students in a handstand against a wall

Adult Session Classes

Group session classes at Esh meet once a week and run in 8-week sessions. View the schedule and sign up for classes by visiting the Schedule & Registration page.

smiling woman in sitting position on aerial silks
smiling woman in sitting position on aerial silks

Adult Session Classes

We are committed to offering only the highest quality of personalized circus instruction to our students. Classes at Esh are small in order to maximize student-teacher interaction and personalized instruction. Aerials classes are capped at 4-6 students, while most ground acrobatics classes are capped at 4-8 students, depending on the discipline.

Our instructors are all professionals in their field. All have trained as circus and fitness instructors, and many hold multiple certifications in fitness, health, and wellness. Many of our instructors also perform professionally as circus artists.

Drop-ins are available for some of the classes on our weekly schedule. To learn more, visit the Adult Session Make-up/Drop-in Calendar on the Schedule & Registration page.

Questions? Check out our FAQ or drop us a line at info@eshcircusarts.com!

Aerial Classes

Aerial silks (also known as aerial fabric, aerial tissue, aerial ribbons or chiffon) consist of a single length of special nylon fabric folded in half and attached to a piece of rigging to create two long tails. Through use of friction, knots, and wraps, the fabric can be used for a wide range of sequences, poses, drops, and other movements. A relatively young circus art, aerial silks was invented in the early 1960s, but only became widely recognized in 1998 when Isabelle Chasse performed an aerial silks act in the Cirque du Soleil production, Quidam.

We offer aerial silks classes in all levels, from Level 101 through Level 501, as well as an Advanced class for very experienced students.

The goals of these classes are:

  • To build body awareness, strength, and flexibility
  • To introduce and maintain strong form and technique
  • To build and expand a versatile movement vocabulary
  • To give students the opportunity to be creative and playful in the air through improvisation and routine-building
  • To always emphasize good safety habits and injury prevention

LEVEL 101

This beginner-level class is for people who are either brand new (in their first-ever class or set of classes) or who are learning to get comfortable on the aerial silks. Level 1 introduces students to the fundamentals of form and technique. Students will learn to wrap foot locks, execute several poses low to the ground, and start to get comfortable being upside down. Students in this level will work on strength, body awareness, and comfort in the air. Students may spend a couple of sessions at this level while they build core and upper body strength.

Pre-requisites for Level 101:

  • Ability to hang from one’s hands briefly
  • Ability to engage safely in moderate physical activity

LEVEL 101 POWER

Level 101 Power classes are aimed at those students who do not necessarily have specific experience in the discipline being taught, but who have applicable strength and/or flexibility from a background in a related physical discipline (gymnastics, dance, rock climbing, etc.) Power classes cover the same material as a regular 101 class, but will move at a faster pace and might include more challenging variations on skills. If you are unsure whether a Power class is appropriate for you, please contact us with a specific description of your background.

Pre-requisites for Level 101 Power:

  • Ability to invert (go upside-down) from the ground without instructor’s help
  • Ability to hang from hands for five seconds
  • Some familiarity with exercising or movement disciplines

LEVEL 201

This level is for students who have completed some course of aerial training, either at Esh or at another school, and have a baseline of core/upper body strength. Students in this level will begin to work with more complex wraps, poses, and transitions. Students will also begin to learn basic drops at this level.

Pre-requisites for Level 201:

  • Ability to climb several climbs/steps consecutively (student does not need to be able to reach the top)
  • Ability to foot lock in the air – both fabrics on one foot
  • Ability to hang from wrapped hands with shoulders and abs engaged, toes on the ground, for 10 seconds
  • Ability to invert from the ground without instructor’s help – jumping and using toes to get up is fine!
  • Ability to hold tuck, pike, and arrow inversions between the fabrics for a few seconds
  • Understanding of shoulder engagement both upright and inverted, though execution may not be perfect
  • Comfort with: double foot locks (wrapping on ground ok), arabesque, and double crochets
  • Understanding of the elements of a windmill hip key, even if the execution is not yet perfect

LEVEL 301

Students in Level 301 will continue to build strength and confidence in the air while building movement vocabulary and solidifying skills learned in earlier levels. Skills introduced in this level include more complex climbs, poses, and drops, as well as short sequences.

Pre-requisites for Level 301:

  • Solid recall of basic movement vocabulary – student can execute multiple skills without being talked through step by step
  • Ability to hang from hands, wrists locked, knees to chest, with abs and shoulders engaged, feet off the ground, for 10 seconds
  • Ability to climb to the top of the silks and descend with control
  • Ability to invert cleanly from the mat
  • Ability to execute a windmill hip key from the mat and finish in a stable position in the air
  • Ability to invert in the air at least a couple of times during class – using toes is ok
  • Ability to hold a straddle inversion for five seconds
  • Ability to invert, hook knee and wrap back leg comfortably and without instructor help, for both same side and opposite side knee
  • Familiarity and comfort with: cross-back straddle, double crochet sit up to crucifix, single crucifix, wrapped 360 dive

LEVEL 401

Students in this level will begin to work on movements higher in the air, as well as sequences to build stamina, more advanced drops, and some choreographic skills.

Pre-requisites for Level 401:

  • Student can create and execute a short sequence without help from an instructor, including recall of a variety of skills and the steps required to do them
  • Ability to hang from hands, wrists locked, knees to chest, with abs and shoulders engaged, for 15 seconds
  • Ability to invert in the air from bent arms repeatedly during class
  • Ability to hip key cleanly from the mat, and ability to hip key in the air with reasonably good form
  • Ability to hold a straddle inversion for ten seconds
  • Ability to sit up out of a straddle (straddle negative) slowly and with control, bent arms ok
  • Ability to sit up from same side knee hook into crucifix with good form
  • Ability to climb to the top three times in a row without touching the ground
  • Safe, fairly tight single stars and single saltos
  • Ability to complete a 2 minute sequence (not all foot lock tricks) in the air

LEVEL 501

This level is for advanced students who are comfortable with being in the air on their chosen apparatus. Students in Level 501 will start to work on dynamic movements, complex sequences, and unlocked drops. They will be encouraged to find creative transitions and even invent new tricks, shapes, and movements of their own. As with all other levels, technique and injury prevention will continue to be emphasized.

