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Are Aerial Arts Safe?

Aerial arts are beautiful and challenging. But if not taught safely, aerial arts can be dangerous. At Upside Aerial, safety is our top priority. Injuries occur mainly when: 

  1. The body is not physically strong enough or flexible enough for a particular skill.

  2. A skill hasn't been set up correctly. (With aerial fabric especially, wrapping for skills like drops can be quite complex!)

  3. Improperly installed or unsafe aerial rigging or equipment is being used.

  4. Skills are being taught be someone with inadequate aerial training or instruction experience.

Mollie Rose Canzona performing on aerial silks

Safety takes Top Priority at Upside

Our studio has a custom-made, professionally-installed pulley system by Circus Gear® that undergoes daily safety inspections. We use only professional-grade circus equipment with appropriately-sized safety mats at all times. All our aerial instructors have multiple years of aerial training experience and all have completed aerial instruction certification programs that meet American Circus Educator many cases, several! If you visit ANY aerial studio, you should always ask about their equipment, safety inspection procedures, and instructors' backgrounds. Your safety depends on it.


So now you can feel confident about Upside Aerial's equipment and instructors...but how will you know if your body is ready to train aerial skills safely? At Upside Aerial, we've created a detailed curriculum using skill progressions to help prevent injury while you build the strength and flexibility needed for more advanced skills. ​When you start taking Upside Aerial lessons regularly, you will receive free online access to our curriculum so you can track your progress. You can easily access it on any device via Google Drive, and your teachers will update your progress after every class. You'll only work on skills your body is ready for, and you can go at your own unique pace.

How Our Curriculum  Works

You will receive an email invite to your personalized Upside Aerial Curriculum when you start taking classes with us regularly. You’ll need a Google account to access your curriculum. Here are instructions on how to create a free Google account if you don't have one. (You do NOT need to have a gmail account. You can use any current email address as the ID for your Google account.) Can't find the email invite? Just let us know, and we'll re-send it! Your Upside Aerial Curriculum will look something like this:

Upside Aerial Silks curriculum screenshot

Check out the list of tabs at the bottom. The first tab is Lesson Plans. If you’re taking group classes, you are welcome to fill out this section after class to help you rememeber what you worked on. If you’re taking private or semi-private lessons, we’ll fill this section out for you. The remaining tabs correspond to our Skill Sheets (displayed above). Your instructors will update the skill checkboxes after each class. A skill is checked as Introduced when you’ve done it once. We'll add “x’s” to the In Progress box every time you work on a skill so we know how long you’ve been working on it. Once you’ve mastered the skill, it will be checked as Achieved. When you achieve all the skills on a sheet (demonstrating physical mastery and an understanding of how to set up the skill without assistance), you'll gain access to the next skill sheet. The skill checkboxes can only be checked off by an instructor, but you are welcome to fill out the Notes section next to each skill to help you remember what it is and how to do it. Many of our students film themselves in class, upload their videos to Google Drive or a private YouTube channel, and add links to these videos right to the Notes section!


We hope this valuable tool keeps you motivated, helps you learn all the aerial skill names, and helps you plan your Open Studio practice sessions. Having a list of skills is also invaluable when it comes to choreographing aerial routines. We believe the more active you are in your own learning, the more creative and safe you can be. We hope our curricululm helps you achieve your aerial goals!

Happy Flying!

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