Aerial Antics, founded in 2015, is Ottawa's "vertical theater" company. We provide refined and inspiring performances, mixing the elegance of aerial dance with the excitement of dynamic twists and falls. We chose to call ourselves “Aerial Antics” to reflect our playful approach to choreography that incorporates elements of other performance arts. We happily tailor performances to your needs and can get you involved in the act if desired.
Created to facilitate and motivate participation in aerial circus arts. We are the place to learn and practice a variety of circus style aerials in Ottawa!
We offer professional training and performances on aerial fabric (silks), static trapeze, aerial hoop (lyra), rope (corde lisse) and aerial sling (hammock). All levels of fitness welcome (ages 6+), with over 25 feet of flying space.
Affiliates & Gratitudes
Laws of Motion - Orbital Talent - Jen Derbach Photography -
Cirquonscient - A Beautiful Smack to the Head - Paper Doll Militia -
New England Centre for Circus Arts - Hercinia Arts Toronto
"Thank you so much for participating! It was a fantastic performance – we loved having you! I’ve only heard good things. Hoping we can work together again in the future."
Stéphanie Tak, Head of Operations,
Canadian Museum of Nature
"Dear Aerial Antics team from Glowfair,
We wanted to thank you for the fantastic performance and the creativity involved in your movements that captured the hundreds of people in the audience at Glowfair 2016 & 2017. Your group added the perfect glow factor to our Glowfit block. We look forward to partnering again in the future with members from Aerial Antics and watching how the magic unfolds before our very eyes!"
Dianna Ashworth, Glowfair Theme Block Manager
"It was a pleasure working with the Aerial Antics team. They were professional and were able to accommodate all of our requests. The performance really added a ‘wow’ factor to our event.”
Shelagh Connolly, Special Event Coordinator, National Arts Centre Foundation
Aerialist / Director / Instructor
Melissa has been teaching and performing on aerial silks since 2012. It is the wraps, drops, twists and dives that drive her to continue but also the personal satisfaction in achieving the unexpected. Her obsession with movement art has pushed her skill development in other circus arts such as poi, hooping and fire manipulation. Melissa graduated from the Ecole Nationale de Cirque, Montreal Canada in the Professional Trainer program with specializations in corde lisse (aerial rope), fabric and tightwire. She also has professional certification (New England Center for Circus Arts) and training (Paper Doll Militia) from circus schools and aerial performance professionals in Canada and the United States. She is a member of the Cirquonscient performance collective.
Aerialist / Instructor
Christal began her aerial arts adventure in 2012 on aerial silks. She has expanded her expertise to include skills on aerial hoop (lyra), static trapeze and corde lisse. Christal is a strong performer and enthusiastic coach who encouragers her students explore and test their boundaries. She compliments her aerial skills with body combat training and teaching at Goodlife Fitness. Christal provides instruction in French and English. She is a member of the Cirquonscient performance collective.
Aerialist / Instructor
Sophie has been practicing aerial arts since 2013 and has been performing for over 3 years in community events, festivals, and corporate events. Sophie is skilled on various apparatus, including silks, static trapeze, lyra and aerial hammock. Sophie is inspired by her students and lives for the moments of achievement that only comes with the development of strength and mental clarity that aerial arts and fitness provides. With a background in dance and as a certified fitness and aerial yoga coach, aerial arts have been a natural continuation of her love for creative movement and restorative fitness. She is a member of the Cirquonscient performance collective.
Aerialist / Instructor
Regina has been an Aerialist since 2015, and started teaching classes in 2017. She has a background as a gymnast and coach in Rhythmic and Aesthetic Group Gymnastics and has performed at two World Gymnaestradas: Dornbirn, Austria 2007, and Helsinki, Finland 2015. Regina has Aerials teaching certification from New England Center for Circus Arts, and Pole and Aerial Fitness Instruction Commission of Canada, and is a certified Rhythmic Gymnastics coach with the National Coaching Certification Program. She is consistently inspired by the creativity and uniqueness of each Aerialist, and loves helping others learn exciting new skills, conquer personal challenges, and develop their individual styles in a fun and encouraging environment. She is a member of the Cirquonscient performance collective.
Aerialist / Instructor
Sam started her aerials journey in 2018 working with the Lyra. Leveraging her lengthy background in competitive gymnastics, she expanded into aerial silks and trapeze. She was delighted to start teaching in 2019. Sam has a decade of teaching experience outside of aerials in kettlebell, personal training and Muay Thai. Her teaching approach across all her classes is to build a strong foundation and encourage students to find their own style.
Aerialist / Circus Collaborator
Renée-Claude has been training and performing on aerial silks and aerial hoop since 2016. She is also a skilled hula hooper, teaching and performing with LED and fire in Ottawa for over 8 years. Renée-Claude is motivated by all the creative challenges aerial arts present, from collaboratively creating new acts, characters and shows, to figuring out how to master the physics at play in dynamic movements. She is an artistic collaborator and member of the Cirquonscient performance collective.