Pre-requisites for Level 501:

  • Student can improvise in the air comfortably; for example, the student can participate in a game of “add-on” without significant prompting from coach or fellow students
  • Ability to invert in the air multiple times per class, no toes, bent arms ok
  • Ability to hang from hands, wrists locked, hollow, for 20 seconds
  • Ability to hip key in the air cleanly
  • Ability to roll from a shoofly position into crucifix while maintaining tightness and control
  • Ability to execute back balance with reasonably good form
  • Safe, fairly tight double stars and 1.5 drops
  • Familiarity with simple slack drops, knee drops, and dive variations
  • Ability to complete several rotations of a windmill, some wobble ok, bent knees ok
  • Ability to complete a 3 minute sequence (not all foot lock tricks) in the air

ADVANCED CLASS

The advanced class is for students who are already familiar with Level 501 vocabulary, and who are working on expanding an already large repertoire of skills. Students seeking to join the advanced class must demonstrate consistent good form, and must have the stamina to complete a 4-5 minute act.

Pre-requisites for Advanced Silks:

  • Ability to invert multiple times in the air with ease, working towards straight-arm straddle ups
  • Ability to stay tight and control combo drops
  • Ability to hang from locked wrists, hollow, for 30 seconds
  • Good slow double stars
  • Very good body and spatial awareness in the air, in wraps, inverted, and while dropping or using momentum
  • Understands the mechanics of drop wraps and can identify the “gas,” “brake,” and “safety belt” of rolls, dives, slack, and combination drops
  • Ability to improvise and create new material on the apparatus

Static Trapeze and Aerial Hoop are both in the “horizontal” or “bar” category of aerial disciplines. We combine both of these apparatuses at Level 101, as their movement vocabularies are similar and complementary at the beginner level.

Distinct from its oft-confused cousins flying trapeze and swinging trapeze, Static Trapeze (a.k.a. trap) consists of a single bar suspended from two ropes hanging from two points on the ceiling. Poses, sequences and dynamic movements are performed under the bar, on the bar, and up in the ropes.

Aerial Hoop (a.k.a. lyra, cerceau, aerial ring) consists of a steel hoop suspended in the air. Our aerial hoop classes use both single-tab hoops and double-tab hoops; we have varying sizes of hoops to accommodate students of different heights!

Static Trapeze/Aerial Hoop classes focus on building students’ confidence and technique on the bar. The goals of these classes are:

  • To build the body awareness, strength, and flexibility to allow students to progress and specialize in either hoop or trapeze beginning in Level 201
  • To introduce and maintain strong form and technique
  • To build and expand a versatile movement vocabulary
  • To give students the opportunity to be creative and playful in the air through improvisation and routine-building
  • To always emphasize good safety habits and injury prevention

LEVEL 101

This beginner-level class is for people who are either brand new (in their first-ever class or set of classes) or who are learning to get comfortable on the trapeze and hoop. Level 101 introduces students to the fundamentals of form and technique. Students will learn to mount the hoop and trapeze, and will learn a variety of poses both hanging under and sitting on the hoop/trapeze. People in this level will work on strength, body awareness and comfort in the air. Students may spend a couple of sessions at this level while they build core and upper body strength.

Pre-requisites for Level 101:

  • Ability to hang from one’s hands briefly
  • Ability to engage safely in moderate physical activity

LEVEL 101 POWER

Level 101 Power classes are aimed at those students who do not necessarily have specific experience in the discipline being taught, but who have applicable strength and/or flexibility from a background in a related physical discipline (gymnastics, dance, rock climbing, etc.) Power classes cover the same material as a regular Level 101 class, but will move at a faster pace and might include more challenging variations on skills. If you are unsure whether a power class is appropriate for you, please contact us with a specific description of your background.

Pre-requisites for Level 101 Power:

  • Ability to invert from the ground without instructor’s help
  • Ability to hang from hands for five seconds
  • Some familiarity with exercising or movement disciplines

Aerial Hoop (a.k.a. lyra, cerceau, aerial ring) consists of a steel hoop suspended in the air. Our aerial hoop classes use both single-tab hoops and double-tab hoops. We have varying sizes of hoops to accommodate students of different heights!

Aerial Hoop classes at Esh emphasize the unique qualities of the apparatus. Students will learn movements that use the apparatus’s circular shape and its ability to spin, swing, and tip. Higher level classes include movements that involve velocity and require higher levels of strength and flexibility.

The goals of these classes are:

  • To build a strong foundation of competency on the hoop; this involves building strength, flexibility, and kinesthetic awareness, as well as a good understanding of movement vocabulary and hoop technique
  • To give students the time and direction to be creative and playful in the air through improvisation and routine-building
  • To always emphasize good safety habits and injury prevention

LEVEL 201

This level is for students who have completed some course of aerial training, either at Esh or at another school, and have a baseline of core/upper body strength. Students in Level 201 will begin to work with more complex poses and transitions, including standing in the hoop and working on the top of the hoop.

Pre-requisites for Level 201:

  • Ability to hang from hands with shoulders and abs engaged, and lift and lower knees with control
  • Ability to invert without instructor’s help- jumping and using toes to get up is fine!
  • Ability to climb to sitting in the hoop from a knee hang without instructor’s help
  • Ability to hold a knee hang with feet well below the level of the knees for 10 seconds
  • Ability to hold tuck and pike inversions for a few seconds with good shoulder engagement (no rounding of upper back/closing of chest)
  • Able to dismount hoop and return to standing on the floor with some control
  • Able to perform the following skills without help or reminders from an instructor: gazelle, mermaid, straddle back, front balance, standing, ankle hang, gazelle to single hip hang, rolling to hip hang from sitting, and thread through from front balance to sitting in horse

Level 301

Pre-requisites for Level 301:

  • Ability to invert cleanly and without instructor’s help, including inversions from sitting in the hoop to the top bar of the hoop
  • Ability to pull over onto the bar without instructor’s help (some assist with feet ok)
  • Able to execute 5 controlled pullup negatives with some weight on toes on the mat
  • Able to sit up from an inversion to bent arm hang and hold for 3-5 seconds
  • Able to hold a double knee hang with open hips and arms straight overhead (hands aiming at the floor)
  • Able to execute the following skills without help or reminders from instructor: half millcircles, knee beats, long hang beats, front balance rolldowns, front balance pops, back balances, foundational positions on top of the hoop, shoulder stand, simple mounts, and amazon

Level 401

Pre-requisites for Level 401:

