How strong do you have to be to try Aerial Classes?

Aerial training is challenging, but you can try it even if you have a limited fitness background. At Upside Aerial, we pride ourselves on our non-competitive, supportive learning environment where everyone is encouraged to learn at their own pace. Of course you will progress more quickly if you are already fit, but everyone is on their own time table! It's more about determination than fitness when you start. Few people start off with the strength needed, but you'll be shocked how quickly your strength will build and how soon you'll be flying! Plus, aerial classes are so much fun, you tend to forget what an incredible workout you are getting: from your core to your upper body…even your grip! But no workout is effective if you don’t stick with it. The beauty of aerial training is that every skill you learn builds toward the next more amazing skill. So it’s highly addictive and keeps you wanting more!

What are Aerial Arts? Are they dangerous?

Aerial Arts began in the circus. They combine feats of strength and flexibility with dance and are performed on various aerial apparatuses:

  • Aerial Silks (also known as Aerial Fabric or Tissu)
  • Lyra (or Aerial Hoop)
  • Trapeze
  • Aerial Sling (or Hammock):
If you love the creativity of dance, aerial arts offer stunning possibilities for artistic expression. But many of our students have no dance background: they love aerial training because it's a super fun, incredibly effective workout. It combines cardio, strength training, and flexibility training with the thrill of flying! (But many of these same students soon discover the joys of creative movement, and end up choreographing their own performances for our showcases and events!) Are Aerial Arts dangerous? They can be, especially if not taught or performed correctly. But safety is our TOP PRIORITY at Upside Aerial. Learn about all we do to keep you safe here. P.S. LOTS of people think aerial arts and aerial yoga are the same thing, but they are not! Keep scrolling down our FAQ page to learn the difference. While we do teach aerial arts, we do not offer aerial yoga classes.

What should I wear/bring to Aerial class?

What to Wear: Masks are optional for students who provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination. Otherwise, you'll need to wear a properly-fitted mask at all times in the studio. Wear close-fitting workout clothes that cover your midriff, armpits, and backs of your knees. If you wear a t-shirt, make sure you can tuck it in. Sports bras are recommended for female-identifying students to avoid wardrobe malfunctions when going upside down. Please avoid wearing ALL jewelry. Also avoid lotions as they make it harder to hold on. What to Wear (for male-identifying students): Close-fitting athletic pants work well. Under Armour and Nike offer a good selection of leggings and tights, and you can wear shorts over them if you prefer. If you wear looser pants, consider compression shorts or a dance belt underneath. What to Bring: Bring a water bottle and be prepared to sweat! If you can bring your own hand towel for hand-washing, it will greatly help us cut down on paper product waste! Most of our regular students own their own aerial apparatus (e.g. fabric, lyra, or trapeze). If you are interested in purchasing your own, refer to FAQ #3 for information. If you don't have your own, we have equipment at the studio you can use.

Is Aerial Yoga the same thing as Aerial Silks or Aerial Sling? (Hint: No!)

Although aerial yoga, aerial silks, and aerial sling (or aerial hammock) all use fabric, they are not the same thing! At Upside, we do not teach aerial yoga. Aerial yoga is still yoga: it just uses a fabric hammock to make yoga poses more accessible or more challenging, depending on how the hammock is used: Aerial silks and aerial sling, on the other hand, are performing arts that originated in the circus. Aerial silks and aerial sling have more in common with dance and acrobatics than yoga. In aerial silks, the fabric forms two separate "tails": In aerial sling, the fabric is looped into a hammock: In both aerial silks and aerial sling, the fabric is used for climbing, wrapping, rolling, dropping, and almost every kind of movement you can imagine! So if you've tried aerial yoga and enjoyed learning some of the more playful "tricks," you should definitely give aerial silks and aerial sling a try!

Who should NOT take Aerial classes? Is there a weight limit?

Almost anyone can try aerial classes. Age is not an excuse: some of our best students are over 50! However, there are certain scenarios where the risks can outweigh the benefits: very high or low blood pressure, vertigo, seizures, arthritis or conditions that interfere with hand gripping, and pregnancy.
Our aerial equipment is rated to hold several thousand pounds, so there is no body weight limit, per se. But please be aware that in aerial arts, we often support our entire body weight hanging by our hands (or in the case of aerial silks, we also wrap the fabric around our feet in footlocks). So it's important to know that this can put strain on the joints of the hands, shoulders, ankles or feet if someone is overweight or has issues with these areas of the body. Can you still try it if you're overweight or weak in these areas? Absolutely. At Upside Aerial, we do everything we can to accommodate ALL body types (offering modifications, skill progressions, or recommending switching to private lessons if needed). As with any fitness activity, if you have any health concerns, please check with your health care provider before participating.

