Madison Midwest Mini Aerial Festival: October 19 – 21

October 19-21, Cycropia will host a series of classes with guest aerialists Aaron Koz, Hayley Larson and Nick Ng.





Workshop Descriptions

Friday Oct. 19th

8:00-10:00 PM

Dynamic Duo Aerial (Silks/Straps/Trap)
This workshop will cover a variety of duo aerial skills/pathways/basing ideas from duo spinning on straps and support basing on straps to basing on silks/trapeze. Content taught will partially vary depending on skills/strengths of participants.
Prerequisites: Able to hang from 1-arm with supported shoulder for 15-20 seconds, able to hold yourself up with 2-arms with someone else’s body weight OR partner pull-up, able to invert in the air, and optional able to comfortable be in a roll-up wrap.
Instructors: Koz & Larson

Saturday Oct. 20th

12.30-2:00 PM

Put a Salto on It!

If you liked it then you shoulda put a salto on it! We will talk about the structure of a salto (forward rotating drop), the technique behind speeding them up or slowing them down, and when to do which. Basic saltos will provide a jumping off point for finding unique wraps to add a salto on top of, and for investigating salto progressions such as adding rotations, or switching directions.
Prerequisites: Students should feel comfortable inverting in the air from bent arms multiple times throughout class and should have previously done and feel comfort with at least one salto drop.
Instructor: Larson

Character Development (Any Apparatus)
What brings an act together and moves an audience? What separates a string of tricks from an unforgettable performance? In this mixed apparatus workshop, we will learn different tools in order to create interesting and compelling acts that will make you stand out from the crowd. We will get comfortable with being uncomfortable, moving our bodies in new ways and thinking about ourselves, environment, and apparatus in different ways to create a compelling story and character. With these in mind, we can influence our movement style and connect to audience and ourselves. Throughout the workshop, we will play creative games and each student will perform short sequences with different qualities. Please be prepared with a short list of simple vocabulary that you could repeat in a sequence several times.
Prerequisites: Be comfortable moving through 30-90 second sequences several times
Instructor: Ng

2.00-3:30 PM

Momentum on Fabric, Straps, and Rope

In this workshop co-taught by Aaron and Nick, we will explore the fundamentals of harnessing energy and momentum in order to work with and defy gravity. With controlled dynamic movement, we can discover new pathways and inversions that would be difficult or impossible to do otherwise. We will practice basic beats, explore advanced beats, and discover exciting transitions. Students will be able to practice on silks, sling, straps, and rope to find the subtle nuances of each apparatus and gain a better understanding of beat pathways.
Prerequisites: Aerial inversion. Straight arm hang (grip strength and endurance are very helpful, but you can learn pathways on sling and straps if your grip starts to give!). Working on momentum will tire you out quickly!
Instructor: Koz & Ng

3:30-5:00 PM

Roly-Poly (Rope, Fabric)
Want to do a slow hip key roll-up or melt down in your double star? In this workshop, we will look at “c-shaping” and how we can move our bodies in order to resist gravity. By controlling our core and stretching our limbs, we can achieve balance to slow down our descents or roll up our apparatus. We will work on floor and self-spotted hammock drills and translate them into rolling down and several types of roll ups. This can be squeezy on your abdomen, so don’t come with a full stomach!
We will primarily be on rope but learn some drills on fabric.
Prerequisites: Hip key in the air, s-wrap (into windmill or star drops), ability to invert multiple times.
Instructor: Ng

Inversion Clinic (Straps)
In collaboration with Jennifer Freeman, PT (practicing and research faculty at Mercer University in Atlanta) this workshop focuses on safe progressions to go from the ground to the air, and from inverting on two to one arm, with a movement screen, a investigation into good body mechanics as well as different functional training tools, exercises and techniques to get your butt over your head.
This clinic will include both teaching cues and training tools beneficial for anyone from a beginner wishing to deepen their understanding to coaches interested in learning how to recognize when a student is displaying signs of potential movement dysfunction.
Prerequisites: Anyone is welcome as it is primarily a theory-based workshop (and anyone can watch and learn and will walk away with plenty of tools to improve their inversions no matter what level they’re at).
Instructor: Koz

5:00-6:30 PM

Aerial Straps Level 1
This workshop will focus on the fundamental techniques for safe and effective training of aerial straps, though most exercises will greatly increase your power and control on other apparatus. Students will warm up their shoulders and core using a set of exercises designed to pre-habilitate and strengthen the shoulders. The fundamental skills students will cover are static positions (meathook, inverted straddle, nutcracker, croc, support, flag, and side balance). The end of the workshop will focus on 2 and 1-arm spinning using the dynamic technique of flares to invert to different positions. This workshop will be beneficial for first timers and aerial artists who work on other apparatus who want to improve their spinning technique, meathooks/reverse-meathooks (on any apparatus), roll-ups and other skills (on split tissu).
Prerequisites: 2 arm inversions of any kind (straddle-up, tuck-up, pike-up) 1-arm hangs with engaged shoulder for 15 seconds (or 2-arm for 30), and 30 second wall handstand or 45-second plank.
Instructor: Koz

Sunday Oct. 21st

1:00-2:30 PM

Split-fabric Choreography and Flow (Silks)