  • Ability to invert cleanly both off the mat and in the air
  • Able to mount and execute familiar skills on a hoop that is higher than head hight
  • Ability to pull over to front balance cleanly and without using feet
  • Strong long hang beats, knee beats, pike beats, beat to pullover
  • Minimum of one pull-up with good form
  • Able to execute long hang beats without elbows bending in the back swing
  • Can execute 5 of each consistently in a row: long beats, knee beats, pike beats
  • Able to hang by the hands with straight arms and lift toes to the bar with straight legs at least 1 time
  • Able to execute the following skills without help or reminders from instructor: Russian roll, single knee hang (without spot), back balance with straight arms and legs, front balance without hands on the hoop, beat to pull-over
  • Students should be working on millcircles and hip circles, and should have at least occasional success with these skills
  • Has stamina to complete a 2 minute sequence in the air that includes inversions and involves minimal sitting on the bottom of the hoop

Level 501

Pre-requisites for Level 501:

  • Ability to pullover to front balance from hanging, no beat
  • Ability to perform at least two pull-ups with good form
  • Ability to execute single knee hang directly from a single knee hook (without involving second leg)
  • Ability to hang from one hand while maintaining shoulder engagement
  • From a straight arm hang, ability to tuck knees and lift hips towards the bar, working toward a straight-arm inversion
  • Able to hang by the hands with straight arms and lift toes to the bar with straight legs at least 2-3 times
  • Can execute 10 of each consistently in a row: long beats, knee beats, pike beats
  • Can execute a three minute sequence safely, using all levels on the hoop (above, in, and below)
  • Ability to mount and execute familiar skills on a hoop that is at the height of their finger tips when arms are extended while standing on the mat

Advanced Class

The advanced class is for students who are already familiar with Level 501 vocabulary, and who are working on expanding an already large repertoire. Students seeking to join the advanced class must demonstrate consistent good form, and must have the stamina to complete a 4-5 minute act.

Pre-requisites for Advanced Hoop:

  • Student has begun to work on elbow circles
  • Strong pike beat to front balance
  • Ability to hold, with good form, a single arm hang for 10 seconds
  • Able to hang by the hands with straight arms and lift toes to the bar with straight legs 3-5 times
  • Ability to mount and execute familiar skills on a hoop that the student must jump to reach
  • Student is familiar with a wide range of skills, both static and dynamic, and has the ability to create new sequences and movements on all levels of the hoop

Static trapeze consists of a single bar suspended from two ropes hanging from two points on the ceiling. Classes level 201 and up will introduce students to movements that use velocity, and that require higher levels of strength, flexibility, and balance.

Static Trapeze classes aim to help aerialists become high-level acrobats on the trapeze. The goals of these classes are:

  • To give students the ability to use the apparatus creatively; this involves building strength, flexibility, and kinesthetic awareness, as well as a good understanding of vocabulary and technique
  • To expand students’ vocabulary to involve advanced movements on the bar, under the bar, and in the ropes
  • To give students the time and direction to be creative and playful in the air through improvisation and routine-building
  • To always emphasize good safety habits and injury prevention

Level 201

This level is for students who have completed some course of aerial training, either at Esh or at another school, and have a baseline of core/upper body strength. Students in Level 201 will begin to work with more complex poses and transitions, including standing on the bar and working in the ropes of the trapeze.

Pre-requisites for Level 201:

  • Ability to hang from hands with shoulders and abs engaged, toes on the ground, for ten seconds
  • Ability to invert without instructor’s help- jumping and using toes to get up is fine!
  • Ability to climb to sitting on the trapeze from a knee hang without instructor’s help
  • Ability to hold a double knee hang for 10 seconds
  • Ability to hold an inverted position for a few seconds with good shoulder engagement (no rounding of upper back/closing of chest) – can be a tuck, pike, or straddle inversion
  • Able to dismount from trapeze through tuck or straddle
  • Able to perform the following skills without reminders or help from the instructor: gazelle, mermaid from seated, straddle back, pullover from the ground, split back from standing on the bar, angel, gazelle to single hip, rolling from hip to sitting on the bar.

Level 301

Pre-requisites for Level 301:

  • Ability to invert in the ropes from crouching on the bar and come back to seated or crouching on the bar without instructor’s help
  • Ability to pull over onto the bar without instructor’s help (some assist with feet ok)
  • Ability to hang from hands, straight arms, knees pulled into chest, for at least 15 seconds, with good shoulder engagement and core engagement
  • Able to perform the following skills without reminders or help from the instructor: half mill circles, knee beats, small long hang beats, front balance rolldown to tuck, front balance pops, back balance, catch lock roll-up, amazon.
  • Able to create and perform a sequence that includes standing, sitting, and under the bar skills.

Level 401

Pre-requisites for Level 401:

  • Ability to invert both on the bar and in the ropes without tagging toes
  • From a straddle inversion, ability to tap one foot to the rope and return to straddle without hips dropping
  • Ability to pull over to front balance on the bar without using feet
  • Ability to perform a crochet spin in the ropes
  • Long hang beats, knee beats, ankle beats, pike beats, beat to pullover
  • Minimum of one pull-up or three pull-up negatives
  • Backward roll from seated to standing
  • Ability to perform rotational movements: Russian roll, front and back hip circles
  • Ability to move from double knee hang to single knee hang and return
  • Can complete a 2 minute sequence in the air that includes inversions in the ropes

Level 501

Pre-requisites for Level 501:

  • Ability to pullover to front balance from hanging, no beat
  • Ability to sit up from an inverted position to a bent arm hang, knees tucked
  • Ability to complete at least two pull-ups or five pull-up negatives
  • Ability to enter, hold, and exit toe hang or heel hang without help
  • Ability to perform the following sequence: Long hang beat to pullover, down behind, pike beat to knee hang, knee beat to ankles
  • Ability to perform at least two hip circles in a row and at least two mill circles in a row
  • Ability to perform two inverted rope skills in sequence before returning to sitting on the bar
  • Can create and execute a three minute sequence with minimal prompting

Advanced Class

The advanced class is for students who are working on expanding an already large repertoire. Students seeking to join the advanced class must demonstrate consistent good form, and must have the stamina to complete a 4-5 minute act that includes a wide variety of skills.

Aerial rope (also known as corde lisse, meaning “smooth rope”) consists of a single length of cotton rope wrapped in a smooth cotton sheath. Though many movements from aerial silks translate easily to aerial rope, due to differences in friction, flexibility, and grip diameter, movements can change drastically when performed on the rope rather than the silks. Rope classes at Esh focus on the unique qualities of the apparatus, and include significant rope-specific movement vocabulary.

