SFCF is proud to host instructors from around the country in a wide range of disciplines. In addition to offering classes in aerial and ground disciplines, we are excited to host a variety of workshops. From rigging, stage make-up, show production, panel discussions & more, SFCF will have something for everyone. Come join us and Immerse Yourself in Circus!
Our 2018 Schedule Is Coming Soon!
Until then, check out our class offerings!
SFCF 2018 Class Offerings
Silks- Standing on Air: Advanced Foot Locks and Knots on Fabric w/Shannon McKenna 8 person max Adv. Beginner-Advanced Think you know everything about foot locks? I promise you, you don’t. We will start simple, with the traditional foot lock, and expand to look at more creative and surprising way to freshen up this vital component to vertical aerial apparatus. Prerequisite: Be able to do the following skills in the air: basic foot locks, double foot locks, dancer wraps, a straddle up/inversion.
Rising to the Top: Climbs as Choreography w/Shannon McKenna 8 person max Intermediate/Advanced To quote Joseph Pinzon, one of the top aerial performers in the world, “climbing is the death of a fabric act.” Take this workshop to help your ascents come alive! We explore many sequences that cause you to gain height and improve your choreographic abilities to create your own! Prerequisites: At least one year of fabric training. Must be able to go upside down. Be comfortable climbing to the top of the fabric.
Fresh Fabric Ideas w/Jenn Bruyer Level: Intermediate or Int + on fabric Bored with fabric? Need something new? How do other people source new ideas? How can you learn to create your own work? Learn how to ask the right questions of your practice to develop a truly unique style that CONTINUES to inspire both you and the people around you. One of the best byproducts of as much travel as I do is I get to interact with people creating new work everywhere! Join me to explore some recent revelations of mine as I explore this #aerialnation. In this fabric theory heavy workshop, students can expect to explore new skills, ideas and transitions via exercises in this inevitably evolving art form. Flashy Skills For Fabric (aka, WTFTADA) w/Jenn Bruyer Level: Intermediate We’ve all seen it… That routine that looks so showstopping but seems so simple we can’t help but think… I can do that! And, you can. In this workshop we will learn how to add some flash without breaking the bank. Not every jaw dropping skill has to be terrifying, impossibly painful or require some super human strength. We will explore some really accessible skills that will add some extra sparkle to your routine.
Vertical Partnering w/Jenn Bruyer Level: Intermediate + on rope or fabric, basic partnering experience on any apparatus is encouraged but not required The vertical apparatus allows for a unique and compelling way to interact with a partner using tension and height. Not only are some tricks and effects are only possible with more than one person, but the relationships and transitions between them can be beautiful, dynamic and surprising. Beyond simply introducing some cool skills and transitions, this workshop will explore the various methodologies to alter the state of the vertical apparatus in a pair or group setting.
Splits for Days – w/Jessica Harris It is amazing how many different kinds of splits you can create on the fabric. In this workshop, we will go over 1001 different splits (ok, maybe not that many), different entrances in and out of some of the more common splits, and discuss how you can create your own splits and adapt them into your own sequences. Must be able to do a solid double footlock.
The Wonderful World of Waist Wraps – w/Jessica Harris We all know the basics, windmills/wheel downs, star drops, maybe even a few splits, but waist wraps/s wraps (whatever you want to call them) can lead into and out of so much more than that! In this workshop, we will explore different pathways in and out, talk about the theory behind S vs U-locks, and play with a multitude of things to do once you get there. Must be able to invert in the air. Familiarity with waist wraps is helpful
Locks, Keys & Everything In Between – w/Jessica Harris In this workshop we will explore different hip key and thigh lock sequences both static and spinning. Explore taking some of your normal sequences to a split silk and start to look at creating your own new and innovative sequences. Must be able in invert in the air.
Stars, Comets & Other Out of This World Drops – w/Jessica Harris Who doesn’t love drops? In this workshop we will explore star drops, star drop add-ons, and all of the many variations you can do from those wraps. We will slow them down, speed them up, spin them around and so much more! Must be able to invert in the air.
Build-a-Beat Workshop w/PJ Perry: Build a beat from the center of your body through your limbs, as well as from the center of the beat to the lifts. This workshop is appropriate for folks new AND experienced in beats as PJ focuses on the foundation of momentum and how one beat literally leads to another, and another. Also, did you know beats live in families? Learning their relationships can help one understand the technique better. Expect to learn OR refine those straddle beats as well as scissors, with an exploration of planche, meat hook, break beats, flares, and side beat transitions as a possibility. Must be able to lower slowly out of a straddle inversion with straight arms and control. (Intermediate Rope).
