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?

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 choreograph their own performances for our showcases and events!) 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: Due to COVID-19, masks are required 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. Women should wear a sports bra as going upside down can cause wardrobe malfunctions! Please avoid wearing ALL jewelry. Also avoid lotions as they make it harder to hold on. What to Wear (for Guys): Close-fitting athletic pants work well. Under Armour and Nike offer a good selection of men's 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! Bring a yoga mat for warm-ups/cool-downs. If you can bring your own hand towel, it will greatly help us cut down on paper product waste from all the COVID-related hand-washing and cleaning! Most of our regular students own their own aerial equipment (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 a limited number available 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 that interferes with hand gripping, pregnancy, or weight over 250 pounds. It is recommended to carry no more than 40 pounds of excess body weight to avoid excessive strain on the joints. As with any fitness activity, if you have any health concerns, 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.
  2. Specialized equipment: We use lots of costly, highly-specialized 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, proper safety spotting, and maintain COVID-19 safety.
  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 can show off their skills on our free-standing aerial rig.

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
  • 4-Class Pass: $104
  • 8-Class Pass: $184
ONLINE CLASSES (Yoga, Strength & Cardio, & 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 (our Aerial Addict package)
  • The easiest way is to download our free mobile app to book classes and buy class passes 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 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. If you are new to aerial, we recommend starting with either our Intro Classes or Private Lessons so we can teach you the basics of getting airborn safely. If we don't currently have any Intro Classes available or private lessons don't fit your budget, cut the cost by bringing friends for our Semi-Private Lesson option!

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 lesson-planning time. 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 Course Series and Workshops: 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 our COVID-19 Agreement. Our studio's COVID-19 procedures were developed according to CDC Guidelines and American Circus Educator Guidelines:

  • TOUCH-FREE PAYMENT: All bookings and payments should be made at least 24 hours in advance on our website or free mobile app so we can be touch-free and maintain social distancing.
  • SOCIAL DISTANCING: All apparatuses are rigged at least 6 feet apart and group class capacity is limited.
  • MASKS: Properly-fitted masks are required in the studio at all times. (The CDC recommends either a surgical mask covered by a cloth mask, a surgical mask with knotted ear loops and tucked in sides, or a nylon face & neck covering over a mask due to the more contagious coronavirus variants.)
  • NO EQUIPMENT SHARING: The CDC has stated the risk of contracting COVID-19 from contact with contaminated surfaces is low. However to maintain social distancing, no aerial equipment or rig points will be shared during classes. If you don't have your own aerial apparatus, we have a limited number at the studio you can use. But many of our regular students have their own. If you would rather bring your own, refer to #3 on our FAQ page for 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 use. Studio fabrics are set aside for 24 hours between uses.
  • AIR CIRCULATION: Closed, indoor environments greatly increase the risk of viral transmission. If outside temperatures permit it, we will have both our bay door and the studio entrance doors open during classes to circulate outside air through the studio. If outside temperatures are too hot or cold, the doors will be opened before and after class to air out the studio, but closed with the A/C or heat on during classes.
  • 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.

How do I buy my own aerial equipment?

If you don't have your own aerial apparatus, we have a limited number 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 have their own. If you are interested in purchasing your own, here's what you need to know: 1. Aerial Fabric: We recommend Aerial Essentials. Here is what you'll need:

  • Fabric: Order here. Order 16 yards of Low-Stretch fabric in any color you choose. The cost of 16 yards is $144.
  • 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 to have their full focus on the instructor when they are giving instructions, 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!

Frequently Asked Questions


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Contact Us


2241 Hanford Rd #103

Burlington, NC 27215

(inside Envision Wellness)