The goals of these classes are:

  • To build body awareness, strength, and flexibility
  • To introduce and maintain strong form and technique
  • To build and expand a versatile movement vocabulary
  • To give students the opportunity to be creative and playful in the air through improvisation and routine-building
  • To always emphasize good safety habits and injury prevention

Level 101

This beginner-level class is for people who are either brand new (in their first-ever class or set of classes) or who are learning to get comfortable on the aerial rope. Level 101 introduces students to the fundamentals of form and technique. Students will learn several wraps and poses low to the ground, begin to learn to stand and climb on the rope, and start to get comfortable being upside down. People in this level will work on strength, body awareness, and comfort in the air. Students may spend a couple of sessions at this level while they build core and upper body strength.

  • Ability to hang from hands briefly
  • Ability to engage safely in moderate physical activity

Level 101 Power

Level 101 Power classes are aimed at those students who do not necessarily have specific experience in the discipline being taught, but who have applicable strength and/or flexibility from a background in a related physical discipline (gymnastics, dance, rock climbing, etc.) Power classes cover the same material as a regular Level 101 class, but will move at a faster pace and might include more challenging variations on skills. If you are unsure whether a power class is appropriate for you, please contact us with a specific description of your background.

  • Ability to invert from the ground without instructor’s help
  • Ability to hang from hands for five seconds
  • Some familiarity with exercising or movement disciplines

Level 201

This level is for students who have completed some course of aerial training, either at Esh or at another school, and have a baseline of core/upper body strength. Students in this level will begin to work with more complex climbs, poses, and transitions. Students will also begin to learn basic drops at this level.

Pre-requisites for Level 201:

  • Ability to climb several climbs/steps consecutively (student does not need to be able to reach the top)
  • Ability to climb at least 2 steps up the rope in a toe climb
  • Ability to execute a foot lock in the air
  • Ability to hang from hands with shoulders and abs engaged, toes on the ground, for ten seconds
  • Ability to invert without instructor’s help- jumping and using toes to get upside-down is fine!
  • Ability to hold a straddle inversion for a breath
  • Understands shoulder engagement both upright and inverted
  • Comfortable with: foot locks, arabesque, same side knee hooks, and is displaying an understanding of the elements of hip keys, even if the execution is not perfect

Level 301

Students in Level 301 will continue to build strength and confidence in the air while building movement vocabulary and solidifying skills learned in earlier levels. Skills introduced in this level include a wider variety of climbs, poses, and drops, as well as short sequences.

Pre-requisites for Level 301:

  • Solid recall of basic movement vocabulary – student can execute multiple skills without being talked through step by step
  • Ability to climb to the top using French or Russian climb and descend with control
  • Ability to hang from hands, knees to chest, with abs and shoulders engaged, feet off the ground, for ten seconds
  • Ability to toe climb to the top or nearly to the top
  • Ability to execute a hip key from the mat successfully, even if form is not yet perfect
  • Ability to invert cleanly from the mat
  • Ability to invert in the air at least a couple of times during class -swinging or using toes is ok
  • Ability to hold a straddle inversion for five seconds
  • Ability to hook knee from a straddle inversion, wrap back leg, and hold position hands-free
  • Familiarity and confidence with: foot locks in the air, same side and opposite side knee hooks, crucifix hang, front balance/ball, arabesque

Level 401

Students in this level will begin to work on movements higher in the air, as well as sequences to build stamina, more complex drops, and some choreographic skills.

Pre-requisites for Level 401:

  • Student can create and execute a short sequence without help from an instructor, including recall of a variety of skills and the steps required to do them
  • Ability to hang from hands, knees to chest, with abs and shoulders engaged, for 15 seconds
  • Ability to climb to the top twice in a row without touching the ground
  • Ability to toe climb to the top more than once during class
  • Reasonable success in back balance – student can hold the position for at least 5 seconds without sitting up or rolling out. Keeping top hand on pole is ok!
  • Ability to invert cleanly from the mat, and to invert in the air throughout class (a little bit of swing is ok!)
  • Ability to hip key cleanly from the mat, and ability to hip key in the air with reasonably good form
  • Ability to hold a straddle inversion for ten seconds
  • Ability to sit up out of a straddle (straddle negative) slowly and with control, finishing with fully bent arms
  • Ability to sit up from same side knee hook into crucifix with control
  • Safe, fairly tight single stars and saultos
  • Ability to complete a windmill descent with engaged core, bent knees ok
  • Ability to complete a 2 minute sequence (not all foot lock tricks) in the air

Level 501

This level is for students who are comfortable being in the air for longer periods of time. Students in Level 501 will work on dynamic movements like beats, more complex sequences, and unlocked drops and rolls. They will be encouraged to find creative transitions and even invent new tricks, shapes, and movements of their own. As with all other levels, technique and injury prevention will continue to be emphasized.

Pre-requisites for Level 501:

  • Student can improvise in the air comfortably; for example, the student can participate in a game of “add-on” without significant prompting from coach or fellow students
  • Ability to invert in the air throughout class, legs generally straight, bent arms ok
  • Ability to hang from hands, hollow, for 20 seconds
  • Ability to execute clean in-air hip keys
  • Competence with back balance
  • Ability to roll from shoofly to crucifix cleanly and with control
  • Safe, fairly tight double star drops
  • Familiarity with simple slack drops and dive variations
  • Ability to execute a windmill descent with straight legs and engaged core
  • Familiarity with basic beats: front beats, bell beats, and turn-pike beats. Student must demonstrate a basic understanding of momentum/pendular motion
  • Ability to execute multiple hip-hop inversions in the air throughout class
  • Has the strength and stamina to complete 3-minute sequences on the rope

Advanced Class

The advanced class is for students who are already familiar with Level 501 vocabulary, and who are working on expanding an already large repertoire. Students seeking to join the advanced class must demonstrate consistent good form, and must have the stamina to complete a 4-5 minute act.

