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 2017 Schedule Is Coming Soon!
SFCF 2016 Class Offerings
RollUps and Handstands w/Jordann Baker This workshop will cover a few specific and extrachallenging maneuvers: Angel RollUps (1 arm/1 leg), Hip Key Rollups and addon choreography, and 1 and 2 arm Handstands in the Silks. Come learn these moves for the first time, or troubleshoot your trouble spots! Prerequisite: Int/Adv skill level on Silks or Rope.
On Belay, Belay On! w/Jordann Baker Everyone loves a good belay sequence! How many ways can you get into it and what can you do in your belay loop? Let’s try some fun variations! Prerequisite: Int/Adv skill level on Silks or Rope.
Fancy Climbs w/Jordann Baker There are so very many ways to get to the top! This workshop will cover as many varieties as we can in the time we have fancy knee climbs, in between climbs, open fabric climbs, and combination climbs included! Prerequisite: Int/Adv skill level on Silks or Rope
*Behave, Beehive - Aerial silks advanced drops with focus on beehives and progressive slack drops (2 days) w/Tanya Burka Stumped on where to go with your advanced aerial silks skills? Let’s work on the beehive and some progressive size slack drops! These are NOT open drops, but they are critical pieces of knowledge in building bigger drops, stronger windmills, and (eventually) doing open helicopters. Drills to help with positioning down low will also be included as conditioning and proprioception builders.
Prerequisites: Advanced level in aerial silks – at least 2 years of sustained practice. You MUST have a solid double star drop with *no* flagging into the tail, clean inversions, muscular endurance, and be working on windmills/wheeldowns. If you register for this class and I can’t see the stability, spatial awareness and exercise of good judgment that I need, please be aware that I will do my best to offer you alternate drills, but that you may not participate in all the exercises for safety reasons.
*Only Have Eyes for You – Aerial silks sequencing/choreography (2 days) w/Tanya Burka Get your drama on! Sometimes there’s no better way to have fun AND start getting a feel for composing choreography than by learning someone else’s. Join Tanya for a two-day workshop using intermediate-level skills to learn short choreography sequences based off Martina Topley-Bird’s grooving cover of “Only Have Eyes for You.” Even though the skills are staying at an intermediate level, prepare to be challenged: the pacing of transitions and rhythm is geared towards performance level. Prerequisites: Intermediate level on aerial silks – at least 2-3 semesters of experience. Clean inversions and endurance to work in the air for up to 3 minutes along with being able to consistently execute skills like double foot locks, single star drop, and hip key with good form.
Windmills: Technique and Creativity (2day Series) w/Jordann Baker Windmills are my favorite aerial move! Also called wheeldowns or helicopters in other parts of the country, windmills are fun to do and can take time to master. In this workshop, we will look at windmill technique, including body positions and handwork, and try out a large variety of ways to enter and exit the wrap, including front and back dives, momentum moves and flexibility pathways. Prerequisite: Int/Adv skill level on Silks or Rope.
Technique Refinement for Fundamentals (2day Series) w/Jordann Baker A solid foundation of technique in the air can open doors to advanced choreography. This workshop will aim to improve technique and identify common pitfalls for many fundamental moves, including gaining maximum height on climbs, executing pristine hip keys, flowing into inversions, fixing futzy footlocks, balancing back balances and smoothing rotational drops. I really enjoy the science of aerial technique and hope to share some of my wisdom with you! Prerequisite: Advanced Beginner/Int skill level on Silks or Rope. Students must be able to invert in the air on their own (ok if it is still difficult).
Stratospheric Silks! (2day Series) w/Jordann Baker I love Silks and you do too! The choreographic possibilities of Silks are endless! In this class series, I’ll be sharing some of my very favorite creative choreographies and unusual transitions. We’ll bend your brain and your body and try many things that hopefully you have not tried before, all while checking in with good technique and movement fundamentals. Material will include drops, momentum moves, flexibility sequences and fluid transitions. Prerequisite: Int/Adv skill level on Silks or Rope.
