Versatile Arts divides aerial skills into four levels, and within each level there may be two or more stages of development. The course progression is summarized as follows:
This is the absolute beginner stage, with no prerequisite skills or experience. Students at this stage are working on basic skills while also learning how to engage their shoulders and core muscles in order to train safely and with proper technique. This stage can take as long (or short) as a student needs to complete the ABC series.
At this stage, students are introduced to most of the skills needed for our level 1 sequences on rope/tissu and trapeze. One session at this stage is typically sufficient.
Sling and Straps have their own requirements to join at this level. For example, Beginning Straps require that students are working on straight arm/straight leg invert, strong windmill, 30 second hollow hold, V-sit hold.
This stage focuses on the level 1 sequences: the footlock sequence, the wrap sequence, and the trapeze sequences (1A and 1B). Students solidify understanding of the skills, build endurance, and learn transitions between skills. This stage will likely last 1-2 sessions and if students meet the graduation requirements, they will move to Stage 2A.
Class at this stage include: Aerial 1B, Continuing Straps
This stage is a continuation of Level 1B. It is for returning level 1B students who meet some, but not all the graduation requirements for level 1B. Students at this level are familiar with all the level 1 sequences and will work on inversion conditioning drills and 1B skills. They may also work on some level 2 skills that do not require clean inversions.
This stage introduces the key level 2 vertical skills, including straddle climb, windmill, scissor hiplock, and aerial dance footlock. Trapeze skills are developed via a new sequence that fills in level 1 skills and introduces some level 2 skills. One session at this stage should usually be sufficient.
At this stage, students focus on building proficiency with the important level 2 skills that were introduced in 2A while learning new sequences that build on those skills. This stage is likely to last at least 2 sessions.
Students at this stage work on techniques for moving through known positions, and are focused on building broader vocabulary while developing the strength and technique needed to move to stage 3.
Class at this stage include: Rope/Tissu 2C, Trapeze 2/3
This stage covers the broadest range of development, in which students expand their repertoire of skills into level 3 while also learning choreography, improvisation, and artistic expression. Conditioning and technique work focus on preparing the student to move on to advanced work.
Aerialists at this stage of practice work are capable of working on just about any skill in the curriculum, can choreograph their own polished performances, and participate in master classes with guest artists.
The complete list of skills in the VA curriculum, with their level and priority rankings, can be found in the Versatile Arts Skills Tracker. Log in to my.versatilearts.net and select Personal Skills Tracker to access it.