Pre-requisites for Advanced Rope:

  • Ability to invert in the air with ease, working towards straight-arm straddle inversions
  • Ability to stay tight and control drops that involve changes in direction
  • Ability to hang from hands with engaged straight body for 30 seconds
  • Competence with slow double stars (c-shaping)
  • Familiarity with the following dynamic skills: front/back beats, bell beats, straight/plank beats, straddle switches, scissor beats
  • Understanding of the mechanics of drop wraps and ability to identify the “gas,” “brake,” and “safety belt” of rolls, dives, slack, and combination drops
  • Very good body and spatial awareness in the air, in wraps, inverted, and while dropping or using momentum
  • Ability to improvise and create new material on the apparatus

Aerial sling is made from the same fabric used for aerial silks, but is rigged to create a single hammock-like loop, the height of which can be adjusted. Something of a hybrid between aerial silks and dance trapeze, this apparatus is a good way to get used to being upside down and in the air.

Level 101

This beginner-level class is for people who are either brand new to aerials (in their first-ever class or set of classes) or who are learning to get comfortable on the aerial sling. Level 101 introduces students to the fundamentals of form and technique. Students will learn to mount the sling, execute several poses low to the ground, and start to get comfortable being upside down. Students in this level will work on strength, body awareness, and comfort in the air. Students may spend a couple of sessions at this level while they build core and upper body strength.

Pre-requisites:

  • Ability to hang from one’s hands briefly
  • Ability to engage safely in moderate physical activity

Level 201

Students in this level will begin to work with more complex wraps, poses, and transitions, focusing on building movement phrases on the sling. Students will also begin to learn the patterning for drops and slides at this level. Student may also begin to apply spinning to short phrases.

Pre-requisites:

  • Ability to invert from the ground and come to seated in the sling without instructor’s help
  • Ability to execute a pullover to front balance from the ground without instructor’s help
  • Familiarity with a variety of poses and movements on aerial sling, silks, hoop, rope, or trapeze. Sling 201 is open to students who have completed at least one session of Level 201 in any aerial discipline.

Level 301

Students will continue their exploration of theory and phrase work, including more complicated phrases and variations of existing skills. Students will begin working on executing basic drops such as 360, single bomb, and slack drop into the bottom of the sling with control. Students will start working on moves that hang upside down vertically in the sling (ie fabric style grip or “in the ropes” grip without an assist from the ground).

Pre-requisites:

  • Ability to invert from standing in the sling, crochet both legs, and slide to the bottom of the sling with control
  • Familiarity with a variety of rolls (single leg roll-up, gazelle roll through, infinity rolls, etc)
  • Ability to execute a 360 wrap roll to gazelle with control
  • Ability to create and perform a two minute phrase using existing skills on the sling

Level 401

Students at this level will start working on beats and will learn the movement patterns and theory to execute stacked drops. Students will begin to be invited to break down elements of complex vocabulary / received phrase work and create their own variations of existing moves. Students will also start to learn more complex versions of continuous sagittal rolls (ie russian rolls, beginnings of elbow circles).

Pre-requisites: Please speak with your instructor about your readiness for Level 401

Level 501

At this level, students will work on creating their own sling vocabulary. They will also continue learning phrase work, and will be invited to play with or manipulate that phrase work, adding their own “operations” to make novel vocabulary. They will continue working on momentum-based skills such as stacked drops, beat transitions, elbow circles, and so on.

Pre-requisites: Please speak with your instructor about your readiness for Level 501

Aerial Straps consist of two pieces of cotton or nylon webbing, either with or without loops at the ends. Similar to gymnastic rings, skills performed on aerial straps emphasize strength, control, and technique.

Level 101 Straps

Straps Level 101 is aimed at building the strength and mobility needed for aerial straps training, as well as for all other aerial disciplines! This class has no skill prerequisites and is a great place to start your aerial straps journey, or to build your aerial strength, range of motion, and spin tolerance for work on other apparatuses. Please note that aerial straps class involves wrapping the straps around the wrists, which can be uncomfortable. If you are sensitive to pressure or have a history of wrist issues, we recommend trying straps in a private lesson before signing up for a full session.

Level 201 Straps

Students in Level 201 will continue to build strength and control in various poses (meathook, support hold, planches, etc), and will work on movements and sequences including spinning skills, skin the cat, butterflies, roll-ups, swinging technique, and more.

Pre-requisites for Level 201:

  • Ability to invert from the ground with bent arms and return to standing with control, without help from an instructor
  • Ability to hold inverted straddle, tuck, pike, and arrow positions with stacked spine for at least 10 seconds without assistance
  • Ability to hang from straight arms with shoulders and abs engaged for at least 10 seconds
  • Ability to put on basic wrist wraps without cues from instructor
  • Understanding of how to hang safely from wrist loops
  • Ability to put on support wrap without cues from instructor

Level 301 Straps

Students in Level 301 will continue to build strength and control in various poses, refine technique in dynamic movements, and build sequences. Admission to Straps 301 is by instructor permission.

Circus truly is for everyone! Gentle Aerials is aimed at students who are overcoming a fear of heights, working with physical limitations, or who simply want to slow down and take their time. This class will introduce students to the fundamentals of aerial sling, aerial silks, hoop, and trapeze at a relaxed pace. Classes will include a full warm-up, followed by skill work and review with a focus on good form and technique. Apparatuses will be hung lower to the ground to facilitate easier mounting and dismounting.

Not sure if this is the right class for you? Contact info@eshcircusarts.com with questions.

Ground-Based Classes

Partner acrobatics consists of one person (the “base”) supporting another person (the “flyer”) in a variety of poses, lifts, and dynamic movements. Classes at Esh explore a range of partner and group balancing poses and transitions, and emphasize good form and safe spotting techniques. Students will develop strength and coordination, and focus on the “hows” of balancing, breaking down how each trick works, and how to experiment safely to develop new variations. No need to bring a partner – the whole class works together!

Level 1

This intro-level class will familiarize students with the basics of partnering: weight-sharing, counterbalance, alignment, timing, and both verbal and non-verbal communication.

Students do not need to have experience with partner acrobatics, but we recommend that they are comfortable attempting to kick up to a handstand against a wall. No partner is required for registration!

Level 2

Level 2 will build on the skills developed in Level 1, and will introduce students to more challenging skills and short sequences. We will begin to explore basic overhead lifts, and will play with more complex counterbalances. This level is appropriate for students who have some experience with partner balancing, either at Esh or at other schools.

Pre-requisites: Students should be comfortable either basing or flying all of the following: thigh stand; candlestick inversion; and front balance/bird on base’s feet. Additionally, students should be familiar with the steps involved in standing on shoulders/two-high and have tried basing or flying the skill at least once or twice. Students should be able to hold a plank position for at least 30 seconds with knees either on or off the floor, and should be able to kick up into a donkey kick, scissor kick, or handstand with support.

