December Pop-Up Classes

December Pop-Up Classes

Acro Coaches Katie Capistrant and Dylan Porteguese by Clock Work Steve Photography

Check out our December Pop-Up Classes! Throughout December, some of our regular classes will be replaced with pop-up classes with some of our amazing instructors! A lot of these pop-ups will be in lieu of our normal class schedule, so sign up to try something different! Choose from a plethora of subjects including:

Intro to Straps
Rope Palooza
Rope is Fun
Above the Bar Spanset Lyra
Lollipop Lyra
Duo Aerial
Experimental Partner Movement
Basic Floorwork Concepts
Floorwork Choreography
Belay for Days
Silks Theory
Beginner Circus

Each pop-up class is $25. You may use your class packages to purchase these one-off classes.

Purchase Class Pack Here
Sign Up for Classes Here

Also, check out Handstand Happy Hour with Lynn!

Bored of working on your handstands alone in your living room? Us too! Come hang out at the studio and work on the ever-elusive handstand with friends. All levels are welcome! Not a class, just an open gym dedicated to handstands. There might be games… or after handstand cocktails at Norseman. $10/Drop-In

Click here to read more!

Check out other training options with our membership program! It includes all open gyms, acro jam, handstand happy hour, and dedicated member training times. Read more here.

 

Collaboration with Vivid Black Paint

We are so thrilled to be collaborating with the amazing organization Vivid Black Paint.

A Bit About Vivid Black Paint (from their website)
Mission
Vivid Black Paint provides supportive programming to Honor and Uplift Aspiring and Established Artists who identify as black and as persons of color and to provide welcoming space for people to smile, laugh and be entertained with circus and art as a vital service to mental well being and social-emotional development.
Purpose

Vivid Black Paint is a non-profit corporation and shall operate exclusively for educational and charitable purposes within the meaning of section 501c3 of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future Federal Tax Code.

To maximize impact and reach, we may collaborate with other initiatives and entities. Vivid Black Paint accomplishes Our Purpose through events and supportive programming for established and aspiring black artists, indigenous artists, and artists of color to provide their Creative Services to the world and build up their Supportive Networks. We also serve the community at large with joy and entertainment, primarily through art and circus.

Our Programming allows space for our artists to come together, build community, collaborate, exchange, mentor, and witness one another’s art.

Vivid Black Paint will also provide career pathways, internships, and volunteer opportunities within the organization for our artists. In turn, further deepening Vivid Black Paint’s Impact and Mission.

Take a Class
In collaboration with Vivid Black Paint, we are offering a $5/class discount for persons identifying as POC. Please contact us for the code!

There are also 4-class packs for persons identifying as POC available to purchase for Vivid Black Paint classes. This can be purchased here.

Check out more about this amazing organization here! https://www.vividblackpaint.org

Schedule a class with Staaj!

Donate to Vivid Black Paint!
https://www.gofundme.com/f/vividblackpaint-community-house

Aerial Training Membership Opportunity!

Open training in the studio!

Aerial Training Membership Opportunity!

Need more training time? Consider becoming an SGS member! 

We are opening up memberships to intermediate/advanced students and pre-professional and professional artists! To qualify, you must have been training on your apparatus for more than a year and be comfortable training without coach supervision.

Members can sign up to train aerial or ground skills during member-exclusive training times and are welcome to come to Open Gym and Acro Jams for no additional cost. There is no limit to how many trainings you attend throughout the month. Train as much as you want!

Training times are flexible. Just let us know what days and times you’re interested in; we will work to accommodate your schedule and add training times that work for you. Training times may change from month to month due to class schedules. Please note that classes and workshops get scheduling priority.

The cost is $110/month or $100/month if you commit to a minimum of three months. There are a limited number of memberships are available. Email or message us if you’re interested in more information and applying! Email us if you are interested.

Current Member Training Schedule

Check out all our classes!

Sign up for class here->

Beginner Aerial and Handstand Classes

Photo by Sky Wild Photography

Not sure where to start or never tried circus? No worries, check out our Beginner Aerial and Handstand Classes. Try the various aerial apparatuses we offer or give handstands a try. No experience required!

