Aerial Dance

Come Fly with Us!

Aerial Dance 

Aerial Dance Program

We currently offer a wide variety of weekly classes, workshops, open workout sessions, and private instruction to participants of all ages. Aerial dance provides a mode of dance and movement that is accessible to a wide range of ability levels and body types. We have seen tremendous impacts on individual dancers in body awareness, fitness, self-esteem, and confidence.

Aerial Classes for Grades K to Adult

Grades 6+ Aerial Dance Classes starting September 9th!

Which aerial class is right for you?

Check out the descriptions and the list of requirements to know your options!

Grades 6+ Aerial Skills I
Tuesdays 6:45-7:45 pm, Center
A beginner-intermediate level aerial for ALL (co-ed). Class will begin with an intro/ review of the basic skills used for aerial lyra and silks. Students will receive individual attention to refine skills and learn sequencing. This is for students interested in learning aerial tricks and skills, without a ground dancing component.


  • No previous experience in aerial necessary. Good for dancers with 2 years or less experience with aerial and/or ground.
  • Registration in a separate ground dance of choice class is required.
  • This aerial class will perform in the April spring recital only (no performance in December). In order to perform, students are required to sign up September – April.

Grades 6+ Sling Aerial Dance
Wednesdays 2:15-3:30, Pump Room
A beginner-intermediate level aerial for ALL. This class brings together foundational ground dance techniques with the aerial sling apparatus. Dancers will train on the ground and relate movement in the air. The aim is to create fluid dance within the sling’s capability and learn more about our own creative freedom as aerial dancers. This is also a great class for students who have not yet performed aerial dance!


  • This class requires basic understanding of some foundational ground techniques (i.e. contemporary, ballet, hip-hop) as well as prior enrollment in [at least] one aerial class with SOD or elsewhere.
  • This class will perform in the December Nutcracker show. This class runs for the Winter Session only. (A different style of ground/air dance may be offered for the next Spring Session.)

Grades 7+ Girls Aerial Skills II, Center
Wednesdays 2:15-3:30, Center
This class is for our aerial dancers who have been reaching new heights for years! Skills in aerial lyra and silks will be refined and further sequencing will be explored. This class requires teacher approval. You will receive an email if you are in our system and on the approved list.


  • Students are required to have taken 3+ years of aerial training and have some performance experience.
  • Students are required to register in a ground technique class of choice (ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, etc) in order to perform.
  • This class will perform in the December Nutcracker show and the April performances.

Grades 7 + Boys Aerial Skills II, Center
Fridays 7:00-8:00 am
This class is for continuing education of aerial skills for past Boys’ Crew members. This class refines and builds skills with aerial and hip-hop technique in mind. Dancers train on the ground in their weekly hip-hop class and in the air in this aerial skills II session.


  • 2+ sessions of aerial training required. Prior Boys’ Crew member. Teacher approval. You will receive an email if you are in our system and on the approved list.
  • Students are required to register for ground technique class – Boys Hip-Hop II Wednesday nights 6:20-7:20 pm.
  • This class will perform in the December Nutcracker show and the April performances.

Adult Introduction to Aerial Dance, Center

Wednesdays 8:45-10:00 am

You’ve seen dancers perform amazing aerial dance over the last few years and thought, “I wish I could do that.” Well now you can! Learn how to twirl, fly, climb, and do tricks on the aerial lyra and aerial fabric while increasing strength and balance. The class will focus on foundations for both apparatus and injury prevention and is suited for never-evers and beginners.

5 Week Class – September 11-October 9

Adult Aerial Skills II, Center

Mondays, 7:30-8:45 pm

Take your aerial practice to the next level! Learn to twirl, fly, climb, and do tricks on the aerial lyra and aerial fabric while increasing strength, balance and body coordination. Focus will be on advanced beginner/ intermediate level skills, technique on both apparatus and injury prevention.


  • Must have taken Introduction to Aerial Skills & have teacher approval

5 Week Class – September 11-October 9

Check out our Schedule 

Private Aerial Lessons

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 SOD for more information.

More Information

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

Email Nicole

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.

Practice at Home – Guidelines

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 matsmatsmats.com 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:

https://aerialessentials.com/index.php?route=information/information&information_id=12 – more resources on rigging

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

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!