aerial overview : class types

MAYA is happy to offer Greenville's first aerial studio. Stretch, tone, traction, balance, invert, flip, dance--all while suspended from a nylon sling, silks, a steel hoop, or a bar and ropes.

Kelly and her team of certified coaches will modify to each student's level of strength and familiarity with the apparatus; however, please take care to choose the appropriate class level/style for your body. (Please note : any class name with a Number (1, 1 /2, etc) requires permission from the owner to attend.)

:::

Aerial Yoga : a hammock class for beginners or those wanting a gentle, stretchy practice. Class is designed to be a relaxing experience that's appropriate for all levels and ages. Perfect for those looking to invert, traction, stretch and improve their joint health. At the end, enjoy a long rest pose inside the hammock cocoon. / Recommended for beginners. // Classes will use a single-point nylon sling, hung at hip height. Please note the aerial dress code in the "things to know" section below, but especially keep the waist covered. [purchase under the Hammock class passes]

Aerial Fitness Basics : an entry level hammock class for students looking to start upper body and core strength training. Class is geared toward toning and strengthening, with detailed cues given to train safe alignment and a variety of modifications offered to suit all levels. The Basics version of the Fitness class also includes an orientation to the studio & entrances and exits into the hammock. All students are encouraged to try at least one Basics class before taking the all levels Fitness class; although, students can take the Basics option for as long as they like. / Recommended for beginners. // Classes will use a single-point nylon sling, hung at hip height. Please note the aerial dress code in the "things to know" section below, but especially keep the waist covered. [purchase under the Hammock class passes]

Aerial Fitness : same fitness class style, but for all levels. A hammock class with an ever-changing parade of drills aimed to challenge a student's balance, core, grip and ability to hold their body weight off the ground. Aerial Fitness will add inverted poses that depend on the students' grip strength. / Feel free to take this version of the Fitness class once you feel comfortable with the foundational entrances, exits and body positions taught in Aerial Fitness Basics. // Classes will use a single-point nylon sling, hung at hip or waist height. Please note the aerial dress code in the "things to know" section below, but especially keep the waist covered. [purchase under the Hammock class passes]

Aerial Sling Dance 1 : a hammock class for students progressing in their endurance & pose vocabulary, focused on fluidity and choreography. Class will focus on transitions, grip switches and inverting into a tuck. / Individual permission from the studio owner is required to attend, based on completion of some prerequisites : students must be able to perform a pull-over, as well as have spent enough time in Aerial Fitness to become fluid in foundational entrances, exits and balance points in the hammock. // Classes will use a single-point nylon sling, hung at waist or rib height. Please note the aerial dress code in the "things to know" section below, but especially keep the waist and knees covered. [purchase under the Hammock class passes]

Aerial Sling Dance 2 / 3 : an intermediate hammock class for students progressing in their strength and technique. Class will focus on straddle inverts, straight arm hangs, climbs, longer sequences and some drops toward the end of the curriculum. / Individual permission from the studio owner is required to attend, based on completion of some prerequisites & assessing out of the Sling Dance 1 class. // Classes will use a single-point nylon sling, hung at rib height. Please note the aerial dress code in the "things to know" section below, but especially keep the knees covered. [purchase under the Hammock class passes]

Silks Basics : an entry level class on aerial silks. Students will learn basic entrances and exits onto the apparatuses with some positions taught in the knot, as well as beginning conditioning drills, climbs, descents, foot locks and standing poses in foot locks. / Recommended for those beginning silks, though not necessarily those new to aerials. Much of class will be spent learning climbs and foot locks which will require holding your weight in the air. If you're still building that strength, take Aerial Fitness classes. // Classes will use the traditional silk tails. [purchase under the Cirque class passes]

Silks 1 / 2 : a beginning-intermediate class on aerial silks for students progressing in climbing strength, inversions and balance in the air in their foot locks. Students will learn egg beaters, cross-back straddle, catchers wrap, hip keys, knee climbs and beginning belays, among other concepts. / Individual permission from the studio owner is required to attend, based on completion of some prerequisites & assessing out of the Silks Basics class. // Classes will use the traditional silk tails. [purchase under the Cirque class passes]

Lyra Basics : an entry level class on a steel aerial hoop, known as the lyra. Students will learn basic entrances and exits onto the apparatuses, as well as beginning conditioning drills, foundational poses (such as man on the moon, shoehorn, birdie and gazelle), and short sequences. / Recommended for beginners. // Classes will use a single-point Lyra that can be rigged low for beginners if needed. Please note the aerial dress code in the "things to know" section below, but especially the suggestion to bring extra layers to protect against the pressure of the bar. [purchase under the Cirque class passes]