Beginner Aerial Classes
Fridays at 11 am & Sundays at 10:45 am
New to circus arts or returning after a long break? This is the class for you!
In this beginner-level class, we will focus on the basics: getting strong, learning the lingo, and trying out the various apparatuses. This is a great introduction to the world of aerial performance by teaching you how to apply the new dimension of vertical space. Let’s play with the X, Y, and Z axes!
Sign up here ->

Beginner Handstands Class
Tuesdays at 4:30 pm
This class is designed for people who are interested in handstanding but don’t know where to begin. In this weekly class, we will focus on drills to strengthen our core, shoulders, and stabilizer muscles needed for finding that perfect handstand line. These drills will be interspersed with breaks for stretching and technique discussions.
Sign up here ->

Check out all our classes here->

Featured Student of the Week – Elana G

“I started training in 2015. I love the positive, encouraging community at Stomping Ground. Kristen is a terrific teacher, and the students are so supportive of each other. Everyone is there to cheer each other on, work hard, and have fun. Plus, it’s the only strength training I’ve ever looked forward to!”

-Elana

Tissu or Lyra – The Great Debate

You’re probably aware that aerial arts involves acrobatic dancers and athletes performing stunning and awe-inspiring feats high above ground. 

But as a student, you may be wondering – what exactly counts as an aerial art form, and what are the different ways to learn them?

There are a wide variety of aerial apparatuses which have a variety of names – aerial fabric (also called tissu or silks), aerial hoop (lyra), trapeze, hammock (sling), and rope (corde lisse) are some of the most commonly taught apparatus at any circus studio, though you may certainly see others offered. 

At Stomping Ground Studio, we offer classes in two very different aerial apparatuses – aerial tissu (or silks) and lyra (aerial hoop). 

If you know you’d like to try out an aerial class but are debating exactly how to get started, we’ve got some advice. 

Below, we’ve collected some of the key features of training in both tissu and lyra so that you can decide which is a better fit for you. 

Lyra

First off, let’s start with a brief definition. 

Lyra – or aerial hoop – is a metal ring (most frequently made of steel). They might be wrapped in a soft tape or left bare, with metal exposed. They also come in a wide variety of sizes, perhaps barely big enough for your body to fit through or large enough to comfortably accommodate multiple performer’s limbs and torsos. Lyras are most commonly rigged as either single or double point, meaning that the hoop’s central overhead anchor is either from one spot or two. 

What people like

Making bendy shapes with your body. Lyra is a great apparatus for showcasing flexibility. The sturdy metal structure offers something solid to hold onto while its circular shape allows limbs to press or extend at a distance from each other.

A chance to rest. Because there is a “bottom bar” – the part of the hoop that is closest to the ground – you can always come to a seat in the lyra to take a little breather in between poses. This sets lyra (and trapeze) apart from many other apparatuses that simply hang in one vertical line. 

Ability to partner up. Lyra is one of the most common aerial apparatuses that you’ll see used in duo performances. Specially sized lyras made for two people are widely available, and partner lyra technique is taught in many studios. 

A quicker learning curve. It’s possible to learn a wide repertoire of lyra skills in just a few classes. This might make lyra a good fit for you if you are interested in learning Instagrammable poses or creating choreography for a performance right away.

Spinning! For some of us, spinning is downright fun! Plus, it can also make for a great featured element in a performance. Though you can spin on a vertical apparatus, the job is much easier on a lyra simply because there is less material weighing you down towards the floor. 

What people don’t like

Metal is hard. Though the firm metal of the hoop does help to give you a solid grip, it also takes a little time to build up the right callouses. And you will need those callouses. Lyra can be tough on your hands, knees, elbow pits or any other body part that presses into the hoop. Be prepared for some weird bruises!

More static, less dynamic. We firmly believe that any apparatus can be used dynamically. However, when you’re just starting out, the way your body will be moving on a lyra will be different than on a vertical apparatus. If you love the feeling of moving through space and swinging your limbs around you, you might prefer the dynamic movements that are well suited to vertical apparatuses. 

A quicker learning curve. While learning a lot quickly may be a perk for some, it can also lead to boredom for others. Most of the new shapes and techniques you will learn on a lyra will come up front, and be expanded and perfected over time. 

How to progress

Train your flexibility. We recommend a combination of active flexibility (lifting or lengthening areas of the body with your own strength) and passive (sitting in a stretch for an extended period of time). With greater bendiness, you’ll be able to take lyra shapes to their fullest potential. 

Spinning tolerance. Spinning does not come naturally to everyone. If it makes you feel a little queasy or uneasy, take it slow and try to build your tolerance over time. Learning the dance technique of “spotting” or training yourself to focus on a fixed point on your body can help. 

