Beginner's Guide

What if I don't have upper body strength?

You are a perfect candidate for any of our beginner classes! We are very good at working with people where they are at and our classes are designed to help you build the strength you need in a fun, supportive, and exciting environment. Most beginners come to us without much upper body or core strength at all and we specialize in helping you build it through unique and effective exercises on aerial equipment beginning low to the ground, with clear instructions, spotters, and always working with mats. With our help, anyone can do this!
I'm not very graceful. Will I make a fool of myself?

We are a really fun and inviting place and we value things like being a healthy version of yourself first and things like being graceful and poised second. We can definitely help you become more graceful but you will be in good company along the way because no one is graceful in the beginning! At Bumbershoot we like to have a good time and grow in grace, strength, and confidence while at the same time not taking ourselves too seriously ;-)
Is it dangerous?

There is an element of risk to all physical art forms, sports, and athletic training but we take managing risk very seriously and have a VERY good track record and reputation among leaders in the industry. All our instructors have been through extensive and ongoing training from seasoned professionals. Our curriculum and teaching methods are based on clear linear progressions with a strong focus on injury prevention and safe technique. Bumbershoot is VERY particular about the quality of instruction that we offer, the effectiveness of all spotting techniques, and we keep careful safety logs and do frequent inspections of all equipment and rigging. We ALWAYS work with mats and we NEVER allow a student to attempt a skill that we are not 100% sure is safe for them. 
Will I actually get off the ground and be on the equipment in my first lesson?

Yes! We do incorporate ground exercises for strength training and to help you understand what to do in the air but the bulk of our class time is spent on the equipment. We will have you inverting and being suspended by the equipment on your very first lesson. We will also be teaching you correct form and safe technique very low to the ground with mats and spotters. We will teach you how to stay very safe while doing legit aerial work beginning on your very first day.
Am I too old to take class?

No! We work with all ages and abilities! We have students all the way into their 80's taking class with others in their 20's and everything in between. We recognize that everyone is different and we encourage conversations with coaches about any conditions or restrictions that may apply so that we can accommodate. Many of the exercises have variations or possible adaptations that allow us to customize to our students as needed so don't be shy!
How old does my child need to be to take class?

We start at age 5 for classes but we offer private lessons if your child is younger than 5. At Age 13, children have the option of joining adult classes.
What if I'm afraid of heights?

It's totally okay. We start off working VERY low to the ground and as you slowly build strength and confidence and as both you and your teacher feel you are ready, you can begin to work higher up but it is important to remember that you can stay low to the ground for as long as you want to and we won't pressure you to work higher unless you really want to. Students frequently tell us that their training at Bumbershoot has helped them feel better about and overcome fears of all different kinds, this one included.
Is it Expensive?

Bumbershoot beginner classes cost $30 per class. We believe that our classes are well worth the price. After all, how much is your health, fitness, joy, and personal satisfaction worth to you? Can you put a price tag on the feeling you get when you accomplish something you never thought possible but always dreamed of? At Bumbershoot you will get a unique experience, high quality, specialized, hands on instruction and experience a supportive and empowering community like none other.
What do I wear?

You should wear yoga pants, leggings that are mid calf or full length or athletic pants and a top that is long enough to tuck in or fitted enough that is will not move around when you go upside down. Clothing should not be overly baggy. In more advanced classes you may be asked to bring in extra layers and/or wear a leotard under your clothes. Supportive undergarments such as dance belts can be helpful for some but are not absolutely necessary. Kids should wear comfortable pants or leggings that are stretchy and mid calf length or longer with a shirt that is long enough to tuck in or a leotard. Everyone will work barefoot. Please DO NOT wear shorts or anything that has buttons, snaps, grommets, zippers, studs, or anything that can snag our equipment. ALL jewelry must be removed prior to class except very small stud or hoop earrings.
What class(es) should I start with?

We offer Intro classes on every apparatus! Silks Intro and Strength building is our most popular class. Aerial Fitness is another great option for beginners. There are no prerequisites for any of these classes and you can read the descriptions for each of these classes here.
I want to get started but I'm not sure how -what are my options?

The main options are Series Classes, Beginner Workshops, and Private Lessons.

Classes are cost effective, super fun and a great way to learn because you build each week on what you learned in previous weeks. Beginner classes are 60 minutes and meet once a week for 6 weeks at the same time each week. Workshops are 1 time lessons and they are a great way to try something out before committing to a 6 week class. Private lessons are also available and are great if you want the coach all to yourself or need a particular schedule that can't be accommodated by regular classes or workshops.
Is there any way I can try it out before I register for a whole 6 week session?

Yes! We do beginner friendly workshops where you can try out 1 or 2 apparatuses with coaches there to spot you through some fun moves. Bring your camera and a friend! This is a great way to check us out and see what we are like. Be prepared to have fun trying something new!
How can I connect with the Bumbershoot student community?

Check out the student facebook group! Its a great way to find a buddy to train with at open aerials, ask questions, talk about your experiences and breakthroughs, and be a part of the community. Bumbershoot Student Facebook Group
What are the benefits of Aerial training at Bumbershoot?
  1. It's SUPER fun and unique!
  2. It's a great way to meet people and make friends!
  3. Aerial work will absolutely make you physically stronger, and more flexible.
  4. Increased mental clarity and ability to focus.
  5. Good conversation starter at parties!
  6. Builds courage and confidence.
  7. Helps you develop a healthy relationship with and respect for your body.
  8. Good creative outlet.
  9. Time spent around positive energy in a supportive environment.
  10. Did I mention it's really fun?