Level 3

This level is for students who are comfortable with two-highs, inversions, and basic overhead lifts. Students in Level 3 will start to work on overhead lift sequences, hand-to-foot and hand-to-hand (with the base lying down), and more challenging counterbalance sequences. We will build larger group pyramids, and begin to play with improvisation.

Pre-requisites:

  • Able to enter, hold briefly, and exit camel lift cleanly as a base or flyer
  • Able to base or fly standing on shoulders/two-high comfortably and exit safely and calmly
  • Comfort basing or flying flag counterbalance
  • Familiarity with basing or flying hand to foot on a lying base
  • Demonstrates safe and appropriate spotting techniques
  • Demonstrates clear and positive communication with partners and spotters

Level 4

Level 4 is for students who are comfortable either basing or flying a variety of overhead lifts and counterbalances, hand-to-foot (with a the base lying down), and hand-to-hand (with the base lying down). Students in this level will work on pitching, standing hand-to-hand and hand-to-foot, and more advanced lifts with the help of safety lines. We will continue to work on improvisation in pairs and groups using the knowledge and movement vocabulary developed in previous levels.

Advanced Class

The advanced class is for students who are already familiar with Level 4 vocabulary, and who are working on expanding an already large repertoire. Students seeking to join the advanced class must demonstrate consistent good form, effective communication, and safe spotting techniques.

Dynamic Acro Foundations

This intermediate/advanced partner acrobatics class focuses on building the strength, timing, and technique required for dynamic partner skills. Material covered will include: entrances, exits, and building stability and ease in hand-to-foot and hand-to-hand; tempos in a variety of positions; techniques for saultos/flipping and twisting; and building competence with hand-spotting a variety of skills. Students do not need to sign up with a partner, though a 1:1 base:flyer ratio will be maintained.

Pre-requisites will be strictly enforced:

FOR BASES

  • 5 squats while holding 100lbs
  • Comfort with hands-free stacks
  • Hold long arm hand to foot (while lying on back) for 30 seconds
  • Hold standing hand to foot for 30 seconds
  • Hold hand-to-hand for at least 5 seconds standing or lying down
  • Hold high bird with arms straight, elbows locked, and without arching the lower back
  • Able to cartwheel out of handstand

FOR FLYERS

  • Able to hold a 5 second handstand OR 5 second hand-to-hand
  • Dive roll (onto mat is ok)
  • Backwards roll
  • Comfort cartwheeling out of a handstand
  • 20 second L-sit on canes
  • Comfort with hands-free stacks
  • Very comfortable flying long arm hand to foot on a lying base and hand to foot on a standing base

Dynamic Partner Acro

This advanced partner acrobatics class focuses on dynamic skills such as pitching, flipping and twisting, and more complex entrances to standing hand-to-hand and hand-to-foot. Classes will include a thorough warm-up, followed by drills to build strong technique and good timing. Students must register for the class in base/flyer pairs, and will spend a good portion of each class working directly with a coach on specific goals. Instructor permission is required before registering. Class limited to 4 pairs.

Pre-requisites:

  • Stability in standing hand-to-foot
  • Comfort working on standing hand-to-hand without safety lines
  • Comfort in hands-free stacks (standing on shoulders)

Do you dream of the perfect handstand? Whether your goal is improving your basic handstand form or working on advanced tricks like crocodiles, mexican handstands, and one arms, handbalancing classes at Esh will help get you there. Classes are limited to 6 students so that each student receives plenty of individual attention. Classes consist of a 15 minute warm-up followed by an hour of skill work and conditioning. Form and technique are emphasized.

Level 101

Nervous about working on handstands? Build comfort and confidence upside down while moving at your own pace! Handbalancing Level 101 introduces students to the fundamentals of handstand technique through exercises and drills aimed at building shoulder flexibility and stability, core strength, and endurance.

There are no pre-requisites. Classes are limited to 6 students.

Level 201

Do you dream of the perfect handstand? Whether your goal is improving your basic handstand form or working on tricks like crocodiles, Mexican handstands, and one arms, handbalancing classes at Esh will help get you there. Classes are limited to 6 students so that each student receives plenty of individual attention. Classes consist of a 15 minute warm-up followed by an hour of skill work and conditioning. Form and technique are emphasized.

Pre-requisites for Level 201:

  • Ability to kick up to a handstand against a wall and hold for 30 seconds
  • Willingness to work on cartwheels
  • Ability to hold a plank (high push-up) position for at least 15 seconds with core engaged

Level 301

Pre-requisites for Level 301:

  • Minimum 1 session all levels hand balancing or instructor permission
  • 10 second free-standing handstand with straight arms, legs together, straight body
  • Solid 2-arm croc on canes with good form
  • Comfortable working on freestanding handstands without a spotter
  • Familiarity with tuck and straddle jumps to handstand and comfort working on these skills without a spotter

Gentle Tumbling

Gentle Tumbling offers a slower approach to tumbling that’s designed to be accessible to folks who are working with mobility limitations, who have struggled with tumbling in the past, or who just want to slow down and take their time!  We’ll use many different drills, progressions, explanations, and levels of assistance (i.e. spotting) to help each student achieve a new level of success as they work toward several introductory tumbling skills: Forward Rolls, Backward Rolls, Handstands, Cartwheels, and Bridges.  We will take our time and break each skill down into the fundamental components – strength, flexibility, positions, timing, & technique. Everyone learns differently, and this class will allow each student to explore and advance at their own pace.

Prerequisites:

  • Able to put weight on hands and wrists
  • Able to pull head forward with hands (i.e. stretch back of neck)
  • Able to have impact on legs individually (i.e. gentle running)
  • Willingness to be spotted encouraged

Level 101

In this accessible, fun, yet focused class, we’ll review all the basic skills, drills, body positions, and strength you’ll need to be a proficient beginner tumbler. In an eight-week class we’ll cover forward and backward rolls, handstands, cartwheels, bridges, handstand forward rolls, round-offs, and dive forward rolls, along with many supportive drills and complementary versions of those skills. With an emphasis on form and technique, the coach will make sure you understand all aspects of each skill, giving you more meaningful attempts, thereby minimizing risk of injury. Each class will begin with a review of drills and skills covered up to that point, then will launch into the new material for the day, all the while integrating lots of strength and flexibility conditioning directly into the whole lesson. First-time beginners are highly encouraged to avoid absences in order to not miss important progressions.