Lyra 1 / 2 : a beginning-intermediate class on lyra for students progressing in grip strength, inversions, flexibility and fluidity. Students will learn tucks and strength elements under the bar, birds nest, lions, mermaids, front & back balance, running man, half mills, and beginning poses on the top bar, among other concepts. Class will focus on building pose vocabulary, endurance and effortless transitions. / Individual permission from the studio owner is required to attend, based on completion of some prerequisites & assessing out of the Lyra Basics class. // Classes will use a single-point lyra, rigged at head height. Please note the aerial dress code in the "things to know" section below, but especially the suggestion to bring extra layers to protect against the pressure of the bar. [purchase under the Cirque class passes]

Dance Trapeze Basics : an entry level class on a trapeze. Students will learn basic entrances and exits onto the apparatus, as well as beginning conditioning, basic transitions and wraps. Class will focus on foundational technique needed to balance on the bar and rotate through space around the bar. / Recommended for beginners, but a bit of upper body strength is suggested. // Classes will use a single-point dance trapeze, with bouncy cable-free ropes and a carbon bar, on a swivel. The bar will be rigged about hip height for most poses in Basics. Please note the aerial dress code in the "things to know" section below, but especially the suggestion to bring extra layers to protect against the pressure of the bar & avoid crop tops to protect against the rope. [purchase under the Cirque class passes]

Kids Aerials : a beginning hammock class for mini flyers, ages 8-11. Kids will learn inversions, transitions, flying poses, and more in a fun and focused class that will challenge the students' balance, core, memory, concentration and coordination. Class is limited to 8 students. Parents will be asked to leave their children in the studio for the hour, and not participate in class. The Swamp Rabbit Cafe is close by, if parents need a place to wait. / Please alert the MAYA staff before class if your child requires special consideration of any kind. Parents and/or the child's legal guardian will be asked to sign a waiver on their child's behalf BEFORE the first class, so please plan on dropping your child off in person, or email the studio for a waiver in advance. [purchase under the Hammock class passes]

Multi-Apparatus Conditioning ("Multi-App") : a revved up conditioning experience for those looking to sample a variety of aerial apparatuses (depending on the coach that day), while adding a cardio element to their aerial training. All the pull-ups on all the things. / More of an intermediate conditioning offering. Students should be comfortable doing a pull-over unassisted. This is also a nice place to try out different apparatuses, but please note that this is not a tricks-based class. If you want to progress in an apparatus, please try the Basics class in that apparatus. [purchase under the Cirque class passes]

Private Lessons : for students looking for a completely customized approach to their aerial progress. Lessons offered in hammock, silks, lyra and trapeze. Private lessons are also a great way to dip your toe into aerials & give it a try without the pressure of fellow classmates. Contact the studio to book a lesson. / More information under the "Booking" tab.

Private Parties : for those wanting the studio to themselves for a special occasion (birthday party, corporate team building event, etc) or wanting to give aerials a try in the comfort of their own friend group. Contact the studio to book a party. / More information under the "Booking" tab.

:::

For more details, pictures and videos on each class style, please see its own page under the "Classes" tab.

Safety notes are clearly taught and enforced in all classes, as well as spotting when there is the need. There is no need to be already able to do a pull-up before you begin your aerial career; however, these classes are not intended as "shoulder therapy," so please refrain from class if you are nursing an acute shoulder injury or call the studio to ask which class is appropriate.

The studio features single-point nylon aerial hammocks (also called slings), aerial silks, lyras and single-point dance trapezes, all rigged from 16-foot ceilings inside a renovated historic textile mill. Crash mats are used for every student in every class, and teachers are well trained in spotting techniques.



things to know : class policies

1. Advance Registration // Students MUST register before class (online or on their phone via the MindBody Connect app) to reserve their apparatus. Showing up to class without prior registration does not guarantee you a spot in class, and you may be asked to leave if class is already full. Online registration closes 5 minutes before class start time, to allow for the teacher to have the classroom set up and ready to start class right on time.

*Please note : coaches reserve the right to not admit late attendees to class, due to the safety risks involved with skipping an aerial warm-up. Also, students who no-show for class (without notifying the studio of any change of plans before the class start time) will be charged for the full price of the class for holding an apparatus, due to small class sizes.

*The schedule is subject to change, due to a small staff.

2. Dress Code // Please note and follow the dress code for classes : it is intended to protect your skin as much as possible from the apparatus. Hanging from or swiveling in an apparatus can cause tender spots, bruises or silk burn. These are normal, and their occurrence lessens with time & consistency. Please exit a pose early if needed, while building up a tolerance to the pressure, and please never ignore any sensation of pain.