Dynamic Dope on a Rope w/PJ Perry: This is a choreography class to get a taste of PJ’s style and hopefully inspire more choreo!! First work through an intermediate dynamic sequence full of twists and turns while semi-supported around the waist in partial wraps. Then, explore a more advanced sequence with less support and with options for half-release movement. Pj loves to develop choreography with interchangeable pieces to match ability. Must be ready to explore moments of releasing one hand and comfortable in the air for 2 minutes. (Intermediate/Advanced Rope)
Rolling Up w/PJ Perry: Hip key rolls, single coil, double coil, reverse Crane (reverse Terry twist), Emi roll, hip key flag roll, single coil toe roll....and it’s possible PJ will be working on more. The great thing is, rolling technique is transferable between the rolls! Learn the technique, explore the rolls. Expect to be squeezed. Non-squeezy floor and band drills will assist you when you need a squeeze break. Don’t eat too much before this class and be sure to adequately cover abdomen. Rolls are easier to learn on rope but can definitely be applied to fabric. It is helpful to be slightly masochistic. (Intermediate Rope/Fabric)
Beginning Spanish Web w/PJ Perry: Learn the basics of setting and flying in the hand loop and foot loop. A fun intermediate aerialist workshop to explore this super traditional circus art. Must be able to invert easily. (All levels)
Dynamic Sling w/Jenn Bruyer Level: Intermediate + / Advanced Sling Go big or go home! ;) All the big moves, drops and totally wild transitions you can handle all on one place! We will begin this workshop with a skills progression of dynamic movements, beats, flairs and catch locks. Students can expect to work on: beats, flairs, dynamic pathways, simple drops, hands free dives, direction changing drops, fancy transitions, rolls and releases.
Hammock Life!Intro to Double Point Hammock w/Jenn Bruyer At the intersection of cloudswing and sling we find double point hammock. Many things translate in a meaningful way from both sling and cloudswing, but the real treasure is the spaces in between those intersections. In this workshop we will explore some of the things that are truly unique about this apparatus as well as some classic shared movements that you already enjoy... in a whole new way!
Spinning 101 w/Rachel Strickland How to turn out a beautiful spin. Does your spin die, do you oscillate, would you like it to be tighter, faster, longer? Perfect for learning flares and being able to use a spin to make any spinning apparatus work for you.
Low Flying Lyra:Intermediate/Advanced spin-based choreography w/Rachel Strickland Get warmed up and take some ginger, we are going to be tiny hurricanes! For experienced lyra practitioners who love a good spin, some choreography you can chop up for your own purposes. Inventive new entries for the worshippers of spiral momentum.
Prerequisites: buttery inversions, experience or desire to study spin based choreography, strong single knee hangs, one arms hangs, and basic splits/backbend. This workshop is not rewarding without a basic level of flexibility (flat R and L splits or pretty damn close). #nopuking
-Centrifugal and Centripetal Force: Understanding and Enjoying your Spin w/Chloe Axelrod (2 workshops, beginning & advanced) Understand the physics behind your lyra spins for improved control and technique, and get tips for keeping your spins from stalling. Students should have some experience with spinning. Beginners- must be able to invert unassisted from the floor, Advanced- should be able to invert from a hang.
Splits from Out of this World: Alien Split Variations w/Chloe Axelrod Learn a variety of under-the-bar splits with a focus on hip rotation and positioning. Students must be able to hold an inverted split under the bar for 20 seconds without resting the thigh against the bar.
-Single hip hang dynamic beats w/Chloe Axelrod Learn what they are and how to execute them. We will take these from left to right side, and learn how they are possible with a spin! Must be comfortable with single hip hangs, and holding a bent arm position, recommended 5 bent arm straddle back ability.
-Sequence using single hip hang beats w/Chloe Axelrod Including spin and mount into hoop, beat side to side and trick options out of single hip hang. You can leave with a little dynamic combination! Advanced students only please.
Coming Full Circle: Orbiting on Lyra w/Chloe Axelrod Lyra can be so much more than decorative spins! Learn how to fill your entire performance space with dynamic movement. Focus will be on creating large, circular, and even movement with good technique in spins and orbits. Strong hands and stomachs required, as there will be a lot of hanging and spinning in this workshop!
