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  • What are Aerial Arts? Are they safe?
    Aerial Arts began in the circus and combine feats of strength and flexibility with dance. They are performed on various aerial apparatuses, such as: Aerial Silks (also known as Aerial Fabric or Tissu) Lyra (or Aerial Hoop) Trapeze Aerial Sling (or Aerial 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 safe? All physical activity involves some risk of injury, and because most aerial arts are done above the ground, the level of risk can be higher. If aerial arts are done without the appropriate equipment or rigging or are taught by instructors without adequate training, aerial arts can be dangerous. But safety is our TOP PRIORITY at Upside Aerial. Learn about all we do to keep you safe here. Are Aerial Arts and Aerial Yoga the same thing? 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 are Upside's COVID-19 policies?
    Before coming to the studio, all students must complete our waiver which includes our COVID-19 Agreement: MASKS ARE OPTIONAL: ANYONE who feels safer masking in our studio is fulling supported in doing so. WHEN TO STAY HOME: Please stay home if you have any COVID symptoms. According to CDC guidelines, if you have been exposed to COVID, you can still come to our studio but you'll need to wear a mask for at least 10 days after exposure and test at least 5 days after exposure. If you test positive, do not return to the studio until it has been at least 5 days and you have no symptoms. Continue to wear a mask for at least 10 days after testing positive. You may remove your mask sooner than day 10 if you have two sequential negative tests 48 hours apart at least 5 days after exposure or testing positive. 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 (with no rental fees). If you would rather not share equipment, please refer to #3 on our FAQ page for aerial equipment purchase information. HAND-WASHING & DISINFECTION: For general cleanliness and to prevent the spread of all germs, everyone should wash their hands at our in-studio sink or in the restrooms upon entering the studio. Mats are disinfected after each use. AIR CIRCULATION: Closed, indoor environments greatly increase the risk of COVID viral transmission. The studio has a large bay door we 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 a COVID-infected person was at the studio, you will be notified. 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 at no extra charge. But many of our regular students like having their own. We recommend Circus Gear for the majority of your aerial equipment needs. Circus Gear is an amazing local company based out of Raleigh that we have worked with for years! Use coupon code Upside23 for 5% off any Circus Gear order - excluding custom orders and portable rigs: 1. Aerial Fabric for Silks: Fabric: Order here. Order 17 yards of Low-Stretch fabric in any color you choose. Rescue-8 (also known as an Aerial-8): Order here. 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. 2. Aerial Fabric for Sling: Same as above but order 9 yards of Low-Stretch fabric instead of 17 yards. 3. Lyra: Order here. 4. Trapeze: We recommend Aerial Animals single trapeze with 8' ropes , 1" diameter steel bar with 22" working bar space, and 2 Jugglegear Link 2 D 50kN Carabiners. You'll also need a spreader plate with 2 swivels: we recommend ordering this from Circus Gear here. 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! In the aerial industry, a rig point and aerial equipment are not considered safe unless you could hang a CAR from it. (Aerial arts can generate dynamic forces up to 10 times more than what you weigh!) So 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 silks 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. To rig your fabric as a sling or hammock using a Rescue-8, check out this video. Need rosin for better grip? You can order rosin spray here. If it's out of stock or you prefer powdered rosin, you can order it here. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask us at the studio!
  • What should I wear/bring to Aerial class?
    What to Wear: Wear close-fitting workout clothes that cover your midriff, armpits, and backs of your knees. (Nobody wants a fabric or rope burn!) 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! Most of our regular students bring their own aerial apparatus (e.g. fabric, lyra, or trapeze). But no worries if you don't have your own: we have equipment at the studio you can use at no extra charge. If you are interested in purchasing your own, refer to FAQ #3.
  • Does Upside offer drop-in classes?