Why do Aerial classes cost more than typical fitness classes?

Upside's prices are similar to other aerial studios. But why are aerial classes more expensive than most other fitness classes?

  1. Liability Insurance: The liability insurance required to teach acrobatic skills to people high in the air is incredibly expensive! Our liability insurance is more like rock climbing or bungee jumping insurance than fitness insurance, and it's our biggest business expense.
  2. Specialized equipment: We use lots of costly, highly-specialized aerial and rigging equipment (all professionally installed) as well as special stunt mats and safety flooring.
  3. Individualized instruction: We keep our class sizes very small so we can provide highly-individualized instruction and proper safety spotting. Also, each student gets a personalized online curriculum to track their aerial progress.
  4. Highly-trained instructors: All Upside Aerial instructors are certified which requires years of expensive, specialized training.
  5. Performance Opportunities: The cost of classes helps support regular showcases where our students can show their friends and family all the amazing skills they've been learning! The cost also helps fund our participation in community events where our students show off on our portable aerial rig. We love being part of the local arts & entertainment community!

Does Upside offer Kids' classes?

While we do offer private and semi-private lessons for kids age 9 and older who are committed to aerial training, we do not offer kids group classes. At Upside Aerial, our mission is to provide creative movement opportunities specifically for adults. There are so few opportunites for adults to engage in dance and playful, creative movement. But we feel strongly that adults need playgrounds too! So the age range of the majority of our students is 20 to 60+. Check out Upside Aerial student, Andy, at age 61!

Price: How much do Upside classes cost & how do I purchase?


  • Drop-In Class: $30
  • Intro to Aerial Silks 4-Class Pass: $60 (Special Offer for New Students only)
  • 4-Class Pass: $104
  • 8-Class Pass: $184
ONLINE CLASSES (Yoga, Strength & Cardio, Ballet & Pole)
  • Pole Drop-In Class: $15
  • Pole 8-Class Pass: $100
  • Online Drop-In Class: $10 (pole excluded)
  • Online 8-Class Pass: $64 (pole excluded)


  • Private Lessons: $75/hour
    • $65/hour when you buy a package of 4
  • Semi-Private Lessons: $40/person/hour
    • Package of 4: $35/person/hour
    • Package of 8: $30/person/hour
  • Aerial Party: Price varies - request a quote here
  • Aerial Performances: Price varies - request a quote here
  • Open Studio: $20 per 90-minute session
    • Package of 4: $17 per session
    • Package of 8: $14 per session
  • Rig Point Rental: $35/hour to rent the studio for private practice time
    • Mix & match discounted Semi-Private Lessons and Rig Point Rentals when you buy 8 session for $30 each ( Aerial Addict package)
  • The easiest way is to download our free mobile app to buy class passes and book right from your phone. (Invite Code: B9GNOY)
  • You can also use our website: book and pay for classes here or buy class passes here.
  • Already booked your lesson and just need to pay? Pay online here .

Does Upside offer drop-in classes?

All our ONLINE classes are non-aerial & beginner-friendly and welcome drop-ins. For our in-person aerial classes, check out the Classes tab and read the class description to be sure you meet the prerequisites before booking a drop-in class. (ALL aerial classes, including drop-ins, must be booked at least 24 hours in advance due to the limited number of aerial rig points available.) If you are new to aerial, start with either Intro to Aerial Silks, Lyra Foundations & Flow, or Private Lessons (available for Silks, Lyra, Trapeze, Sling & Pole). If Private Lessons don't fit your budget, be sure to check out our Semiprivate option to bring friends and cut the cost.

What are Upside's Booking & Cancellation Policies?

24-Hour Booking & Cancellation Policy for In-Studio Classes: All bookings and payments must be completed at least 24 hours in advance. If you purchase a Package, you must still reserve your spot in EVERY class 24 hours in advance with our free booking app or by logging in to our website. Cancellations less than 24 hours prior to class for reasons unrelated to COVID-19 or emergency are not eligible for refunds or rescheduling to ensure student access to limited-capacity classes and that our instructors are compensated for their time. It also allows us to cancel classes that don't meet minimum enrollment. 4-Hour Cancellation Policy for Online Classes: Cancellations must be made at least 4 hours in advance to be eligible for rescheduling. No refunds. You can text 704-281-1100 *before class starts* to request a video recording if you can't attend or are unable to cancel 4 hours in advance. 7-Day Cancellation Policy for Workshops & Course Series: Cancellations must be made at least 7 days before your course or workshop start date in order to be eligible for a refund.