Ambiance Flow for Lyra Performance w/Anya Shevelyuk: This Lyra workshop is for those wanting to learn more about performing ambient gigs versus an act. After warming up and properly stretching out we will discuss and practice slowing down our sequences to lengthen our lines in the hoop. We will then learn how to take advantage of resting poses without looking winded or boring. Last and most importantly is listening to the music for sequential transitions versus poses to create a flawless performance. - Slow down & lengthen your lines - Poses for Rest - Listening to Music for Transitions
*One Is the Loneliest Number – Duo Aerial Hoopw/Tanya Burka Bring a friend or make one! This one-off workshop will help you develop the basics in how to work with a partner on aerial hoop. Learn about concepts like giving weight, sharing weight, calling/communicating in the air, and some fun yet challenging symmetrical shapes. Prerequisites: Intermediate level on lyra – at least 2-3 semesters of experience. Two pull-ups from dead hang, solid inversions, comfortable in skills like single knee hang and front support, and a willingness to work in sustained spin. You must also be willing to work in close contact with a partner, of course!
*Swing Kids – Swinging on Aerial Hoopw/Tanya Burka Swinging technique is one of the most fun parts of aerial hoop and, when done right, feels effortless. Learn the correct way to tap, vault, and tempo in swing, and instead of feeling like a sack of potatoes up there you’ll start to feel like you’re flying! We’ll dive deep into proper swinging technique to build momentum efficiently as well as adding in half turns, full turns, pullovers, and variations at the front and back for more advanced students. Prerequisites: Beginner-to-intermediate level on aerial hoop. You should have at least one semester of experience on hoop, solid inversions and pullover from bent arms. This workshop is still great for intermediate and advanced students who don’t have strong technique in swinging, however!
*Like a Record Baby - Lyra spin technique and sequencing (2 days) w/Tanya Burka When companies, clients and directors hire you to do aerial hoop, they expect you to do spin work. Boom. That’s right, I said it. Now, here’s the real question: can you do it? This two-day workshop will introduce you to fundamental concepts in spin direction, efficiency and centering to help you learn how to link skills together in a faster spin. These three elements are the keys to avoiding nausea and having the right balance of flow versus flash in a true spinning sequence. We’ll also cover some great methods for generating more spin off the floor, tricks to help with dizziness/discomfort, and trouble spots to watch out for as you get more comfortable increasing the rotational speed. Prerequisites: Intermediate to advanced level – at least 2-3 semesters of experience. Be willing to work on longer sequences in spin, and have two pullups from dead hang and solid inversions. This workshop is open to people who don’t specialize in aerial hoop, as the techniques are also applicable to dance trapeze, sling etc. But have solid intermediate/advanced level in your discipline and know transferable skills like mermaid, gazelle, amazon etc.
*Forgiven – Lyra choreography (2 days)w/Tanya Burka Get your drama on! Sometimes there’s no better way to have fun AND start getting a feel for composing choreography than by learning someone else’s. Join Tanya for a two-day workshop using intermediate-level skills to learn a short choreography to Kwab’s deep-feels song “Forgiven.” Even though the skills are staying at an intermediate level, prepare to be challenged: the pacing of transitions and rhythm is geared towards performance level. Prerequisites: Intermediate level on aerial hoop – at least 2-3 semesters of experience. Two pullups from dead hang, solid inversions, endurance to work in the air for up to 3 minutes in a row, and willingness to work in sustained spin along with skills like single knee hang, back balance, front support, and candlestick.
Hangs, Spins & Lyra Tricks w/Anya Shevelyuk -This workshop is for those who already have aerial experience and would like to add some new tricks to their vocabulary. Our sessions will start off with warm ups and conditioning drills, which advance toward more intricate sequences below, inside and above the bars of the hoop. We will break down the complexity of meathooks, flags and work on some basic leg flare tricks. But you can’t have tricks with out transitions, so we will focus on combining them to form solid sequences. - Bottom Bar, Inner hoop, Top Bar Spins - Meathooks, Flags & Leg Flares - Flowy Sequences and Transitions Pre-req: Must have intermediate or advanced aerial experience. What to wear: Leggings that cover the backs of your knees. Top that covers your back and belly.
Aerial Hoop Essentialsw/Rachel Strickland Beginner to Intermediate-- for those with an interest in hoop. For lyra novices with an established aerial practice of at least one year, or proven physical proficiency in the case of gymnasts/dancers. NOT FOR FIRST TIMERS. This workshop is designed to give aerialists a comprehensive, workable base vocabulary on which to build their practice on aerial hoop. This series is very dense, so a notebook is highly recommended. Avoid the pitfalls of bad technique from the beginning, and save yourself a year of figuring things out on your own. This class is appropriate for capable aerialists who have an interest in aerial hoop, as well as aerialists already practicing on this apparatus. Prerequisites: Must be able to invert (straddle up or tuck to pike) without kicking, confidently hang from knees, and do one pull up from dead hang in good form.