An amazing thing about aerial silks is their nature as a two-in-one apparatus. You can climb both together, split the two, or use some combination of both in your choreography. But what happens when you restrict this ability and look at silks as two pieces that cannot be combined? In this workshop I will walk students through original silks choreography highlighting certain tips and tricks for working with split fabrics as well as allowing time to explore the fabric theory behind taking a silk and turning it into two.
Prerequisites: Ability to stay in the air comfortably for 1 min, and in-air inversions.
Instructor: Larson

2:30-4:00 PM

Advanced Straps Spinning and Swinging

This workshop will focus on the fundamental techniques for safe and effective training of aerial straps. Students will progress through the building blocks of spinning and swinging transitions in and out of positions like meathook, nutcracker, and flag. Students will leave the workshop with the progressions they’ll need to gain the skills of flaring to any position during a 1-arm spin that they can hold safely. The workshop will also break down the different components of 1-arm swings, as well as how to exit different positions with control (either momentum or statically). If students are at the appropriate level, there may be time to work on different spinning entrances to fulltwist/ball position.
Prerequisites: Comfort in meathook/nutcracker, experience with flag/reverse meathook, multiple straight arm inversions of any kind (straddle-up, tuck-up, pike-up), 1-arm hangs with engaged shoulder for 30 seconds, and 30 second wall handstand or 1-minute plank.
Instructor: Koz

Handstands for Aerialists
As aerialists we focus on pulling — pulling up, pulling over, and otherwise hoisting our bodies through the air. Because of this muscular focus, even a modest handstand practice can do wonders to cross-train your body and fix imbalances by activating your pushing muscles. In this workshop we will explore ways to safely train and warm up for handstands on your own at any level, and learn active flexibility and strength drills for improving your handstand that don’t even require being upside-down!
Prerequisites: Willingness to try kicking up into a handstand position at a wall, or with a spotter.
Instructor: Larson

4:00-5:30 PM

Rope Choreography

Learn some of Nick’s favorite rope vocabulary and string it together in a sequence that is in your style! After warm up, we will learn a handful of climbs, drops, static positions, and mini sequences. Then, pick and choose which vocabulary you want to create a sequence with and even throw in one of your favorite moves. If you have taken the Momentum, Roly-Poly, and/or Character Development workshops, you can incorporate those concepts into your sequence! We will work on creative transitions and a short, personalized dance to share at the end of the workshop.
Prerequisites: Aerial inversion. S-wrap. Comfortable moving in the air for 2 minutes.
Instructor: Ng



Instructor Bios

Aaron Koz is a traveling movement and circus coach and co-author of The Aerial Spinning Reference Guide. He completed his undergrad in neuroscience and is now in the process of pursing a degree in physical therapy.
Moving from Washington, D.C. to NYC, he started at Circus Warehouse’s intensive program, and since has studied under elite coaches in SF, Montreal, and Mexico. He draws from his background in neuroscience to augment his work as a coach and personal trainer and collaborates heavily with physical therapists to help augment and structure his teaching offerings. He has performed and taught internationally in places like Ireland (Irish Aerial Dance Festival) and Saudi Arabia. Aaron currently works part-time as Physical Therapy Technician for ACRO Physical Therapy with Angie Prescott, DPT, CSCS (co-author of The Aerial Spinning Reference Guide), and teaches regular classes/lessons in the DC area.
He recently completed Alex Allan’s Dynamic Rope Teacher Training and Yoga405’ss Rocket Yoga 50 hour teacher training.

Hayley Larson began dancing at the age of four and through this was introduced to aerial arts and eventually the wonderful world of circus. Although she trains many disciplines including juggling, cyr wheel, and handstands, her focus is in aerial fabric and aerial duo work (on cradle, duo trapeze, and silks) with flyer Rachel Webberman as Duo Filamental. As a silks artist, her main areas of exploration are fabric theory—creation of new shapes, sequences, and drops through re-imagining aerial basics, and sequencing—seamlessly threading known tricks using traditional and inventive transitions. Hayley brings the movement awareness and creativity of her contemporary dance training to her aerial work, both as a performer and teacher. She is currently based in Chicago, IL where she trains and teaches at Aloft Circus Arts while also traveling to teach and perform throughout the Midwest. Visit of IG hayley.dynamo for more information.

Nick Ng is a professional aerialist and with a lot of experience packed into a short amount of time. Though he discovered aerial in California, it wasn’t until Nick started training at Blue Lapis Light in Austin, TX that he found his calling for expressive, dynamic, aerial movement. Currently based in Des Moines, Iowa, Nick travels all around the U.S. and abroad to train with nationally and internationally renowned circus artists and aerialists, specializing in vertical apparatus. Additionally, he teaches workshops and performs on his travels, sharing his passion for dynamic, gravity-defying aerial dance. This year, he placed 2nd in the All-Star Silks division at Aerialympics in St. Louis, 1st in Professional (silks) and 2nd in Storytelling (rope) at COTAC. Nick believes in performances that are emotionally moving and empathetic while still showcasing technique and spectacle. He completed Nimble Art’s Introduction to Teacher Training in 2016 and Born to Fly’s Dynamic Rope Teacher Training in 2018.



2001 Taft Street, Madison, WI 53713 (click here for map)

For questions and additional information, please email