Prerequisites:

  • Able to put body weight through upside-down overhead arms (i.e. shoulders to wrists) for 2 mins. at a time
  • Able to tuck head forward with most of body weight (i.e. stretching back of neck)
  • Able to split legs minimum of 75º apart
  • Able to jump off of and have impact on legs together and individually (i.e. jumping and running)
  • Willingness to be spotted encouraged

Level 101 Power

Tumbling 101 Power is similar to its standard 101 counterpart, but it both moves at a faster pace as well as goes a little deeper into skill development and technique. This class will cover Forward Rolls, Backward Rolls, Kick-to-Handstands, Cartwheels, Bridges, Handstand Forward Rolls, Round-offs, and Dive Forward Rolls, as well as the fundamental drills, body positions, strength, and flexibility needed to give students a deeper understanding of the skills. With an emphasis on form and technique, the coach will make sure you understand all aspects of each skill, giving you more meaningful attempts, thereby minimizing risk of injury.

Prerequisites:

  • Must have taken at least one session of Tumbling 101 at Esh (or have previous tumbling experience at another gym)
  • Must be proficient at Forward Rolls, Backward Rolls, Kick-to-Handstands (no hold necessary), and Cartwheels safely on their own, landing on their feet consistently.

Level 102

In this alternative Tumbling 100-level class, we’ll explore a whole session’s worth of skills that are still accessible at the 100 level, but aren’t covered in the traditional Tumbling 101 class. Over the course of the session we’ll cover skills like Straddle and Pike Rolls, Side Handstands and Headstands, 1-Arm Cartwheels and Side Cartwheels, more Bridge challenges, Straight-Arm Handstand Rolling, Hurdling and Rebounding, Gymnastics Jumping, Leaping, and Turning, and Connecting Skills in Series/Sequences. While these skills are not necessary in order to progress to the Tumbling 201 level, they are very helpful at filling in the gaps and supporting proficiency of the basics!

Prerequisites:

  • Must have taken at least one session of Tumbling 101 at Esh (or have previous tumbling experience at another gym), and should be proficient at most Tumbling 101 skills
  • Willingness to be spotted encouraged

Level 201

Tumbling 201 is the next level of tumbling skills after Tumbling 101. The session will begin with a review of all the basic tumbling positions, drills, conditioning, and skills of Tumbling 101, to make sure everyone in the class is on the same page with the basics, as well as to understand how even a basic skill can be done with more purposeful technique as we progress. We’ll then continue with Tumbling 201-level skills such as Handstand Walking, Back Extension Rolls, Front and Back Walkovers, and Front and Back Handsprings. We will stay focused on strength and drills to ease you into the more challenging skills. With an emphasis on form and technique, the coach will make sure you understand all aspects of each skill, giving you more meaningful attempts, thereby minimizing risk of injury.

Prerequisites:

  • Must have a solid foundation of Tumbling 101 skills (in both execution and technique), and permission of instructor.
  • If you have never taken a tumbling class at Esh before, please send an email to the office to inquire about how to get cleared to register for this class, which may involve answering a brief “Tumbling Questionnaire” about your gymnastics or tumbling experience/background, and/or taking a Tumbling Eval Lesson.

Flexibility and contortion classes at Esh focus on developing mobility from a foundation of strength and control.

Flexibility

This open-level class has no prerequisites and is open to everyone! Flexibility class focuses on increasing active range of motion in the shoulders, back, hips, and legs. This class is appropriate for students who want to increase their mobility as a complement to other circus training, and also for those who aspire to contortion training. Class content will include some partner stretching.

Contortion Level 101

This beginning contortion class focuses on developing flexibility in all parts of the back, improving split flexibility, and building the active range of motion and stability required for more advanced contortion training. This class includes partner stretching.

Pre-requisites:

  • Ability to press up to a backbend from the floor and hold for at least 10 seconds
  • Ability to straighten both legs in right and left splits (flat splits not required)
  • Ability to sit upright in a straddle with back straight and pelvis neutral

Contortion Level 201

Level 201 includes work on inversions – elbow stands, contortion handstands, and chest stands – as well as standing leg scales. Students will also work on backbend transitions and spend time on individual projects and tricks. This class includes partner stretching.

Pre-requisites:

  • Willingness to kick up to a handstand and elbow stand against the wall or with a spot
  • Willingness to work on backbend from standing with or without a spot
  • Ability to hold a bridge with hands directly under shoulders and elbows straight
  • Ability to move from bridge on hands to bridge on forearms (one arm at a time or both arms at once)
  • Flat or nearly flat right and left splits
  • Ability to perform at least five V-ups from hollow body with straight legs, touching toes with hands each time
  • Ability to hold a straddle forward fold, hovering chest a few inches off the floor without falling forward

Not sure which level is appropriate for you? Contact info@eshcircusarts.com with questions.

This class will train students in the basics of tight-wire walking, and give them a chance to explore an exciting and unique apparatus – the walking pipe. Walking pipe is a horizontal pipe apparatus, suspended between two low platforms, that allows the performer to employ skills in wire walking, hand balancing, and acrobatics.

Students will learn the body mechanics and technique required to stay balanced as they learn to walk, turn, lie down, run and eventually dance across the wire. As students advance they will learn more complex movements and sequences. Students will also learn the acrobatic skills necessary to perform on the walking pipe. No previous experience in pipe or wire walking is required. Come play and discover a new and exciting world of creativity and balance!

Level 201+

This class is for Wire & Pipe students who have a solid baseline of experience and competency on each apparatus.

Pre-requisites for Level 201+:

  • Confident walk across the wire without stepping down, 3-4 times during class
  • Good form and success in squats and lunges on the wire and pipe
  • Recognizes and remembers at least four different kinds of walks, without being reminded of form
  • Working on turn-out/open foot walks, with some success on the pipe

Juggling classes at Esh are appropriate for jugglers of all levels! New jugglers will begin with the absolute basics and move at their own pace. Those with previous experience will refine their technique and learn to add complexity and flair with new juggling skills. Students at all levels will build body awareness and ambidexterity while developing skills with a variety of props. We’ll explore a wide array of juggling patterns, styles of throwing and catching, and partner/group juggling.

