Aerial Acrobatics

Urban Evolution is one of the few places in the DC Metro area where you can learn Aerial Acrobatics. Sign up via our “Other Movement!” Programs.

Aerial Acrobatics is a challenging gymnastic workout focused on the upper body and core.  Learn new and diverse techniques for climbing and moving the body on ropes, fabrics or any vertical element! It includes strength training, core skills and beginning level tricks (and those with experience will learn advanced moves).

Interested? Start by taking one of our Intro to Aerial Acrobatics classes, then join our ongoing Aerials program!
Introducing the New and Improved Aerial Acrobatics Program
Aerial Dance, Aerial Arts, and Aerial Acrobatics all stem from a Circus and Modern Dance. I’m sure you have seen High Flying Trapeze in the Circus; this was just the beginning of an art form that has grown well beyond the first Acts in the early 1900’s. Today, men, women, and children demonstrate a unique combination of strength and flexibility while utilizing long sheets of silk fabric to climb, hang, and fly through the air.
Urban Evolution currently offers Aerial Silks classes for Kids, Exercise Enthusiasts, and Teen & Adults who wish to master this unique combination art and exercise form. We have completely re-constructed our program to correlate to our Level Up Parkour program, allowing students to Test through our 4 levels: Alter Ego, SideKick, Vigilante, and Super Hero.

How do I get started?

We’re glad you asked! All students above the age of 6 years old, regardless of their fitness background, can come in to take our Intro to Aerial Classes. During this 1 ½ hour class you will learn Aerial Silks foundation skills to prepare you for the first level, Alter Ego.

What do I wear?

During these classes you will be challenged with skills where you will hang from your knees, arm-pits, and hips, so we recommend form-fitting running pants, capris, or leggings with T-shirts that cover your underarms. Loose shorts or flared pants may get caught in the silks, so they are not recommended.

What else do I need to know?

Classes do start promptly, so we suggest that you try to come in a couple minutes early to sign and waivers that need to be completed before your class time.

Because classes are very strenuous, we strictly enforce a late policy. Teachers will not allow students into the class after the first 10 minutes, this is to allow each student ample time to warm-up before Flying High!

Bring water. We like our students hydrated!

What happens in Intro to Aerials?

The 1½ hour Intro to Aerials Class is designed to give you an idea of what silks is really like. In this class, you will do a warm-up and some light conditioning, followed by instruction on basics climbs, wristlock moves, how to do a footlock, and finally, some slipknot skills. The class ends with some flexibility and “therapeutic” stretches (the latter designed so that you can actually get in and out of your car after class without crying). You may begin class with no aerial knowledge or skills, but by the end we’ll have you upside in a beautiful pose!

How to sign-up?

Contact your local Urban Evolution or sign-up at Mindbody today! Intro to Silks is $40. After that, normal classes are $20. For more details on rates, please see {…} The same rates that apply for our other UE classes also cover silks!

I would like to work on a one-on-one basis with an UE Instructor; do you offer Private Lessons?

Private lessons are available at each location, contact UE to set-up a time with an instructor.

The cost for private lessons is $60/ hour.

I’m worried that I’m not strong or flexible enough for aerials. Are there any requirements to begin taking classes?

Absolutely not. It is Urban Evolution’s philosophy that anyone, at any fitness level or no fitness level at all, should be able to walk into our gym and succeed. While some students do have a pre-existing gymnastics, yoga, or dance background which translates well for silks, we also have students who begin with very little strength and flexibility. Our program is designed to build the student’s capabilities slowly, beginning with reasonable expectations and working up to more challenging requirements. Instructors are glad to work with all students, even those with physical injuries and limitations.

Does UE offer an Open Gym for silks? How does it work?

UE is proud to offer Open Gym for any student Level 2 and over. We consider this to be a great opportunity for students to work on their physical conditioning and to review skills they’ve mastered. Level 3 and 4 students can also work on personal routines and develop new skills. The following rules apply to students doing open gym:

Must be in Level 2: Sidekick to do open gym.

Sign in at the front desk as you normally would.

ALWAYS have a crash pad beneath you.

(At Manassas) Do not climb more that 3/4 of the way up the silks unless absolutely necessary.

Be respectful of the needs of classes: if the area or crash pads are being used for parkour, tricking, gymnastics, or another scheduled class, you need to wait until the class no longer needs the space and pads before you can begin.

Do not attempt moves that you have not mastered (i.e. received an instructor’s stamp of approval).

If you need to work on a new move, demonstrate that move for an instructor during class time for special approval to practice it outside of class.

At Level 3, you may practice skills at your own discretion.

I already have a background in aerial silks. Can I skip Level 1? Can I begin doing Open gym?

We’re happy to work with you and get you into the correct level! Please contact us at least five days ahead of time to schedule an assessment. Our Level 1 skills are very basic and should be fairly easy for an advanced aerialist to complete, even if you are not wholly familiar with a few of the moves. After you demonstrate capability to complete these skills you can move on to Level 2 (or above, depending on your assessment!) and begin doing open gym.

Is Leveling up/testing different for Kids and Adults?

Nope! Our Level up system is designed to work for children and adults alike, who will cover the same skills in roughly the same period of time.