Aerialist / Instructor
Originally from Newfoundland, Victoria fell in love with the trapeze in 2006. It wasn't long before she was taking as many classes as she could, and she eventually started training doubles trapeze, aerial silks, and spanish web. In 2009, Victoria started coaching, performing,and choreography. Her love for the circus keeps on growing, and she believes that the circus is for everybody. There is no better feeling than helping others achieve their aerial dreams.
Aerialist / Instructor
Jonathan is a Native Newfoundlander who was fortunate enough to get involved with and develop a passion for circus arts. It all began around 2009 and since has seen him be a part of numerous classes and productions particularly focusing on aerials. Jon notes that circus arts have made a significant positive impact on who he is today. The only thing he can say he likes more than circus arts, is sharing all that is circus with others!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Circus Aerials?
The appeal of the circus arts ranges from the athletic and adventurous to the curious and creative. Developing skills on aerial fabric, aerial hoop, hammock, rope and static trapeze build strength & flexibility, poise and self-confidence and provide a wonderful outlet for imagination, creative expression-and fun.
There are a few things to keep in mind when you start training circus aerials:
Learning circus aerials is hard and intense. A skilled aerialist will make everything they do look easy–that’s their job. However that can make it confusing for you, the early learner, because everything feels hard. But, if you stick with it, your progress is gratifying.
How long will it take me to learn aerial arts?
Everyone has different strengths, and learns at a different pace. Students with high levels of conditioning and a strong background in movement arts such as gymnastics, dance, yoga, rock-climbing or martial-arts often advance more rapidly because they already possess a greater body awareness and greater level of physical conditioning. If you find you’re just not getting something in class, and are getting frustrated, ask your instructor if you can move on and come back to it later. Our open gym time is great for practicing those nemesis tricks.
To build up your strength for aerials here are some helpful exercises to do outside of class: pilates type leg lifts; forearm grip toners (squeeze balls, springs, gyro-balls); planks with push ups; pull ups; lat pull-downs; incline sit-ups; and, hanging leg-lifts.
Aspiring to Perform?
We offer training and practice times with our coaches who are all professional performers and teach classes in a way that help prepare and condition students for performing in front of audiences or participating in competitions if desired. We organize student showcases and provide other opportunities for performance practice. Aerial Antics maintains a performance troupe that provides entertainment at private functions and festivals. Visit our Performances page to see highlights from some of the events we have been involved in.
Registration & Payment
Class registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis and payment must be received in full to confirm a place in a class. The easiest and most efficient way of registering for a class is through the use of our online registration system. You can also register bringing a cheque or cash before our teaching times. If bringing cash or a cheque please contact us ahead to confirm that there is still space in the class. We do not accept debit payment at this time. You will receive an enrollment confirmation via email once your payment has been processed. For questions about refunds or cancellations refer to our "General Policies".
Can I skill share during open gym?
Skill sharing is tricky, as it should be reserved for competent aerialists who are expanding their knowledge in a safe and reasonable way. It should not be treated as a substitute for proper training and instruction from a qualified instructor. Skills sharing should be about playing within the skill level that the students are in, rather than as a tool to increase skill level, i.e., try hard new things. For this reason, students who are engaged in skills sharing should be at a similar skill level to each other, otherwise it is not sharing it is instruction.
What should I wear?
Wear reasonably form-fitting workout attire that covers your legs, lower back and your stomach. Tights or pants should be at least ¾ length. Help us protect the equipment! Please do not wear clothing with Velcro or zippers (even the little waist band pocket kind!) or buttons or buckles. Please do not wear jewelry. If your instructor is concerned about any hard-to-remove jewelry, you will have the option of removing it, covering it up, or staying off the equipment.
What if I miss a class?
If you miss a class we cannot provide a refund unless you provide a valid medical note. For questions please refer to our "Polices and General Information" below.
Policies and General Information
If you miss a class we cannot provide a refund unless you provide a valid medical note.
Planned Class Absence
If you know you will miss a class before the session starts you can sign up using our drop-in option, please note that is always more economical to sign up for the full session. We do not provide a promotional discount to session fees that are pro-rated.
Aerial Antics reserves the right to cancel any programs with insufficient registration one week prior to the program start date.
Cancellation or withdrawal of a registration prior to classes commencing will result in a $40.00 administration fee. Following commencement of the session, no refunds or credits will be issued save the form of an account credit for medical reasons only (a medical certificate must be provided). If you and/or your dependent(s) are not completely satisfied after your first class, Aerial Antics will refund your full session tuition excluding your membership fee and a $40 administration fee will be applied. After your first class, Aerial Antics maintains a NO REFUND policy on all of our fees in order to ensure proper safety and staffing for our classes and events.