*Students should wear T-shirts that cover the armpits, and capris or pants that cover the backs of the knees. Students who wear shorts or crop tops to class will be given extra clothes to wear over top of what they came in, or they will be prohibited from taking class that day. Sleeves protect the hammock from deodorant, as well, which can speed the fabric's decay. Clothing should be form-fitting, as loose or baggy material can get caught in the hammock, or fall over students' faces when they invert. Clothing that is especially slippery feeling will not grip the hammock and silks as snugly, which beginners may want at first.

*Please note : bar apparatuses (lyra and trapeze) may be especially rough to get used to, and students may experience extra bruising when learning new moves, especially around the backs of the knees. Please bring extra layers (socks, long sleeve shirts, etc).

3. Lotion & Scents // Do not wear lotion that sweats off, or heavy scents (body odor or perfume alike). Please be courteous and avoid smoking prior to class, or any other activities that leave a lingering smell and could make your hammock uninhabitable for the student immediately after you.

4. Jewelry // No jewelry, as it may snag the silks (especially rings or watches with sharp edges, and earrings). No gum chewing.

5. Mats // Mats are provided & must always be used. Water is provided, but bring a bottle.

6. Injuries & Medical Issues // Please alert the coach and/or her assistant before class if you suffer from easy bruising, low blood pressure, chronic light headedness, or nausea (i.e. the one who always gets car sick). If you feel you are getting dizzy during class, take a break or a sip or water and wait for it to pass.

*Also, please alert your coach or the studio owner of ANY injuries before class begins. A full list of medical conditions relevant to aerials are listed on the student waiver (which you can view on the "Kids Aerial" page on the "Classes" tab of the website), but especially in regards to balance issues (vertigo, inner ear issues), shoulder considerations (rotator cuff damage, hyper flexible joints), any hardware or fusions in spine, past C-sections (scar tissue) and/or abdominal tears (Diastasis Recti). Refrain from any aerial class (and any inversion) for at least 24 hours after a Botox injection. Coaches reserve the right to prohibit a student from taking class in the case of an injury where aerials could be contraindicated until the studio owner can provide input.

7. Pregnancy // Pregnant students are not allowed to start aerial classes. Aerialists who become pregnant must have the approval of the studio owner to take class.

8. Sickness // Do NOT come to the studio if you are sick. The studio reserves the right to send sick students home out of respect for others' health. Please wash your hands before and after any aerial class, to prevent the spread of germs from student to apparatus as much as possible.

9. Tardiness // Please be on time to class. Each class begins with a warm-up to protect students from injury. Late students may not be admitted to class, on the teacher's discretion, due to safety risks of skipping warm-ups.

10. Safety // Safety is paramount. All safety guidelines (given by the coach or assistant) must be followed. Acting outside these guidelines, or putting others at risk warrants removal from class. Mats must always stay under each apparatus. No peer teaching. Do not try moves you have not been taught by a coach. Do not work on an apparatus you have not been coached on.

11. Time after Class // The social time directly after class is intended for taking pictures. (Phones are a distraction during class, and not allowed.) During this time, students may only practice moves they learned in class that day. This is not the time for asking to learn new moves from scratch once the teacher is "off the clock." Also, peer sharing/teaching during this time (or any other open practice time) is not allowed.

12. Exiting Poses // In class, please be mindful about exiting a move with impact or sound. Learning how much clearance is available in relation to the floor is an important principle of aerials, and rough landings imply a lack or awareness of clearance and/or a student trying a modification beyond their current skill set. Also, exiting moves quietly and slowly build the strength needed one day to enter the move without momentum.

13. Demos & Spotting // When observing a new move being demonstrated, students are asked to watch without trying along. Please stay on the ground during the demo, so that the coach can spot you appropriately if needed. Coaches provide acrobatic spotting. Students who refuse spotting may not be allowed to try the move.

14. Minors //Those 17 and younger must have a waiver signed by a parent or guardian on file Before they can take class. No exceptions.

15. Previous Aerial Experience // Please let the teacher know if you have taken an aerial class before. If so, describe the type/apparatus and level of class.

16. Judgement Free // The studio is a judgment free zone. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, or ask for a spot. Negative or competitive talk directed to yourself or others is not acceptable.

 

Aerial dance free-style at the Taylors Mill. Videography by Orion Yorke Media.

A collage of scenes and characters from the MAYA studio Alice in Wonderland aerial show, featuring performances from students and coaches via sling, silks, trapeze, lyra and partner acrobatics.