A Perfect Circle: Advanced hoop choreographyw/Rachel Strickland This intermediate/advanced workshop is all about the magic ingredient of SPIN on aerial hoop, but it can also easily be translated to any spin-based apparatus such as dance trapeze or straps. We will learn some challenging sequences you can chop up and use in your own choreography, and drill some of Rachel’s own techniques for getting a very fast spin with minimal contact with the ground, and we will practice flares as well! Prerequisites: single knee hangs, minimum of three pull ups from a dead hang, and an established practice on aerial hoop. Participants are encouraged to spend some time getting comfortable with a spin leading up to the workshop.
Hello Hammock! w/Jordann Baker This workshop is an introduction to Hammock for aerialists with experience on other apparatuses, but minimal to no experience on Hammock. Let’s open up your world! This class will cover a variety of hammock choreography fundamentals that will give you a wonderful jumping off point for your own exploration. Prerequisite: Beg/Int skill level on any aerial apparatus. Students must be able to do a pullover into the hammock basket at face height.
Twist & Shout (2day Series) w/Jordann Baker This class will focus on a multitude of choreographies that twist or spiral through the hammock. Included are a variety of rollups, dive and drop preparations, and interesting addons. Prerequisite: Int/Adv skill level on Hammock or Silks.
In the Loop (2day Series)w/Jordann Baker Hammock is an extremely creative and dynamic apparatus! In this series, students will explore a wide variety of sequences that include elements of drops, pops, twists and rolls, all while tapping into realms of both strength and flexibility. Not for the faint of heart, this class is sure to push the boundaries of your body and brain. Prerequisite: Int/Adv skill level on Hammock or Silks. Some previous hammock experience would be helpful.
Bridging The Gap: On and Off The Dance Trapezew/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 Trapezew/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.
Intermediate Duo Trapeze w/Aimée Hancock I approach duo trapeze from two angles: structurally solid positions that allow for dynamic and multidimensional movements and from assessing each person’s physical potential to find the most unique connective work, shapes and flows. Duo trapeze is a rich endeavor, the relationship between the individuals and all that each one has to offer and how to become greater than the sum of those parts is my passion. Please join me in technical training and explorative play! Prior training together as a partnership is not required, however basic understanding of solo trapeze work is a requirement. Participants should be able to pullover with and without a beat easily and be comfortable beating in repetition from hands and knees. Strong familiarity with one’s hollow body is advised!
Intermediate Dance Trapezew/Aimée Hancock We’re going to work fixed, spinning, swinging and flying on the dance trapeze. This class aims to teach a large variety of movements in the ropes, around the bar and in the space between air and ground that can be connected to form your own sequences. Pre-requisites: All participants must be able to invert comfortably in the ropes, hold a back balance, execute ankle hangs and pullovers with good form. Long sleeves and full coverage is recommended.
Finding Flow in Dynamic Movement w/Allie Cooper This workshop is a great introduction to dynamic movement on rope that harnesses the momentum in the rebound. Understanding the mechanics and pathways of drops by introducing step by step progressions will allow for a safe expression of the movement as well as an opportunity to find moments of creative expression. There will be an emphasis on conditioning for strength and endurance and a review of momentum pathways as we explore flow in our technique. Students who are ready may be introduced to half-release techniques. - Pre-requisites: Students must be able to invert in the air (repeatedly!), 2 long arm inversions, strong meathooks and a foundation in momentum
Innovative S-wraps, and variations of roll-downs w/Allie Cooper This workshop will look at the mechanics of the s-wrap and explore its different variations. By reviewing basic entries and introducing a few sneaky transitions, the aim is that the theory behind his common wrap will emerge and can be applied to new applications. - Pre-requisites: Students must be familiar with the s-wraps and have a strong windmill.
Slack-drag Loops w/Allie Cooper Slack-drags are handy entries that can serve as the foundation for many common tricks. This workshop will introduce the different slack-drags and offer tips to execute them with and without momentum. This is a fun and challenging workshop that will make your brain work! - Pre-requisite: Students should have some foundation with beats and a solid familiarity with catchers, swrap, inside seatbelt, and hiplock. Students must be able to invert in the air (repeatedly!)
Aerial Geometriesw/Allie Cooper In this workshop, we will focus on making shapes on rope. Students will be encouraged to creatively explore the use of negative space and broken lines to co-create new shapes in the air. Beginner and Intermediate students are encouraged to work on new shapes low to the ground and static until they become comfortable with the movement and wrap mechanics, while Advanced students may take shapes higher and explore momentum-based entries and exits. While I will be demo-ing and working on rope, students who want to work on silks are welcome to do so. - Pre-requisites: Students must be able to climb, hipkey, and invert in the air (repeatedly!)
