. Therefore we ask participants to always pay special attention to their hygiene.

What do you learn in an aerial silk class?

You can use the silks in many ways. Bluntly said, we will learn you how to climb in them, to make and think about wraps and to perform drops in them.

Ckimbing. You will learn various ways to climb in the silks, some are purely aimed to gain height quickly  and effectively, and others are more elegant and perfect for show routines.

Wraps. Wraps are ways to wrap the silks around your body in such a way that you can hang/stand in them. By doing so you can create a wide variety of shapes with your body and the silk. Generally said, wraps are meant to add a touch of elegance to your routine.

Drops. Drops are ways to ‘fall’ in a controlled way. By wrapping your body in a specific way, and subsequently adopting and holding a certain position with your body, you can unwind in a controlled way. In most cases, drops will cause you to lose height, so we say you ‘drop’ in the silks. There are also rotation based drops in which you (in case you perform it with correct form) will maintain your height.

I am afraid of heights, can I participate in classes?

Yes, fear of heights is not a reason why you could not participate in aerial silk classes, of course in case that you are otherwise in good health. We will start our classes from the floor, after which we will slowly increase the height while doing the exercises, only when you are ready. Many of our members have started classes while they were afraid of heights, but as your confidence and strength grows, the fear of height while you are in the silks will diminish. Even those members are now able to perform nice drops and climb to about  7 meters.

In case you are suffering from fear of heights, we advice you to indicate this to your instructor. She can take this into account during the classes and can assure that you do not exceed your limits or run any unnecessary risks. Hereby we would like to mention that we do not actively treat your fear of heights. In case you are in doubt, contact a specialist.

I am not strong at all, can I participate in classes?

Alike any other sport, you start aerial silk with building up a fundamental skill set. If you are strong already, this is of course an advantage and you may be able to learn things a little bit faster. However, are you not strong yet? No problem at all, just give yourself the time and you will naturally become stronger. Especially the muscles in your hands, arms and core (back, abdomen and pelvic area) will develop quickly when practicing aerial silk.

I am not flexible at all, can I participate in classes?

Alike any other sport, you start aerial silk from the base. If you are already flexible, this will be an advantage. You might learn things a bit faster and some exercises might be somewhat easier for you. However, if you are not flexible yet, this is no problem at all. Just take your time for improving your flexibility and your muscles will become more supple over time. During the aerial silk classes, we mostly devote our attention to the development and conservation of back, shoulder and leg flexibility. Our instructors are certified to safely guide you in this process.

Am I secured?

No, because securing yourself would limit your movements in the silk. For the majority of poses and drops you need to be able to wrap the silks around your body without any constraints.

What do I need during the classes?

Click here to get an overview what to take to class and what to wear.

What types of memberships are available?

Click here for information about an Aerial Academics membership.

How can I become a member?

Click here to become a member.

Are there also catch-up classes for when I miss a class?

See article 3 and 6 of the general terms and conditions.

I am pregnant, what to do now?

In case of pregnancy, we advise you to inform your instructor as soon as possible. This can be done by email or during class. She will be discrete about this and discuss with you the possible options regarding your membership. Whether you are able to continue your training depends very much on your own experience and feeling. Our experience is that you are the best person to estimate this. Of course we will think along with you regarding the content of the classes.

I am injured, what to do now?

In case you are suffering from a long-time injury or you are unable to attend classes for a long time due to a serious injury, we recommend you to contact us.

How can I terminate my membership? When can I do this?

A membership at Aerial Academics starts at the 1st of the month and has a duration of one month. Therefore it is only possible to terminate a membership on the 1st of the following month.  We have no term of notice so when you stop paying (to clarify, when we did not receive a payment before the 1st of the following month), your membership ends. Of course we do appreciate timely notification if you ever decide to stop.

Is there a registration fee?

Yes,  we make use of a registration fee of €25,-. In case you participated in a trial class within four weeks before your membership subscription, you will get a €10,- discount at the registration fee. To clarify, for the first month you will need to pay €50,- (€35,- membership fee + €15,- registration fee).

My friend would like to join sometime, is that possible?

Yes, of course. He/She can register to participate in a trial class. To guarantee the safety and quality of the classes, trial classes are planned separately from the regular classes. In some cases a trial lesson is planned during an extra training. In this occasion you can train at the same time. He/She is always welcome to watch a training, but we would like to get notified before hand.