Click on a class below to read descriptions:
This class is open to all skill levels, including first-time students! Our instructors work individually with each student and adapt to their level of strength and comfort. In this class, you will learn many movements in the silks, and in doing so, increase your upper body strength. We work over an 8-inch crash mat at all times, and all beginner moves are done low down to the ground. The core goals for this class are to be safe, and have fun! Open to ages 13+.
All of the classes labelled as simply "Aerial Silks" are open to all skill levels, including first-time students of all backgrounds. Our mixed level classes are structured so that everyone can work on their own moves, and progress at their own pace. However, some people may feel more comfortable being in a group with exclusively other beginners. If so, this class is for you! Open to ages 13+.
These classes are reserved for intermediate / advanced students. If you're not sure if you qualify as intermediate / advanced, the general guideline is, if we've started you working on any drops, then you can take this class. Open to ages 15+.
Lyra, also known as "Aerial Hoop" is a large steel ring resembling a hule-hoop, suspended from the ceiling, on which aerialists can perform. This fun class is recommended for people who already have a couple of aerial classes under their belt - talk to your aerial instructor first about meeting the pre-reqs for lyra. Lyra is taught by Lauren Wirick on Tuesdays at 8 PM. Open to ages 13+.
This class is focused on taking the moves you learned in our other classes, making them look pretty, and then putting them together into a choreographed routine with music and character! This fun class is recommended for people who already have a couple of aerial classes under their belt - talk to your aerial instructor first about meeting the pre-reqs for choreography. Lyra is taught by Lauren Wirick on Tuesdays at 9 PM. Open to ages 13+.
Beginner Adult Tumbling
Beginner tumbling classes for adults can be surprisingly difficult to find, but this class is specially for adults! It's intended primarily for beginners, but accomodations can be made for intermediate/advanced tumbling students. This class is taught by Seth Delatte on Saturdays at 6:30 PM. Open to ages 12+. This class is brought to you by Appalachian Tumbling and Gymnastics.
Aerial For Kids
Aerial Silks are a great way for students to increase strength and dexterity while having tons fun! They will get to climb, spin, hand upsidedown, and noodle around in the silks, all while learning new skills. We work over an 8-inch crash mat at all times, and we stay low to the ground. The core goals for this class are to be safe, and have fun! This class takes place on Wednesdays at 4:00 PM. Open to ages 7-14. note: It is required that all kids are paid and signed up for their class online at least 12 hours before this class! For more info, check out the New Student Handout.
Open Gym is a time for students to come in and practice moves that they've been working on in class. An aerial instructor will always be present to oversee safety, and provide spotting if needed, but they will not be teaching during this time. Students are prohibited from teaching each other during this time. If you want to use the aerial equipment during open gym, you must have taken an aerial class within the last month, or have special permission from an instructor. A trapeze and corde lisse are also available, but since we don't offer classes for these apparatuses, instructor permission is required. Open to ages 12+. Children under 16 must be supervised by a parent. Open Gym is $9, and it takes place on Mondays, 9:00-10:30 PM in Johnson City, and Thursdays, 9:00 - 10:30 in Kingsport. All aerial class packages come with one free open gym.
Private lessons in aerial silks or juggling are available for $60 per hour, or $30 per half hour. This can be split by up to 5 people. Past 5 people, each additional person adds $10. Call me to talk about your class goals, and scheduling before you purchase private lesson credits. Tumbling privates must be booked separately through ATG.Coming Soon:
Aerial Yoga Classes!
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Aerial Silks FAQ
I want to take a silks class, but I have no upper body strength! Is that ok?
We get this question ALL the time. You're not alone. And yes, it is completely ok! The vast majority of new students that we get in our classes don't have a lot of upper body strength when they start out. We start off with easy moves that don't require a whole bunch. We keep our class sizes very small, so that we can personalize our lessons plans for each student, and everyone can progress at their own rate. A lot people are intimidated by the idea of trying out an aerial class. But I promise, you can do it!
I want to take a silks class, but I'm scared! Is it safe?
Our classes have a very strong emphasis on safety. All students work over an 8-inch crash mat at all times. All beginner moves are done very low to the ground. As you become more advanced, we will slowly start taking moves higher as you get comfortable, but we never push anyone to do this before they're ready. We also encourage students to be an active player in their own safety. That means, if we ask you to do something that you don't feel safe doing, then don't do it, and talk to your instructor about it. If you are halfway through a move, and find yourself feeling unsafe, then come on down. That's always OK in our classes! It's also always acceptable to wait for us to come and spot you before you do something. Our instructors typically walk around the room throughout the class spotting everyone one at a time, so if you don't want to do it by yourself, just wait and we'll come around and help you. There are certain moves where we'll specifically ask everyone to wait for a spot. We keep our class sizes very small, so that we can personalize my lessons plans for each student, and everyone can progress at their own pace, and we can spend a lot of time with each student.
I'm afraid of being embarrassed. Everyone's going to be better than me, aren't they?
We get this question a LOT, so rest assured that other new students in the class with you are probably thinking the same thing! We work with each student individually, so it doesn't matter at all if people are at different skill levels. We strive to create a non-competitive, judgement-free, positive environment in our classes. Never compare yourself to other students; everyone learns at a different pace, and that is completely OK and normal in an aerial class! This is exactly the reason that we keep most of our classes on a drop-in basis instead of a series; it allows each student to progress at their own pace, and not worry about "keeping up" with the other students.
I'm overweight. Is that ok? Will those silks hold me?