In Full Swing: Swinging on Lyra w/Chloe Axelrod Take advantage of your lyra’s “range of motion” by filling your performance space with swings both side-to-side and front-to-back! Focus will be on beginning and maintaining swings with technique and grace. Students should bring cloth tape to protect the hands, or gymnastic/flying trapeze grips, if available.
Pull Ups on Hoop: Not Just for Conditioning! w/Chloe Axelrod Make that pull-up pretty! There are so many benefits for an aesthetic pull up -- improved mounts, spinning technique, or even just to impress your audience! Expect to leave this workshop with a better handle on pull up technique and body positioning options.
Through the Ringer: Advanced Top Bar Skills w/Chloe Axelrod A workshop based on one of Chloe’s signature tricks! Learn transitions into and out of this fun and challenging skill. **Advanced Students Only
Bridging The Gap: On and Off The Dance Trapeze w/Aimée Hancock: In this workshop, we will familiarize ourselves with all the variables in moving from the floor to the air. We will spend our time learning, exploring and creating different ways of getting onto and off of the bar with grace and control and most importantly, with our own style. This workshop is for intermediate and advanced aerialists.
Creative Partnering In The Air! Games for Duo Trapeze w/Aimée Hancock: At any level, intuitive and internally guided movement is important. Our minds step into the role as supporter while our bodies take the lead and pioneer new pathways. We will use a variety of different prompts and ideas to create new shapes and movements as a duo in the air.
Flight! Dynamic Static Trapeze w/Aimée Hancock: We will work with different types of beats and tempos, finding new and exciting ways to work in air time from bar to bar, ropes to bar and bar to ropes. Twisting, popping and soaring will be our focus! The ability to pullover from a beat is required.
Beginning Hand Balancing w/Aimée Hancock
Floor Rolling with Style aka Ground Movement for Vertical Aerialists- w/Shannon McKenna beginner-advanced That moment when you come to the floor from your fabric and think, “ok… now what?” Let’s answer that question! In this workshop, we with explore maintaining contact with the floor and the fabric to explore wraps, movements, and exciting creative ways to enhance your next routine. This is a safe and fun workshop for all levels. Prerequisites: At least 3 months of consistent fabric practice.
The Fundamentals of Aerial Alignment: A Practical Workshop for Hanging Upside Down w/Shannon McKenna 1.5-2 hours, time permitting 8 person max Adv. Beginner- Advanced Based on The Artist Athlete’s manual, “The Fundamentals of Aerial Alignment” this workshop takes an approach that is equal parts anatomy lesson, injury prevention, pilates, and circus conditioning to explore how to access the large muscles in the back, referred to as “the Shelf” while hanging upside down to move efficiently in the air. The positions will be done on straps and silks but can be transferred to any apparatus. By the end of the workshop, expect to have your posture improved and a strange urge to visit your local IKEA. Prerequisite: The ability to get upside down in the air.
Feed the Beast: Targeted Nutrition for Aerialists w/Rachel Strickland InBody Scans and targeted nutrition for performance and power Get a detailed scan of your body composition and an evaluation of your results! Rachel is hauling her BIA scanner over to SFCF to shed some light on what's really going on in that meat suit you're wearing. Results include lean body mass of each individual limb (feel uneven? Let's get some real data on that!), accurate body fat percentage, BMR, and more!
The Audacity Project: Do the Damn Thing w/Rachel Strickland A survey sampler of this online creative mentorship course Newbies and Career aerialists alike have seen excellent results with this 8-week program. This is a taster workshop in some of the practices we address in this professional development course for aerialists and freelance artists. Come with a vision for where you want to go as a professional, leave with a list of actionable items to get there. For those who want to create their own work.
The Buttermelt Workshop Creative Practices for New Work w/Rachel Strickland If you have trouble adding expression to your work, or you just want to find a new way to move in the air and break out of your usual go-to movements, this workshop is designed for you. Fine-tune your ability to master and manipulate your own, unique movement quality and take your aerial work from a series of tricks to something that can’t be duplicated. We will work alone and in pairs in a fun, comfortable environment to become familiar with our own natural compulsions for movement and how to pull it out of thin air. This workshop takes place mostly on the ground with minimal time spent in the air.
Prerequisites: Willingness to learn; some aerial training (6 months minimum).