Strengthen your hands. Holding onto a metal circle for minutes at a time can get exhausting. Work on improving your ability to grip by holding weights (or even full grocery bags) and stretching your fingers and wrists often. 

Try different types of lyras. There’s a lot of variety, so be sure to expand your horizons, if you’re able. You may find that you only like taped lyra and don’t like gripping bare metal, or vice versa. You may prefer a single-point to a double-point. But you’ll only know if you try!

Tissu

What people like: 

An athletic experience. Because you cannot take resting poses as easily as on a lyra, many people find tissu a more challenging athletic experience. If you enjoy cardio or endurance sports, this may be a good fit for you. 

Dynamic movement. A vertical apparatus, like tissu, has a movement all its own. Fabric can move – or be moved – in any plane, in any direction, fast or slow, like a whip or like taffy. Students that enjoy moving with their whole bodies in a variety of movements seem to appreciate this about tissu. 

Solving puzzles. In order to perform many moves on aerial tissu, your body has to move one way, at one time, towards a place, and arrive in a certain way. Learning fabric can be sort of like a logic puzzle for your body. For many students, the best part of a tissu class is trying to figure out all the different pieces of a new move – or, eventually, creating their own wraps and positions.

What people don’t like: 

A steep learning curve. Tissu can be a particularly intimidating apparatus to learn. It’s vertical (no rest breaks), requires endurance (which you may or may not have lots off), and it’s slippery (requires good grip strength. While there are several fundamental moves and shapes on tissu, learning just the basics can take several classes, weeks, or months. You may not always leave your first classes feeling like the champ you are. 

Considerable upper body strength. To do pretty much anything on fabric, you’ve got to have a strong upper body. Your core must stabilize you, and your arms, back, chest, and shoulders have to work to pull your entire body weight against gravity. It will certainly be built over time as you continue your training. Students rarely come to their first class able to complete a full pull-up, so don’t sweat it!

Going upside down. Some people love it. And some definitely don’t. Unlike on lyra, where there are many shapes you can make while keeping your head pointing up (or at least sideways), one of the fundamental skills of tissu is gaining comfort with inverting, when your head is the lowest part of your body. If even the thought of this sends you into a panic, you should expect to take things one tiny step at a time. 

How to progress

Increase your upper body strength. One of the best possible things you can do to improve your skills on vertical apparatus is to get better at pull-ups. Hang from a pull up bar. Hold yourself at the bar with bent arms and with straight arms (shoulders engaged). Hold yourself and slowly lower down. Repeat until you can pull yourself up. Then repeat, repeat, repeat…

Challenge your comfort with going upside down. If inverting makes you nervous, start to play with going upside-down in slow, safe ways. Have a friend spot you in a handstand or headstand or do them against an empty wall. Try out a slow-paced aerial yoga class, and allow the aerial sling to give you all the support you need to tip back. 

Everything on both sides! When you approach tissu, it’s often to one side of your body. Your teacher may have you climb, tie in your foot, or hook a knee on one side. Do it on the other side too. For the folks in the back – DO IT ON THE OTHER SIDE TOO. You may see many advanced aerialist who can perform a beautiful skill on their right but UGH what’s that on the left? You may be a beginner, but you don’t have to be lazy! Do both sides. 

Pay attention to theory. As you are learning wraps, pay attention to not just how to get to them but also how they work. What is keeping you locked in? What doesn’t work? The more you pay attention to the puzzles behind the moves, the more you’ll be able to experiment and pick up new skills as you progress. 

When in doubt… Do both!

While many people may find they have a preference between one apparatus or another, the beginning of your aerial education is the perfect time to try several. 

At Stomping Ground Studio, you can take a class in tissu or in lyra OR try a mixed apparatus class where time will be split between the two apparatuses. 

Whichever you choose, we recommend a minimum of three classes within three weeks to get the best feel for the apparatus that works best for you. 

Stay tuned for more tips on getting the most out of your first aerial class!

Studio Update – Guest Coach Lynn Lunny Subs for Handstand Class on Sept 16

Lynn Lunny Handstand

Improve your handstands with the lovely Lynn Lunny. She will be our guest coach subbing for Handstands class on Monday Sept 16th. Lynn is a phenomenal coach. She will certainly teach you some effective drills and techniques to better find your balance and acquire that perfect line in your handstand. Come learn from this very talented hand-balancer and acrobat. Sign up on the MindBody app now to secure your spot.