    Yes! But ALL aerial classes, including drop-ins, must be booked at least 24 hours ahead due to limited equipment availability. If you show up without booking, we may not have a spot for you. Also, before booking a drop-in class, read the class description located under the Classes tab to be sure you meet the prerequisites. If you are new to aerial, you can book a drop-in for the following group aerial classes (age 16+): Intro to Aerial Silks Intro to Lyra (Aerial Hoop) Intro to Aerial Sling (Aerial Hammock) Don't meet the prerequisites yet for a class you want to take? Want to go at a slower (or faster) pace with more personalized attention? Under age 16? Check out our Private Lessons (available for Silks, Lyra, Trapeze, Sling, Hand Balancing, Partner Acro, Aerial Pole & Pole), open to ages 9 to adult. If Private Lessons don't fit your budget, be sure to check out our Semi-private option where you can bring friends or family to bring down the per-person cost.
  • Price: How much do Upside classes cost and how do I purchase?
    AERIAL GROUP CLASSES Drop-In Class: $30 Intro to Aerial 4-Class Pass: $60 (Special Offer for New Students only) 4-Class Pass: $104 8-Class Pass: $184 16-Class Pass: $336 ONLINE CLASSES (Yoga, Strength & Cardio) Online Drop-In Class: $10 Online 8-Class Pass: $64 PRIVATE LESSONS, PARTIES, PERFORMANCES 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: Most people book a semiprivate lesson (see above) for their Aerial Party. For customized options, like professional aerial performances at your party, request a quote here Book Aerial Performers for a Special Event: Price varies - request a quote here PRACTICE TIME Open Studio: $20 per 90-minute session Package of 4: $17 per session Package of 8: $14 per session HOW DO I BUY ONE OF THE ABOVE OPTIONS? The easiest way is to download our free mobile app to buy class packages 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.
  • Why do Aerial classes cost more than typical fitness classes?
    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 costs A LOT. Specialized equipment: We use lots of costly, highly-specialized aerial and rigging equipment (all professionally installed) as well as special stunt mats and expensive safety flooring. Individualized instruction: We keep our class sizes very small so we can provide highly-individualized instruction and proper safety spotting. Our group classes on average have only 3 to 7 students. Highly-trained instructors: All Upside Aerial instructors have years of highly specialized, expensive training. Performance Opportunities: We work hard to give our students as many opportunities to perform in front of live audiences as we can. The cost of classes helps support regular studio showcases where our students perform for their friends and family. The cost also helps fund our participation in community events using our portable aerial rig. We love being part of the local arts & entertainment community!
  • Does Upside offer Kids' classes?
    While Upside offers 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!
  • 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!
  • 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 most committed 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. Generally, you can continue aerial training with modifications during pregnancy if you were already training prior to pregnancy, but please check with your health care provider. 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 only 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.
  • Does Upside offer Aerial Yoga? Is Aerial Yoga different from Aerial Arts?
    At Upside, we do not teach aerial yoga. Although aerial yoga, aerial silks, and aerial sling (or aerial hammock) all use fabric, they are not the same thing! 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!
  • What are Upside's Booking and 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 because spots are limited by the number of aerial rig points at our studio. This also gives our instructors the time they need to lesson plan for each individual signed up for their classes. Cancellations less than 24 hours prior to class for reasons unrelated to COVID-19 or emergency are not eligible for 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. Booking, rescheduling or cancelling your classes is easiest with our free booking app. 6-Hour Cancellation Policy for Online Classes: Cancellations for our online classes must be made at least 6 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 6 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.
  • How do I know if classes are cancelled due to inclement weather?
    Class cancellation decisions are made for each afternoon's or evening's classes that morning based on road conditions reported by the National Weather Service on You will be notified by email if we cancel any classes you have booked, and your class will be credited back to your account. So before you leave home, check your email! You can also double check the Schedule tab of our app for any class cancellations. If your class is not cancelled but you do not feel safe coming to our studio due to hazardous road conditions, we will relax our 24 hour cancellation policy. Safety is ALWAYS first! However, if it's less than 24 hours ahead, you must message us via our app or call us at 336-270-9854 to let us know as soon as possible BEFORE CLASS STARTS so we can credit your class back to your account and let your instructor know.
  • 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!

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