Another question we get all the time! Let's get that second part out of the way: Yes, they will hold you! The silks themselves have a breaking strength of around 3,000 pounds. So no, there is no "weight limit" on our classes. That's not to say that being overweight won't affect how quickly a person is able to progress in an aerial class; the class is inherently and unavoidably more difficult for anyone who is overweight. To give some very loose guidelines, if you have a BMI over 45, or a body weight over 300 pounds, aerial classes might not really turn out to be your thing just yet. That being said, we keep our class sizes very small so that we can work individually with each student, and everyone can progress at their own pace. The best advice I can give you is, just come try it out and see if you like it! The moves we do in the first few classes, while I don't want to say they're "easy", they are intended to be attainable for just about anyone with some practice and determination.
What age ranges can take your class?
On the lower end: Our kids class is open to ages 7-14. Our adult classes are open to ages 13+. Students in the range of 13-14 have the option of either class. The majority of the students in our adult classes are in their 20s or 30s.
On the upper end: There is no firm age limit. As a general guideline, we don't encourage people over 65 to take our classes, but we even say that with caution; there can definitely be exceptions. It largely depends on the condition that your body is in. If you have a lot injuries, osteoperosis, or severe arthritis, our class is most likely not for you. But if you're very healthy and fit, you can start our class at any age! You'll definitely want to talk with me about any injuries you have. For more info regarding injuries, see the next question:
I have an injury, medical condition, or disability. Can I take your class?
The short answer: Call us, let's talk. (423) 782-6479
The long answer: We definitely try our best to work with people who have injuries, medical conditions, or disabilities. We're not doctors, so if you ask us whether it's safe for you to take our class, the answer is usually: I'm not qualified to answer that question. You should ask your doctor. But, pending their approval, come try it out! Definitely talk to us about your injuries first though. In some special cases, if you call us, we'll set up a time when we can meet privately at the studio, and we'll give you a little 10 minute "free preview" of some of the stuff we do in class, for the purpose of evaluating whether these classes will be good for you.
How long does it take to get "really good"?
This is a very difficult to answer, mainly because everyone is different. Also, everyone&s definition of "really good" is different. There are two main factors that tend to largely determine how quickly you will progress in aerial arts. The first factor is how frequently they take classes. We typically recommend students start out with once a week in the beginning, and progress to twice a week fairly quickly once they start to get comfortable with things. If you come to our classes once a month, you're very likely to find progress slower. You'll find yourself having to re-learn a lot of basic moves each time you come in. On the other hand, if you come in twice a week, you will progress much faster. That's not to say that there's anything wrong with taking class once a month - it just entirely depends on what your goals are. The second major factor in how quickly a student progresses is whether they condition and exercise outside of our classes. Things like yoga, pilates, weight lifting, rock climbing, gymnastics, dance, and martial arts are excellent ways to build strength, flexibility and endurance - but not the only way! We'll show you some exercises in class that you can do at home without any equipment, and if you can even dedicate 15 minutes a day to doing these exercises at home, that will make a huge difference! Our conditioning class is also a great way to build strength, and will help you progress much faster.
I'm a man. Aerial Silks is for girls, isn't it?
Silks are for everyone! This seems like a good place to introduce myself. My name is Craig Lewis. I'm a dude. I'm the owner of NOCA, and teach many of the aerial silks classes myself. Demonstrating a masculine, strength-based aesthetic on the silks is something I'm passionate about! I realize that the stereotypcial image of aerial silks is of a feminine, flexibility-based performance art - which it certainly can be, and that's beautiful and wonderful! But please know this: Silks does NOT have to have that aesthetic! Do a YouTube search for "male aerialist" and you'll find tons of strong men doing incredible acrobatic aerial performances, all while looking manly and awesome. Some men end up shifting eventually from silks to an apparatus like aerial straps, trapeze, chinese pole, or corde lisse. While we don't yet offer classes in these apparatuses here, you can still start out with the silks and you'll be able to make the transition very easily down the road at another studio, because the skills are extremely similar. So yes, my class is great for men. Come try it!
What are the class rules?
You can view the class rules in the New Student Handout.
What should I wear for class?
There is one main, important requirement: No metal parts, such as zippers, buttons, clasps, etc. Very small piercings are ok, but larger piercings must be removed because they can get caught in the silks. If you have an exposed surface piercing, you should wear a bandaid over it.
Other than that, skin tight clothing is recommended - something that will stay in place when you hang upside-down. Most people prefer to have clothing that covers the backs of their knees and armpits, but this is not required. Tights, yoga pants, or unitards work great. As you become more advanced and start working on drops, you will need to avoid clothing made of synthetic materials, which can melt. This is not an issue for beginners, although we do find that cotton clothes tend to give more friction on the silk than synthetics, which is good for beginners; but again, that's personal preference.
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Coming Soon: Aerial Yoga Classes!
All classes are drop-in; you can start at any time. Regardless of your skill level or fitness level, you do NOT HAVE to start with a "beginner" class. The classes labelled "Aerial Silks" are open to all skill levels, including first-timers of any fitness level, up through advanced students.
Our Kingsport classes take place at Flight Athletic Academy in downtown Kingsport, TN:
Flight Athletic Academy
625 E Market St,
Kingsport, TN 37660
Kingsport Weekly Schedule
Johnson City Location
Our Johnson City location is our original and primary location, 15 minutes from East Tennessee State University (ETSU). Home of our annual showcase, aerial photoshoots, and many special workshops! Classes take place at ATG in the Boones Creek area of Johnson City, TN:
Apalachian Tumbling and Gymnastics
1777 Old Gray Station Rd,
Johnson City, TN 37615
JC Weekly Schedule
Circus classes make a great Christmas or Birthday gift!