A Guide to Circus Arts

A Guide to Circus Arts

Whether you are a seasoned circus arts pro or are taking your first class, we offer a variety of circus arts classes here at Expression City. The circus arts have so much to offer any student: a creative outlet, increased strength and flexibility, performance opportunities, and a community in which to thrive. If you are curious about enrolling in our circus classes but are unsure whether or not it is a good fit for you, we have put together this handy guide to help you identify what class is right for your needs.

Aerial Arts

At Expression City, we offer four types of aerial arts: aerial silks, lyra, trapeze, and sling. Each of the aerial arts has its own unique beauty and required skills, which we will review for your knowledge below.

Aerial Silks

Aerial silks, also known as tissue or fabric, are a performance type that involves doing acrobatics in mid-air while hanging from a piece of fabric. Aerial silks are extremely strong, so they can support anyone; however, it does require strength and flexibility. At Expression City, we start by improving your flexibility and joint stability to give you the foundation you need to master aerial silks.


Lyra, or aerial hoop, is an circular apparatus that is suspended in air for aerial acrobatics. Anyone can take advantage of learning this beautiful circus art, but it does require a lot of core strength, so come prepared for conditioning!


The trapeze is probably the aerial art that you most associate with the circus. During our trapeze classes, you will learn how to hang upside down at your own pace. Trapeze requires balance, timing, core strength, and breath control. If you’re curious about the trapeze, try one of our introduction classes today!


Aerial slings are another type of aerial art. Similar to aerial silks, the slings (also known as hammocks and loops) hang from the ceiling and allow you to perform acrobatics. You can do this while holding still, or the sling can be spinning or swinging.


If you would like to try a circus art that doesn’t involve being suspended in mid-air, try hooping! Hooping is a fitness class that combines hula hooping and dancing. This class is perfect for anyone of any fitness level, and is super fun on top of it!


If you have always wanted to juggle like a professional clown, this is the perfect circus class for you! During our juggling classes, you will improve your hand-eye coordination, become more confident in your abilities, and work as a team with other classmates to master the art of juggling.

Contact Juggling

Contact juggling is a lot like traditional juggling, except that you are using one crystal ball to roll it across your body in a mesmerizing fashion.

Chinese Yo-Yo

This is not the same as the yo-yo you had in your backpack as a kid. The Chinese yo-yo is a large yo-yo with a history that is thousands of years old. This magical art always seems to turn heads.

Cyr Wheel

A cyr wheel is a circular acrobatic apparatus made of a large aluminum or steel ring. The ring is custom built to ensure the right proportions; it should be about five inches larger than the height of the performer. Standing in the ring, you balance, dance, and spin the wheel, building new skills through drills and exercises. These classes are taught either as private lessons or semi-private lessons.


Our acrobatics are partner-driven classes that allow you to perform marvelous feats, but not suspended in air, as you are in aerial classes.


L-basing is also known as acro-yoga. This practice is performed with a partner, with one (the base) laying on their back and supporting the other (the flyer) using their feet.


Standing acrobatics is also partner based, but this time, the base is standing instead of on their back. The flyer will assume a variety of positions.


Adagio, or acro-dance, is also partner-centered. This marries acrobatics with dance, and is used often in performance art. It’s encouraged to take standing acrobatics classes before doing adagio.


Stilt walking

If you have ever dreamed about towering above everyone else, this class is for you! In our stilt walking class, you learn how to control your body while walking on 2.5 foot stilts. You learn how to fall properly, and then how to balance.

Stilt dancing

After you have mastered stilt walking, you can take it to the next level: stilt dancing! Stilt dancing also uses 2.5 foot stilts, but this time, you learn how to move your body to music.

If you are intrigued by the circus arts, why not try a circus class in Nashville today? Expression City has knowledgeable and experienced instructors who can help introduce you to this fascinating and eye-opening art and form of exercise. Check out our schedule here today!

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