Juggling Level 101/201

This juggling class is appropriate for beginners and for those with a bit of juggling experience who are still working on getting their 3 bFamiliar with one or more patterns involving “outside” or “reverse” throws, and how to transition to / from cascade patternall cascade.

Juggling Level 301/401

In this class, we’ll dive into more complex patterns, explore the world of site swaps, and focus more purposefully on partner work. Class time is about 50% ball juggling and 50% club juggling, including partner and group passing patterns.

Pre-requisites:

  • Comfortable juggling 3 ball cascade (25-50 catches)
  • Ability to throw an “outside” or “reverse” toss during a cascade pattern
  • Comfortable juggling 2 in one hand aka “fountain” on both sides (25-50 catches)
  • Comfortable juggling at different heights (very high throws, very low throws)

The Cyr Wheel, or Mono Wheel, is a beautifully elegant and simple apparatus that is related to the German wheel. It is a single metal hoop that you stand inside while spinning on the ground, cartwheeling, and maintaining your momentum. This small, focused class guides students through the basics of Cyr Wheel movement, with each student able to move forward at their own pace. Classes begin with a vigorous warm-up, followed by skill building. At the end of each class we will condition core and shoulder muscles to build the strength needed to more effectively use the apparatus. Cyr Wheel is a new apparatus, but it has quickly grown in popularity – join us to learn why, and try something truly unique!

Level 101

Level 101 is for students who are brand new to Cyr Wheel, or who have taken some classes or sessions of Cyr but are still working on getting a few steps of the waltz turn.

Level 201

Level 201 is for students who are familiar with the principles of the waltz and can successfully get a couple steps some of the time. Students entering this level should be comfortable with some waltz, coin, and cartwheel manipulations.

Level 301

Students in Level 301 will work on perfecting cartwheel and waltz variations and mastering coin. Level 301 will introduce new waltz variations like corners and flags, and new turns and spins.

Students entering Level 301 must be able to consistently waltz for at least 30 seconds, have been introduced to cartwheel and coin drills, and be able to hold a 20 second handstand against a wall.

This class will focus on taking fundamental tumbling skills and adding a circus-y twist! We’ll work on creative movement combinations and unusual acrobatic pathways, exploring all the ways we can apply our fundamental tumbling skills to be expressive, innovative solo acrobats. We’ll also spend time in each class strengthening and building on existing tumbling skills.

Level 201

Pre-requisites:

  • Ability to execute cartwheels, forward rolls, and backward rolls or back shoulder rolls
  • Ability to kick up to a handstand from a lunge and exiting safely (you don’t need to be able to balance the handstand!)

Level 301

Pre-requisites:

  • Ability to execute roundoffs
  • Ability to consistently balance a handstand for a few seconds and cartwheel out
  •  Previous experience working on back and front handsprings, front and back tucks, and aerials/no hand cartwheels. These skills do not need to be solid, but students must have prior experience working on them under the guidance of a coach or instructor.

Dance classes at Esh focus on form, technique, and movement quality while affirming that all bodies are dance bodies! Introductory level classes move at a pace that allows for questions and discussion so that all students feel supported in learning the foundations of dance. At higher levels, students will participate in building their own choreography and exploring concepts of improvisation and composition.

Dance class offerings change frequently. Please check the current class schedule for details.

Explore everything circus has to offer in this new 8-week session class! Survey of Circus will introduce students to a wide range of circus arts, from aerials to tight-wire, juggling and hula hooping to partner acro, and beyond!

There are no pre-requisites, and everyone is welcome.

Fitness & Training Classes

Wishing for more open shoulders, want to get your splits, yearning for a bendier back? This class is designed to help students increase range of motion and reach flexibility goals. Each class will include a full body warm-up, followed by solo and partner stretching to increase flexibility in all parts of the body. Each student will also work with the instructor to create a do-at-home flexibility regimen.

This class is designed for everyone- no specific level of flexibility required!

Want to work out like circus stars? This 75 minute open-level class is designed to build overall fitness by focusing on strength, endurance, balance, and flexibility. This class is great for everyone from non-acrobats looking for a unique workout to full-time circus students in training. While we will use the aerial apparatuses in the space, we will not be teaching any skills beyond climbing silks and hanging from hands and knees on the bar. No previous experience necessary!

“Point your toes!”
– every circus coach ever

The benefits of cross-training in dance can be immense for circus students and performers, and yet sometimes it can feel intimidating to drop into a class full of “dancers” and feel overwhelmed by lingo and fine-detail technique. This class is specifically designed with circus students in mind: we will focus on creating a useful foundation for clean lines, articulation, and proprioceptive awareness that we can maintain while in the air, upside down, or any other way we find ourselves circus-ing. We will focus on the minute details of how to create a really beautiful, consistent toe point, as well as how to maintain a full-body awareness of ourselves as a whole, moving through space. Drawing from ballet and modern techniques, this class will focus primarily on simple barre work, with a small amount of floorwork at the end of each class to synthesize our learning and work on building our memory for choreography.

Level 101/201

This class is for students with little-to-no experience with ballet. We will move at a pace that works for the group as a whole, and take as much time as needed to answer questions while we learn the basics of balance, extension, and pointing our toes. No prior dance experience of any sort required!

Level 301/401

This class is appropriate for students with some knowledge of ballet terms, and the ability to execute brief barre exercises from memory. Completion of 1-2 sessions of Level 101/201, or comparable dance experience, is recommended, though not required. This class is aimed at dancers who would consider themselves Intermediate level students. Contact the instructor with any questions about placement.

Drop-In Classes

Classes at Esh run in multi-week sessions, but we do offer limited drop-in options on some of our classes. Please review our drop-in policy before signing up for a drop-in. If you have questions about drop-in availability or eligibility, email us at info@eshcircusarts.com and we’ll be happy to help!

Current & Upcoming Session Dates

If you have questions about a class, please contact us.

Current Adult Session

2024 SPRING SESSION II

Monday April 22nd – Sunday June 16th

No classes May 25th – 27th

Next Adult Session

2024 SUMMER SESSION

Monday June 17th – Sunday August 11th

No classes July 4th

Registration: Sunday June 2nd at 9:30pm

Current Youth Session

2024 SPRING SESSION

Monday April 22nd – Sunday June 16th

No classes May 25th – 27th

Next Youth Session

2024 SUMMER SESSION

Monday June 17th – Sunday August 11th

No classes July 4th

Registration: Monday May 20th at 9:00am