Introduction to Momentum and Efficient pathways (Beginners+/Int/Adv Rope/Silks)w/Allie Cooper This series-workshop is a great introduction to momentum that will break down the mechanics of common pathways. It is ideal for intermediate/advanced students looking to explore flow in their aerial technique. Beginners will build a strong foundation by following a safe progression while students looking for refinement in their technique will be challenged with more intricate pathways and drills. There will be an emphasis on conditioning for strength and endurance as we search for the most efficient pathway. While I find it easier to introduce these pathways on rope, students who want to work on silks are welcome to do so. - Pre-requisite: Students must be able to climb, hipkey, and invert in the air (repeatedly!)
Backwards and Forward (Int/Adv) w/Allie Cooper This series-workshop offers variations on familiar moves and breaks down the relationships and transitions between them. Fundamental momentum pathways will be applied as new entries and exits are introduced. Students will be challenged to test their understanding of aerial theory as we explore phrases in retrograde. - Pre-requisite: Students must be able to invert in the air (repeatedly!)
Dancing with Strapsw/Anya Shevelyuk - Unlike regular flat Aerial Straps this apparatus is made up of 2 round cotton loops that meet at a single point above the aerialist. Although typically performed by the most daring of cirque performers, straps can also be used for conditioning drills. In this series of workshops we will begin with a warm up and strength building exercises. We will also break down a variety of ways to spin while on the ground and in the air, as well as build up sequences and some fun twisty tricks. - Warm ups & Drills - Spins & Sequences - Twisty transitions Pre-req: Must have intermediate or advanced aerial experience. What to wear: Leggings that cover the backs of your knees. Top that covers your back and belly.
Splits, Backbends, Balances! Oh My! w/Anya Shevelyuk This workshop is for those wanting to learn some extra stretches to improve flexibility, strength and balance. Techniques combined from ballet, gymnastics, yoga, as well as Mongolian and Russian traditions are used to guide students towards a deeper and greater range of mobility. This session will include conditioning drills and deep stretches for the legs, hips, back and shoulders, as well as learning tricks like standing poses and inversions. - Proper Warm ups & Stretches - Ground & Standing Splits - Bows & Bridges
Flowing Partner Acrobaticsw/Aimée Hancock : This is a great class for those who like partnering on the floor with a creative twist. We will start the class with some solo acrobatic moves, then on to standard partnering acrobatics. We will then train different ways of moving fluidly through space together using each other’s weight as an aid, rather than an added challenge. All participants should be comfortable rolling and moving through handstands and headstands with good form.
Beginning Hand Balancingw/Aimée Hancock Connection to the floor, allowing the ground to support our weight, working with gravity. These are what make up the foundation of my approach to hand balancing. The goal of this workshop is to answer questions, examine techniques and alignment- and the different methods to find your way there. Through playful and informative exercises- based on organic movement and traditional Chinese hand balancing technique- I hope to broaden your understanding and experience of hand balancing and give you tools to take home and enable you to continue this long journey in a healthy and enjoyable way.
Pretzel Training 101 w/Anya Shevelyuk Have you ever wanted to increase your flexibility but don’t know where to start? In this series of flexibility workshops we will go over a variety of ways to deepen our stretches and poses. Using a unique mixture of practices we will go over basic stretches and strengthening exercises to achieve the bridge position from the floor. We will also learn to lengthen our muscles and work towards flattening out our front and middle splits. Lastly, but most importantly we will continuously go over proper techniques and safety guidelines to prevent injuries while stretching toward our goals. - Basics for Bridges - Lengthening Splits - Injury Prevention Pre-req: Intermediate Level. Must be comfortable stretching splits and backbends. Items to bring with you: Yoga Mat & Blocks
Pretzel Training 201w/Anya Shevelyuk - So you already have your splits and bridges, now what? This series of workshops is for those wanting to improve already existing flexibility, strength and balance by taking it to the next level. These dynamic sessions will include conditioning drills and deep stretches for the hips and legs for standing tricks. We will also focus on special techniques for deepening (with control) our backbends in preparation for cheststands and other inversion balances. - Backbends & Cheststands - Inversions & Balances - Technique & Transitions Pre-req: Int/Adv Levels. Must have splits, get into a bridge from standing & be familiar with balancing upside down. Items to bring with you: Yoga Mat, Blocks & Cotton Strap
*Work (Explicit) – Mixed-Apparatus Conditioning Classw/Tanya Burka Like Rihanna, we’re going to werk werk werk werk werk on learning the fundamental muscle engagement you should be developing if you want to see yourself progress in the air, rather than plateau. We’ll go over the fundamental killer exercises on different pieces of aerial equipment as well as on the floor with an emphasis on *quality* versus quantity and a thorough explanation of how, why and where the critical motions are to develop efficiency and ease in the air! The course is listed as “explicit” because you may curse me by the end, but the point isn’t to be unable to move the next day! Instead, I want you leaving knowing where your weak points are and how to start blasting them into oblivion with conscientious conditioning and proper body placement.