What is the Regular Class like?

The regular class follows the below timeframe (these times vary somewhat according to class size):

Warm-up – 10 min

Conditioning – 15 min

Skill review – 20 min

Routine review – 15 min

During Skill review, instructors go over a certain set of skills for the day and sign off on those moves that students demonstrate capability in performing. During Routine review, students go over their instructor-developed routine. At the end of class, students are encouraged to perform an independent flexibility and therapeutic stretch.

Level-Up Aerial Program

Whether you have taken Aerial Silks classes at another facility or have gone through our Intro to Aerial Class, you now have the opportunity to test-up to the highest level of Aerial Silks at Urban Evolution! Depending on previous experience, students have the ability to go through each level at their own pace. We have designed our rolling curriculum so that students can begin classes at anytime. Depending on how many classes a student takes per week, it should take 2-6 months to get through each level.During each class, the Instructor will ask students to demonstrate skills from the conditioning, slip knot, footlocking, and inversion categories and go over a short sequence of moves, or “routine” developed by the instruction staff. Once a student has demonstrated a skill five times, the student is considered to have mastered that skill. Once all skills and the routine have been mastered, the student graduates from that level and is ready to move forward in their aerial development!

*If you have had prior experience with Aerial Silks please contact find out which level would best fit your current skill level.
 Alter Ego (Aerial level 1) (printable checklist: AerialSilksLevel1)

(Suitable for Ages 6+)

Alter Ego is the first level and class you will attend after completing the required Intro to Aerials class. Alter Ego will allow each student to master the Intro Foundation skills and allow each student to master enough skills to do a 3-5 skill sequence when they are ready to test. Each class students will do conditioning skills that will build strength in their Core, Back, and Arm muscles to better the retention of all the skills learned in this basic level. Here is a list of our Alter Ego Skills and some pictures of our awesome Instructors showing them off!


Single Footlocks


  • Aerial Dance Lock

  • Figure-8 Lock (1, 2, 3)

  • Unlocking from air (Both Locks)

  • Locking in Air


Double Footlocks

  • Aerial (From Ground & Air)

  • Figure-8 (From Ground & Air)

 SideKick (Aerial Silks Level 2) (printable checklist: AerialSilksLevel2)

(Suitable for Ages 6+)

This level will build on the skills learned in the Alter Ego level. To pass this level students must demonstrate all skills listed on both sides (if applicable). Along with Skills learned in this level students will be able to use All skills learned in a sequence created by the Instructor, once all SideKick level skills are mastered.

Slip Knot                                                                                       Climbs                                 

  • Candy Cane
  • Big Russian

  • Twisty Russian

  • Bicycle Climb

  • No-Feet Climb 2x

Single Footlocks

Double Footlocks

Rocking Horse

Rebecca Split (1, 2)



Inversion/ Hip Key

  • Same-side Hold

  • Opposite Side Hold

  • Hip Key

  • Crochet from Standing

  • Crochet w/ Even Thigh Locks to Superman

  • Crochet Arm-pit Hang

  • Crochet Angel

  • Crochet Dive

  • Slack drop (Opposite-side & Same Side)

Vigilante (Aerial Silks Level 3)

(Suitable for Ages 6+)

This level will build on the skills learned in the Alter Ego & SideKick level. To pass this level students must demonstrate all skills listed on both sides (if applicable). Along with Skills learned in this level students will be able to use all skills learned in a sequence created by the Instructor, once all Vigilante level skills are mastered.

Slip-Knot                                                                              Wristlocking/ Other

  • Knee Drop

  • Planch

  • Thread thru Sit

  • Pike Dismount

  • Straddle Mount

Single Footlocks                                         Double Footlocks

  • Chinese Split

  • Jack Knife

  • Elsie Roll-up

  • Single Ankle Hang

  • Shapes (Ankle Hang)

  • Split Roll-outs

  • Crossback Variations: Gazelle

  • Crossback Variations: Belay

  • Crossback Variations: Knee Hook

½ Monty

Inversion/ Hip Key

  • Double Ankle Hang (3 Climbs Up)

  • Knee Drop

  • Peter Pan

  • Star Drop

  • Thigh Drop

  • Revolving Door

  • Hip-Key thread thru Dive

  • Flyer

  • Sumo

Super Hero (Aerial Silks Level 4)

(Suitable for Ages 6+)

This level is geared towards students who would like the chance to create their own sequence and learn more advanced drops and skills to help them move more freely and fluent in the Silks.


  • No Feet 6-10x

  • Opposite Side w/o Tails 3 +

  • Spider Climb

  • Ninja

Wristlocking/ Other

  • Mermaid

  • Planch

  • Tuck round 1 Climb

  • Verakai

  • Tofu Hooks

  • Full Angel


  • Rebecca Split Variations

  • Uneven splis to Grapevine

  • Cross-Back Knee Hang

  • Ankle Bind

  • ½ Ankle Hang

Inversion/ Hip Key

  • Contortion

  • Full Monty

  • Serenity

  • Drip Drop

  • Ginger

  • Pencil Drop

  • Same-Side Split

  • Opposite-Side Split

  • Pike Around Split