Have you been coming to aerial classes for awhile? Do you feel yourself getting stronger and more confident in the air? Do you have a pretty solid grasp on the aerial skills and technique that you’ve been learning? If so, then it might be time to consider taking the level test and moving forward to new challenges.
Levels can be very different from studio to studio. At Aerial Fit, our levels are currently organized in this way:
Starter/Intro: In this level you learn how to move and hold yourself strong in the air. There are no prerequisites to this level. Expect to gain an introduction to skills such as climbs, mounts, and a variety of well-supported positions and transitions on each apparatus.
Level 1: Once you are hooked and ready to jump into your aerial training, Level 1 classes are where you’ll master fundamentals such as climbs, locks, supported inversions, a variety of mounts and supported sequences on your apparatus of choice. Our focus at this level is on building great aerial habits and a good understanding of why skills works. Ask your instructor if you’re ready for this level!
Level 2: Once you’ve mastered Level 1 material and have a solid grasp on beginning technique, you’ll be ready to move into this level where we work on longer and more complex sequences and supports, and begin to introduce more inverted moves above the ground.
Level 3: When you graduate Level 2 you’ll have good endurance, strength, and aerial smarts and be ready to dive into a whole new set of moves that require more strength to begin. This level is for students who have solid and consistent straddle ups and circus mounts from the ground and are beginning to work on them in the air.
Level 4: This level is for students with solid strength, technique, and endurance who will work on more strength based skills including controlled drops, dives, and momentum skills, as well as more complex choreography and performance technique. Most of our students at this level have been practicing for several years. Expect a real work-out when you test into this level.
Level 5: This level is for serious students interested in learning more theory, developing their own moves, and building solid performance technique. The typical level 5 student has been practicing for many years.
We designed each level to set students up for success in the next level, all while learning a variety of fun and impressive skills. To move up in levels, students must take and pass a “Level Up” test administered by a senior instructor. Anyone can start training the skills and strength at any time, however, to actually test requires your primary instructor to sign off on your readiness, and to move up in levels requires mastery of all level test material. We make this process fun and rewarding with our Level Up Class, so read on to learn more about what to expect in the process.
LEVEL UP CLASS
Did you know that you don’t have to be ready to level up in order to take Level Up class? This is a great place to spend more time with the material you’re currently learning in class, and build mastery under the guidance of a senior instructor. Level Up class feels like a cross between a private lesson and an open practice. Each student in class works on their own specific goals toward the level test, and the instructor roams from student to student checking in with your progress many times throughout class. You do not need to take a Level Up test in order to take Level Up Class!
LEVEL UP TESTING
Once you feel ready to test, the instructor will take you through the level up test. This can be done during Level Up class or at another time that you arrange together. Every level test includes the following:
- a selection of skills that we want to see mastered in several ways
- a selection of strength requirements
- a sequence that you’ve created, practiced, and mastered over time
At each consecutive higher level, the level test becomes more challenging not only in material but also in our expectations of mastery. To test into Level 2 and higher classes, the sequence you develop may not include any skills that are also on the Level Test, so expect to have mastered a good variety of skills before testing up.
KEEP IN MIND
The skills that are on the Level Up test represent only a tiny portion of the skills you actually learn in each level. And, each skill on the test has many progressions and variations that you learn after mastering the basics. So, just because you’ve learned a skill once does not mean you have it as we want to see it on the test just yet. But, this is a great reason to take Level Up class and learn more about what we’re looking for to move you up.
MOVING UP IN LEVELS
As students move up into the next level, it’s common to feel like you’ve been left behind because you go from being the strongest in the class to being the newest in the class. The Level Up tests are intended to set you up for success in each level, but be patient as you make the transition. We recommend taking both previous level and higher level classes as you make the transition… in the previous level classes you can work on any of the tips you got from the instructor during your Level Up test.
Have questions? Drop us an email or talk to your instructor. Our goal is to help you find success in your practice, whether that means continuing in your current level or moving up to the next. Happy flying!