Prerequisites: Open to all aerial practitioners, we’ll have variations for beginner through advanced
Movement Qualityw/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 with confidence when you need it. 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).
Stage Makeup Workshopw/Rachel Strickland: In this hands-on, 2 hour workshop we cover contouring for the stage, as well as two different looks for dramatic eye makeup that can be modified to fit your own tastes. We will also cover some tricks of the trade for applying false eyelashes, preventing camel toe, and some other frequent costuming mishaps. Includes a goody bag to take home with you!
* Roadblocks – Tackling Physical, Mental or Emotional Barriers in your Circus Practicew/Tanya Burka Let’s be honest, we all get there: those moments when we feel like we can’t move forward anymore, whether the reason is consistent weakness in executing certain movements, fear of heights or in trusting a partner, or just not knowing where to take your practice next because you feel like you don’t know what the next step is. This workshop is geared towards opening up the conversation of “What’s holding you back, and how do you move past it?” by offering concrete physical exercises, mental conditioning or tips that can reduce anxiety, and honest advice for both general and specific questions. Tanya has 10+ years of experience in the professional world to draw on as both a performer and a coach, and survived 3 years at what is generally reputed to be the world’s most challenging circus school, L’ecole nationale de cirque in Montreal. She is drama-free and wants to help you be, too. No prerequisites, open to all. Bring a notebook!
* Acting Out – Act Creation from a Practical Approachw/Tanya Burka OMG, where do you start???? You have a ton of circus skills, but have no idea how to start putting them together for your student recital, competition entry, or first foray into professional work. Tanya will go over time-tested ways to create a story arc, how to structure an act around existing sequences or skills in your vocabulary, tips working with or without character, and ways to inspire movement quality within technical sequences. We’ll also discuss music choices: lyrics, length, and structure. We’ll also cover (for people aiming at the professional market) who is buying your act so that you're tailoring your creation process to the audience you want to be in front of!
Prerequisites: Applicable to intermediate-level or higher practitioners in circus of any genre, coaches, choreographers and performers. Bring a notebook!
Mixed Aerial Act Refinementw/Aimée Hancock Have you been training your body and honing your technique and are ready to build a new piece? Have you already created a piece that needs refining or invigorating? In this workshop you will create mini pieces to be used as templates or work on your short piece to be made into a full length act by using visual, literary and musical prompts, kinesthetic research and improvisation. A thorough warm up that focuses on the body as a tool for expression, collaborative games that will feed your creativity and fuel your inspiration, and building your 'act creation tool kit' to support your vision will all be part of our time together. We will work in groups for some of the time, and individually on your apparatus, with your material, the other part of the time. Participants should be very comfortable on their apparatus.
Bridging the Gap (2hr- 2 Day Series)w/Rachel Strickland Ready to make the transition from student to performer? Or maybe you are already working but feel like you're walking around in the dark, wondering how everyone else is getting so many gigs? This workshop is for emerging performers. It is designed to arm you with the best practices for transitioning to a career as a professional aerialist, and how to succeed once you get there. Part I: How did I get here and what the #$%# do I do now? Part I of this workshop covers the burning questions that come up in the natural progression from student to performer to professional, including but not limited to contracting, invoicing, taxes, how to get gigs, how to keep gigs, promotional kits, corporate work, auditions, and how to move with integrity through this industry. I will break down the components you need to have solid, and underscore all the time wastes you really don’t need to be worried about. You will leave this workshop with a list of actionable items to get you from confused and lost to prepared and ready to work; either with your first gig, or your 100th. Part II: Show me the $$! Everybody wants to see yours and nobody wants to show you theirs. I’m talking about rates. We won’t be dancing around the truth here, we are going to discuss numbers. How to price your work as a freelance circus artist, when to work for free (it’s probably not what you think), what to do when you’re being underbid, and how to negotiate a fair rate. Come dazed and confused, leave with real information you can use right away.