Show Me the $$$!! How to Price your Work. w/Rachel Strickland This is a table discussion about that most elusive and integral of subjects...pricing your work. We will cover negotiations, fair wages, how to address sticky situations, and packages you can use for pricing out your own talents. For hustlers.
[CUSTOM] CHOREOGRAPHY AKA ‘OBSCUREOGRAPHY’ for FABRIC (3 day series) w/Jenn Bruyer Intermediate This is a one time opportunity to learn a unique and complete piece of Choreography made especially for this event. Designed by my brain, for your bodies. Join me to discover my particular brand of aerial panache! This series will expose you to my personal perspective on creating a dance like effect in the air via intentional structure and a careful skill curation that lends itself to various successful movement qualities. We will explore fresh ideas in ascension, shape making and dynamics.
How Did I Get Here and Where Am I Going? w/Jessica Harris Fabric theory is an essential part of any aerial practice. In this series, we will explore the building blocks of fabric and learn the how and the why behind your wraps. What is holding me in the air? How do I know if my wrap is secure and safe? How do I go about creating my own sequences? Where do I start? Is there a good way to classify all of this stuff?? Answer these questions and more! This series will explore the different types of knee hooks, locks, keys and learn how to create your basic wraps in new, different ways. An emphasis will also be placed on ways to go about creating your own sequences. Learn how to exercise your fabric brain to become a more conscious and innovative aerialist. Must have at least 6 months of prior aerial experience, be familiar with hip keys, thigh locks and be able to invert from the ground.
Floorials! w/Jessica Harris Come get weird with us in this silks spin off series! We will learn a different ridiculous rolling around on the ground routine each day. No set prerequisites but a knowledge of fabric is helpful and an open mind is a must. This is not your typical fabric class.
PJ Perryalism - (3) 90-minute classes w/PJ Perry Work through 2 sequences of choreography created by PJ utilizing the dynamic, rolls, strength, and half-release movement. Drills to achieve specific skills in the choreography will accompany some super quirky ideas with fun transitions that you can make your own in part or in full! Specific to Rope but can be adapted to Fabric. Students must have a straight arm straddle up and be comfortable with exploring moments of one-armedness. (Intermediate Rope)
Quintessentially Corde Lisse - (3) 90-minute classes w/PJ Perry What makes Rope so different from the Silks? Due to the simplicity of a single thin cord, one is much freer to explore moment without entanglement but with a catch, that freedom allows little rest (at least in comfort). In this series, we work on the foundations of momentum through beats and transitions, finding rest and grip through the hips and legs, and developing the strength and technique to achieve rope repetoire that resembles very little on the silks. This is a great class for the silks artist looking to branch out as well as rope students wanting to refine and strengthen their technique. Expect to work with hip key, squeeze grip (thighs), backstep (hiphop), meathook development, straddle beats, scissor beats, and pop-throughs. Students should have or be working toward a straight arm straddle up. (Intermediate Vertical Aerial)
Burly Rope - (3) 90-minute classes w/PJ Perry Break through the strength and technique barrier to add higher skill level to your rope work. We will look at progressions to begin training rolling up the rope, flag on rope, elephant press, climbing with beats, and moving in and out of meathook. This class will repeat and progress these drills each meeting so as to give the student an opportunity to find a training regime to take home that suits their needs and ability. Students should be to climb rope with straight arm straddle climb. (Intermediate Rope)
Float like a butterfly, and Climb like a monkey (3) 90 -minute classes w/PJ Perry
Learn 2-3 minutes of continuous choreography on the rope suitable for the advanced beginner and intermediate aerialist. The only prerequisite is that you can stay in the air that long! This choreo will emphasize interesting transitions, non- traditional shapes, flexibility moments and options, and finding resting spots on the rope without locking off. Enjoy how the simplicity of rope opens a door to the complexity of your own movement. Pj will provide the outline of movement and give you plenty of opportunity to fill in the details. A great class for getting your choreography brain engaged and perhaps inspire you to create your first rope act.
[CUSTOM] CHOREOGRAPHY AKA ‘OBSCUREOGRAPHY’ for HAMMOCK (3 day series) w/Jenn Bruyer Intermediate This is a one time opportunity to learn a unique and complete piece of Choreography made especially for this event. Designed by my brain, for your bodies. Join me to discover my particular brand of aerial panache! This series will expose you to my personal perspective on creating a dance like effect in the air via intentional structure and a careful skill curation that lends itself to various successful movement qualities. We will explore fresh ideas in mounting, dance and floor interaction, shape making, wraps, dynamics, and sequence progression.
