In the Pole program at Aerial Dance, we use Levels (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Extreme) to structure our curriculum. Why? Because leveling is the best method to use for learning a new skill. Educational research has proven that grouping people together by similar skills results in the best environment for learning. Benefits of our leveled pole program include:

  • Students have similar abilities! This helps you feel like you belong and fit in. When you’re in a non-leveled class and the girl next to you has been doing the apparatus for 3 years, human nature is going to kill your self esteem and make you hesitant to come back.
  • Skills can be broken down to the appropriate level. There is a huge difference in the knowledge base of someone new to an apparatus versus someone who has been on it for years. In pole, when you first learn a fireman we break it down in extreme detail so you know where every body part goes; then in Intermediate when you learn a fireman climb, because our program is leveled, you don’t re-learn every detail of the fireman, that base knowledge from Beginner is built upon and the description and time spent on it is indicative of your prior experience.
  • Curriculum is variations on a manageable amount of material. If the class is an all levels, the amount of material the instructor has to prepare and the variations for each move to account for skill can be HUGE. And overwhelming, both for the instructor and for the student. In our leveled pole program you are able to work on a harder or easier variation of a base move and because the range of abilities is controlled by the leveled structure the variations are narrower and therefore clearer. There is less confusion on what you are working on.
  • You learn at an appropriate pace. When you see someone in pole practice doing something super cool, of course you want to try it! But many times you aren’t ready for that move. There are a bunch of steps that you need to do first to get the appropriate strength and stability to really get the move safely. In a leveled program, you are exposed to moves in the safest order to progress.

These are some of the reasons we have stuck to a leveled pole program even though it is a pain to schedule and the structure makes some people hesitant to start. A level program is simply the best and safest way to learn a new skill.
Wait….but our aerial classes aren’t leveled….no, they aren’t. When we started the program we wanted a more fluid option so we made general categories of tricks/moves as the class structure. But the program has grown and now we have newbies and girls with years of experience in the same class. The single level worked for the start of the program, but in recent months we’ve found over and over that it just doesn’t result in the experience we want our women to have. So….

Starting July 9th Aerial classes will be “leveled”!!!!!!

You asked for it! Some of you asked for more of a challenge or for the classes to move at a faster pace. Some of you asked for a slower class and to not feel overwhelmed by someone with tons of experience next to you. We listened! Hoop will now be in three levels: Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced. Silks and Hammock will be in Beginner & Intermediate levels. Hoop & Silks are being rolled out July 9th, Hammock will be coming soon….
Over the next three weeks students will begin to fill out new “cards” that show Beginner/Intermediate leveling. To get “cleared” for the Intermediate level you need to be “proficient” in 90% of the Beginner card moves. Yes, you can choose to attend a “lower level” class just like you can in pole! Follow along with the class and work hard on perfecting your technique! This means a LOT more aerial classes on the schedule every week.
No, we are not going to make the aerial program 8-week terms. We’d like to…but you all asked for flexibility in scheduling so we are leveling but not terming. You can drop-in to classes as frequently as you wish. If you want to take every hoop class we offer in a week to progress super fast, you have that option! If you’re an advanced Hoop student you’ll now have your advanced class and a faster paced Intermediate class so you’ll have MORE OPTIONS to work on your skills!
Another change you asked for is also coming in July…ALL Silks & Hoop classes will have 2 girls per apparatus and have a limit of 8 in a class. This means you’ll have more time on the apparatus. You’ll also have more instructor attention. Your instructors have always written classes based on who’s coming but now with the leveling in place they will better be able to give you specific targeted progressions.
What am I most excited about? MORE AERIAL CLASSES!!!! With this structure and class maximum we will be able to run a Silks & Hoop class in the Aerial Studio at the same time. Yes, you read that right! We will now be able to run FOUR classes at any given time: 1 in the pole studio, 1 in the fitness studio and 2 in the aerial studio!!! This gives our members more class options and times to fit in their workouts!
What we need from our current students:

  • Fill out the “new” cards! We need to know what you know and where you’re at so you can be placed in the appropriate levels! The new levels will start on July 9. Everyone is in Beginners until your card gets you into Intermediate. Any women “cleared” for Hoop Skills currently will be cleared for “Intermediate” but needs to fill out Beginner/Intermediate cards and demonstrate proficiency to get to Advanced Hoop! (Yes, Advanced Hoop is going to be badass and super advanced!)
  • Attend classes when you register. It’s summer so we typically get a silly number of cancellations within 24 hours. Please come if you’re registered! We’re almost doubling the number of aerial classes we offer in any given week so need you there flying!!!! We don’t want to run a class when it just has two girls because it isn’t as fun of a community feel. We really don’t want to run two classes at the same time with two girls in each (my head will explode). So please come!
  • Your patience is appreciated as we work out the kinks. We have been talking about this for months and planning this the last few weeks. We aren’t rolling something out that is half conceived, trust me, this has been planned to a stupid degree. But with any new thing, there will be questions and problems that we didn’t anticipate so help us out by bringing questions and concerns to our attention as soon as possible so we can fix things!

I hope you are as excited about this as I am. All the instructors are giddy about it and can’t wait to start teaching you in the new level aerial program!