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Mon, Jan 14


Upside Aerial Arts & Fitness

Level 1 Aerial Silks Teacher Training

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Level 1 Aerial Silks Teacher Training
Level 1 Aerial Silks Teacher Training

Time & Location

Jan 14, 2019, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Upside Aerial Arts & Fitness, 2950 S Church St, Burlington, NC 27215, USA

About the event

Who Should Take This Training?

Anyone interested in teaching aerial silks to others or deepening their own understanding of aerial silks. Teacher Training prerequisites include a minimum age of 18, a minimum of 1 year of aerial silks experience, and registration application approval.

Why Get Certified?

Certification verifies for students and employers that you are qualified to teach aerial silks safely and effectively and that you meet professional industry standards. Most insurance providers also require certification. Teaching aerial silks is very different from teaching almost all other forms of movement or fitness. The higher risks due to the height and acrobatic nature of aerial silks make understanding safe spotting techniques, safe skill progressions, fabric theory, rigging, and equipment care imperative.

Why Certify with Upside?

Currently, no nationally-recognized organization governs the certification of aerial instructors. However, the most common insurers of aerial arts instruction require the completion of a certification course equivalent to one offered by a “recognized training body” such as American Circus Educators (ACE). Upside’s Certification program meets the conditions for equivalence by including all of the ACE Teacher Training Curriculum requirements. In addition, Upside’s Teacher Training coordinator, Michelle Spurlock, has many years of combined experience as an aerial silks teacher, yoga instructor, and university pharmacy professor. She brings together her knowledge of anatomy and functional movement with her expertise in curriculum and lesson planning, teaching methods, and classroom management to offer a thorough and engaging teacher training program.

What is Included in Upside’s Level 1 Aerial Silks Teacher Training?

Live Training Program (30 hours):

• Class Warm-Ups and Injury Prevention Techniques

• How to Teach an Introductory Aerial Silks Curriculum (including aerial conditioning with and without the knot; foundational climbs and descents; skill progressions from basic, single, and double footlocks, and skill progressions for inversions and hip keys) using:

o Verbal Cues and Physical Demonstration Techniques

o Hands-On Spotting Techniques

o Recommendations for Teaching Proper Alignment, Form, and Engagement

o Specific Safety Cues

o Techniques for Breaking Down Aerial Skill Progressions

o Techniques for Encouraging Safe Creative Exploration

• Anatomy and Physiology From an Aerial Arts Perspective

• Classroom Management Skills

• Lesson Planning and Differentiating for Multi-Level Classes

• Methods for Physical and Behavioral Evaluation of Aerial Students

• Different Learning Modalities (i.e. how to teach to different types of students)

• Basic Rigging and Aerial Equipment Care

Mentorship Program (25 Hours)

To safely and effectively teach aerial silks, trainees need real-world practice leading warm-ups, demonstrating aerial skills, and safety-spotting real people (not just fellow trainees). The mentorship portion of Upside’s Teacher Training allows trainees to ease into this gradually while receiving feedback at each step along the way:

• Observation of other certified teachers: 5 hours

• Co-teaching/Co-Spotting alongside a certified teacher: 12.5 hours

• Teaching alone under direct supervision of a certified teacher: 2.5 hours

• Teaching alone under indirect supervision of a certified teacher (via video): 5 hours

CPR & Basic First Aid Certification

While not included in the program, CPR and Basic First Aid certification by an internationally recognized organization are required by the conclusion of your teacher training in order to receive your Upside Level 1 Aerial Silks Teacher Training Certification. Most insurers and employers require this for all aerial acrobatics instructors.

What’s the Schedule?

Live Training Program (30 Hours)

Mondays 12pm to 5pm Jan 14th to Feb 18th

Mentorship Program (25 Hours)

• Observation of other certified teachers (5 hours)

• Co-teaching and Co-Spotting alongside a certified teacher (12.5 hours)

• Direct Supervised Teaching (2.5 hours)

• In-Direct Supervised Teaching via video submission (5 hours)

How long it takes you to complete the Mentorship Program is flexible. Observation Hours can be completed anytime during the Live Training portion of the Program. The remaining Mentorship hours should be after completing the Live Training Program. If completing Mentorship hours through Upside, you will need to observe 4 Introductory or Level 1-2 classes and co-teach/co-spot 10 of these classes to fulfill Mentorship program requirements. Upside’s Introductory or Level 1-2 Classes are offered:

• Wednesdays 7:15pm – 8:30pm

• Saturdays 10:30am – 11:45am

• Saturdays 12pm – 1:15pm

• Sundays 2pm – 3:15pm

Supervised Teaching hours are can be obtained by teaching a 6-Class Introductory Series for new students at Upside. Note that is possible to obtain observation, co-teaching/co-spotting and supervised teaching hours at another aerial studio if mutually agreed upon arrangements can be made between Upside and the other aerial studio.

How Much Does it Cost?

Live Training Program


Mentorship Program


Payment, Cancellation and Absence Policy

Payment for the Live Training Program is due upon registration. Payment for the Mentorship Program is due upon completion of the Live Training Program. A full refund (minus credit card processing fees, if applicable) will be issued if notice of cancellation is received at least 7 days prior to the program start date. If any Live Training Program days are missed, they must be made up in order for you to become certified. Makeup days can be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time/date for $100 per makeup day.

Do you have to take both the Live Training and the Mentorship Program?

No. You are welcome to take just the Live Training program. However, in ordered to become a certified aerial silks teacher, you will need to successfully complete both portions of the program.

How Do You Register?

Fill out the online registration/application and complete payment for Live Training Program by Jan 5th.

Have Other Questions?

Please contact Upside Teacher Training Coordinator, Michelle Spurlock, at or 704-281-1100 with any other questions you have.

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