DANCE HAMMOCK (3 day series) w/Jenn Bruyer Level: Open/all levels, but some aerial experience is recommended (good for beginners as well as more experienced movers) Hammock has been a long time favorite of mine because I feel like I can simply DANCE! Without the entanglement of a fabric tail or the defined edge of a steel bar my body feels as though it can move as freely as if there were nothing there at all! In this workshop we will explore specific skills, pathways and transitions that I think are particularly dance like in nature. We will also examine the space between the fabric loop and floor, how these two can meet and interconnect to create spins, circles, transitions, mounts and supported floor choreography to enhance your hammock vocabulary or create an entirely new performative experience. No background in dance or hammock is required.
Swing, Sway and Play: Exploring Double Point Hammock w/Jenn Bruyer At the intersection of cloudswing and sling we find double point hammock. Many things translate in a meaningful way from both sling and cloudswing, but the real treasure is the spaces in between those intersections. In this workshop we will explore some of the things that are truly unique about this apparatus as well as some classic shared movements that you already enjoy... in a whole new way!
San Francisco Style Hoop w/Chloe Marvel Light Axelrod Offering a well rounded idea of how to train like me! Warm-ups, to strength training, to tricks, and spins. We will put it all together by the end of the week into one of my classic combos. The next step you to take it home and make into your own adding personality, style and flare!
-Low Hanging Hoop (beginning choreography -2day) w/Chloe Axelrod Take your hoop skills beyond individual tricks! Students will learn a beginner-level sequence on a low-hanging hoop that they can continue to develop and personalize after the workshop is over! Hoops for this workshop will be hung so that the top bar can be reached from standing -- no inverts required!
-Low Hanging Hoop (advanced choreography -2day) w/Chloe Axelrod Ready to take your low-hanging hoop choreography to the next level? Learn an advanced lyra flow that works well with fast spins. This sequence will require comfort working with splits and backbends and requires enough strength to do 5 bent-arm straddle inverts.
Beat It! (2 days) w/Aimée Hancock: Beats are everywhere! and we're gonna find 'em and make interesting use of them!!! loft is knight in shining armor, float is the next dimension! prerequisites are beat to pullover and ankle beats.
The Daily Streeeeetch w/Shannon McKenna An all levels roll out and warm up sesh to start your festival days off right. Special attention will be paid to “trouble spots” for aerialists such as tight shoulders and hip flexors. Prerequisite: Nada
Advanced Flexibility w/Shannon McKenna Prerequisite: Must be able to hold a bridge for 60seconds
Other Aerial Straps Jam (90 minutes) w/Shannon McKenna For those curious about the tools and technique necessary to begin or deepen their training for straps, this series will look at progression drills, spotting technique, and injury prevention work. Come prepared with requests and ready to learn how to build the musculature for tricks like roll-ups and transitions. We will focus will be on form and function, rather than conditioning, so you can stay fresh for other classes. Time will be allowed each day for improvisational exploration. Prerequisite: 3 consecutive straight arm inversions
4 Day/60 Second Act Series (90 minutes) w/Shannon McKenna This madcap series is about generating content and getting your creative juices flowing. Some of it will be genius, some of it will be nonsense, but every day will be a show. We will jumble together clowning, physical theater exercises, aerial acrobatics, and joy (never forget joy) to produce a daily 60 second ensemble-based circus spectacle for an adoring audience of our own imagination. This workshop is great for anyone looking to explore character, story, or emotion in their work. Prerequiste: One year of aerial work, a desire to perform, and a judgement free mind.
Buttermelt Intensive (2 day series) w/Rachel Strickland Level: All Levels/All Apparatus Tired of churning out acts that are "good enough" but don't mean anything to you? Go deep, go long, bring a notebook. Let's find out what you really want to make and give you some tools for making work that is real enough to stay fascinating to you for long after the first performance. Come with a concept, leave with a map and the fire of 1,000 suns.
REJUVINATION! w/Aimée Hancock: Find the yummy moments that make your work feel bigger than yourself, push your boundaries to find the sweet beautiful edge where great performers jive! We will play with a variety of improvisations and performance exercises that will make you feel alive! And fall in love with your classmates! And YOURSELF! These 'exercises' (if we can even call them that) push you and challenge you to come out and shine more real and beautiful than ever!