Aerial Dance Program

With the Crested Butte Dance Collective


Aerial Conditioning and Open Aerial Play

Every Friday: September 1 – February 3, 8:30 a.m. / 10:00 a.m.

  • $12 for Aerial Conditioning and $8 for Open Aerial Play

By climbing, pulling, flipping upside-down, and holding yourself in challenging positions in the air, you will build amazing overall body strength in this class! We will be working with the lyra and aerial fabric as well as floor exercises and stretching. Aerial Conditioning focuses on balancing, strength, and flexibility. This class is open to ages 15 – adult, all levels and beginners, and is a great way to build up strength and confidence for instructed aerial dance class sessions.

Grade 6 to Adult Aerial Contemporary Dance
  • Saturdays, November 11 – February 3, 1:45-3:00 pm, $159.50
  • Instructor: Sasha

Explore the world of aerial skills with contemporary dance movement! This class will exercise the techniques of ground dancing as they relate to choreography with the aerial apparatuses (silks, sling and lyra). While learning aerial skills, technique and choreography, we will be exploring the dances between ground and air. We will play with the transition-less movement on the ground to in the air. Students will learn stylized air repertory or set phrases and then explore how to make it your own! Students will train with safety and intelligence all season and then have the opportunity to perform in May show.

This class will take place for both the Winter & Spring Sessions. This class will perform in the May Showcase. (Performance Optional) Please note the dates for this class are:

  • November 11, 18
  • December 2, 9, 16, 23
  • January 6, 13, 20, 27
  • February 3

We will resume this class when the Spring Session begins (registration fees will apply).


Adult Intermediate (Level 2) Sling Skills
  • Tuesdays, January 9 – January 30, 5:45-7:00 pm
  • Instructor: Sasha

This class features new and interesting aerial sling skills and choreography. Discover creative and playful sequences, learn intermediate aerial skills and experience innovative transitions between poses. We will play with the transition-less movement on the ground to in the air. Students will learn stylized set phrases in the air and then explore how to make it your own!

*Prerequisite: Student must be able to invert in the air, and have taken beginner sling class.


Adult Intermediate/Advanced (Level 3) Aerial Dance Skills
  • Tuesdays, January 9 – January 30, 7:15-8:30 pm
  • Instructor: Sasha
This class is intended for intermediate and advanced students who have an aerial practice. Students will refine their aerial silks/fabric and lyra skills while working on choreography, transitions and new movements. Proper technique, terminology and injury prevention will be emphasized while maneuvering gracefully through the air higher off of the ground. Students will progress to more challenging moves and sequencing. In silks, students get familiar and comfortable with sequencing from catchers wrap, hipkey, footlocks, and double crochet in the air. Explore your multi-directional movement possibilities!
Prerequisite: Student must have taken aerial intro series and intermediate series or be approved by instructor. If you are not sure if Aerial Skills Level 3 is for you, please email Annie for approval.

Here you can create the content that will be used within the module.

Space is limited! Sign up today!

Deep gratitude for the Zane Mason Memorial Fund and its direct support for the dance education of our male dancers. In loving memory of movement extraordinaire Zane Mason, whose inspiration is felt by all.



Private lessons are available for all levels of aerial fabric and/or lyra for all ages. Private lessons are catered to the students’ specific levels and students will have more time on the equipment than in normal group classes. This is also a great option for a fun and unique birthday party! Contact CBDC for more information.


All aerial dance classes take place at the
Center for the Arts
606 6th Street
Crested Butte

Email Annie Tunkey

Want to practice at home?  Here are some guidelines to help you stay safe.  
Written by Joanie Garcia (Grant) co-founder of the Crested Butte Dance Collective, program director of Flagstaff Aerial Arts and co-founder of Dark Sky Aerial.  Edited by Sasha Chudacoff
  • Use The Right Gear:  Order equipment from a reputable source such as Aircat Aerial Arts or Aerial Essentials. Do not use materials from the hardware store. Inspect your gear regularly. If it’s “Made in China” from a hardware store, it is not load tested.
  • Rig Only From Load Bearing Beams: Use a protective barrier such as a carpet swath wrapped around your beam to protect your span set/polyester round sling from wear and tear. Make sure that the beam you rig from is load tested to 6,000 lbs. YES! that is what they say for dynamic aerial arts movements, drops, etc..
  • Never Practice Aerial ALONE & Never Practice Without An Enveloping Mat Underneath: Before considering how much it will cost to purchase a home setup, be sure to take into account the cost of an 8″ enveloping mat. You can make your own mat cover and order 8″ thick foam to make it more affordable, but don’t skip the mat! You can get a mat from for $318. Your head and spine are worth $318.
  • Training: Instruction will help you avoid costly injuries. The most common injury in aerial arts is to the shoulder. Working with an aerial instructor not only will improve your form but it will insure that you learn proper body technique to stay safe in the air. I started out training by myself as a young aerialist because I lived 8 hours away from the closest training facility. The first year I did aerial arts I caused significant damage to my shoulders. I can never undo the damage I did that year, but when I started training with an instructor, I noticed a dramatic difference not only in my ability but also in my quality of movement and a reduction in shoulder pain. You can learn aerial arts on your own, but you will learn much more and have quality experiences learning from trained professionals.
  • Learn By Watching Videos: We all love watching videos! The more you train with a professionally trained aerial instructor, the more you will SEE when you are watching those videos. Before trying things out on your own, share videos with your instructor and start a conversation. How was their shoulder rotation? How did their hip placement keep their body engaged in that silk wrap? Was the performer I saw on YouTube doing this move safely and correctly? The more you work with a trained professional, the more you will understand the body mechanics of aerial technique and learn how to stay safe when testing out the moves you see. You will learn if you are ready to execute the moves you see in your videos in a safe and healthy way. Your instructor will also have an opportunity to let you know if they do not feel that you are ready to try the move you saw in the video.  Do not try out new moves alone and without the supervision of a trained instructor.  It’s not worth it! Here’s a great article from our friends at Versatile Arts in Seattle, WA about learning from YouTube.

Additional Resources: – more resources on rigging

http://www.paperdollmilitia. com/Aerial_ABCs.html – shoulder and aerial body technique tutorials from our buds, Paper Doll Militia