What are Upside's COVID-19 policies & procedures?

Before coming to the studio, all students must complete our waiver and COVID-19 Agreement. Our COVID-19 studio procedures are as follows:

  • MASKS: Masks are optional for anyone who provides proof of full vaccination status. You can either bring your vaccination card to the studio and show it to any instructor or you can upload a copy of it when you sign our waiver. If you are not eligible to be vaccinated or prefer not to share your vaccination information, that is completely fine. You'll just need to wear a properly-fitted mask while in the studio. (Any guests will also need to provide vaccination proof to go unmasked inside the studio.)
  • SOCIAL DISTANCING: All apparatuses are rigged at least 6 feet apart and group class capacity is limited to allow social distancing for any unvaccinated participants.
  • EQUIPMENT SHARING: The CDC has stated the risk of contracting COVID-19 from contact with contaminated surfaces is low. If you don't have your own aerial apparatus, you are welcome to use the studio-provided equipment. If you would rather not share equipment, please refer to #3 on our FAQ page for aerial equipment purchase information.
  • HAND-WASHING & DISINFECTION: Everyone will need to wash their hands at our in-studio sink upon entering the studio. Mats and hard aerial apparatuses are disinfected after each use.
  • AIR CIRCULATION: Closed, indoor environments greatly increase the risk of viral transmission. The studio has a large bay door we can open to circulate outside air throughout the studio regularly.
  • CONTACT TRACING: Our booking system allows us to know who was present in the studio and when. In the event we become aware that an infected, or potentially infected person was at the studio, both you and local health authorities will be contacted.
  • TOUCH-FREE PAYMENT: All bookings and payments should be made at least 24 hours in advance on our website or free mobile app.

How do I buy my own aerial equipment?

If you don't have your own aerial apparatus, we have equipment at the studio you can use. (The CDC has stated the risk of contracting COVID-19 from contact with contaminated surfaces is low.) But many of our regular students like having their own. Here's what you need to know if you'd like to purchase your own aerial equipment: 1. Aerial Fabric: We recommend Aerial Essentials. Here is what you'll need:

  • Fabric: Order here. Order 17 yards of Low-Stretch fabric in any color you choose. The cost of 17 yards is $153.
  • Rescue-8 (also known as Aerial-8): Order here. The cost of an aluminum rescue-8 is $35. This hardware is used to attach your fabric to our pulley system. You shouldn't need any other hardware: we already have swivels and carabiners at the studio
  • Shipping Costs are $18.75 and tax usually runs around $15. Most orders arrive in 3-5 days.
2. Trapeze: We recommend Aerial Animals. 3. Lyra: We recommend Circus Gear. READ THIS if you purchase your own aerial equipment: Once you have your own equipment, you may start thinking about rigging it yourself. PLEASE TALK TO US FIRST! There is a ton of stuff you need to know about rigging and training safely. Aerial rigging from trees especially has resulted in serious injury and death. Do a quick online search, and you will see plenty of horror stories! Rigging without a structural engineer, professional rigger or without properly rated hardware and equipment is extremely dangerous. So again, please talk to us so we can get you the help you need if you are considering your own rigging. How to tie your fabric onto your rescue-8:
Here is a video that shows how to tie your fabric on to your rescue-8. We'll teach you how to do a safety check on your fabric at the studio, and you will be responsible for doing so before each class. Need rosin for better grip? If you use rosin, you will need to bring your own. You can order rosin spray here. If you prefer powdered rosin, you can order it here. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to reach out.

What are the studio's policies on filming during class?

The industry standard in aerial arts is for students not to film instructors while they are cuing aerial skills. First, it's important for safety reasons that students have their full focus on the instructor when they are explaining how to do a skill, which is harder to do when you are behind a screen. Second, it's taken us years of effort to develop our curriculum, teaching progressions and even individual word choice when verbally cuing skills. That's a big part of what you are paying for when taking classes in our studio. But we totally encourage you to take videos of yourself doing the skills we teach you! It can be a great teaching tool for self-critique and we love it when you post your aerial accomplishments and tag @upsideaerial so we can celebrate with you! If you are struggling with a particular skill or sequence, it is also appropriate to schedule a private lesson and request permission from your instructor if you can film them doing that particular skill so you have an example of the sequence with good form that you can study and practice. If you have any other questions about filming, just ask! You can also view our full Photo/Video Release agreement here.

Frequently Asked Questions