Details about our acrobatics practices

These practices are free and open to anyone, including Contacts and nonmembers. Bring a friend!

We practice for two hours a week each Tuesday night. While it's not required that you attend for the whole time, we recommend that you arrive no later than 15 minutes into the practice so that you don't feel rushed to try skills before you're warmed up. We don't want anyone to get hurt! You can leave whenever you like and don't have to come every week! We request that you register on Campus Groups but drop-ins are also welcome.

Our practices aren't formal classes and (unless we're prepping for a show) don't involve rehearsing choreography. They're more like a loosely-structured "acro jam". See below for more details on our practice structure, or check out our "What to Expect" document here.

What does practice look like?

We begin each practice with a warmup. This includes mild cardio, gentle stretching, and a discussion of injuries or other factors which might affect practice that day. If this is your first time, we'll ask about your previous experience and walk you through some basic vocab.

Next, we'll start to work on some skills. We try to have a set of 3 or more goal skills for each day. Experienced members work together to show everyone the skills, but the teaching is very informal. We'll break into groups of three or more people and change partners as we go.

Practice ends with a jam. After we run out of goal skills for the day, everyone works on whatever they wish with whomever they wish until the end of our reserved time.

What is AcroYoga?

"AcroYoga" is a term for a type of therapeutic partner acrobatics practiced in the yoga community. We use the term (loosely) to emphasize that we focus on skills in the "L-base" position (base on their back) popular in AcroYoga. We draw skills from cheer, gymnastics, and circus acrobatics in addition to yoga.

Although a lot of what we do is in L-base position, we also do plenty of standing skills, stunts, and other types of acrobatics.

We like to teach L-base skills first because the legs are the strongest muscle group for most newcomers and it keeps fliers close to the ground.

Our "curriculum" is flexible and open to modifications based on ability or interest.

Who can participate?

Absolutely anyone! Acrobatics is not as hard as it looks, and we'll start you out slow to build confidence and prevent injury.

For Fall 2022, we are particularly interested in recruiting taller bases so that some of our taller fliers can have partners. All heights welcome!

Who is teaching?

Experienced members

Mostly, we teach each other. The more experienced members tend to take the lead, but even newbies sometimes teach the group.

Outside experience

If you have previous experience with acrobatics, gymnastics, or yoga you can feel free to teach others or suggest goal skills.

Guest coaches

Occasionally we hire local acrobatics coach and yogi Eric Sipes to teach special events for us, or help us with choreography for shows. That's him on the left, helping out before Cirque du Hop 2022.


The very first skill you'll ever learn!

For the flier, it feels very much like lying on your stomach and lifting your chest slightly.

For the base, it feels like a squat to get the flier into position, then just like standing on your own two feet.

Spotting is easy, with an arm under the flier's chest to keep their head away from the ground.

This skill leads into all the other Day 1 skills and many more besides. It's a staple and so easy you can take it home and teach your friends.


The second "goal skill" we teach.


The last "goal skill" of your first day.

See the whole progression here!

An example of base range-of-motion exercises in BIRD.

An example of flier range-of-motion training in a shoulderstand.

  1. 1

    BIRD and THRONEs progression

    Our Day 1 "goal skills" (video here) are designed to teach vocabulary and build trust. They take place in L-base position and the flier balances on their hips and in a seated position.

  2. 2


    Day 2 will see you continue in L-base position, exploring new shapes that build directly on the Day 1 skills.

  3. 3


    On Day 3 we will introduce the flier's first back balance and a new, more dynamic skill for bases.

  4. 4

    SIDE STAR, COUCH, and alternate STRADDLE BAT entries

    Day 4 will be a challenge - introduction to side balances and very dynamic entries to skills you already know.

  5. 5

    Many types of SHOULDERSTANDs

    After your first month of practices, we will start to introduce skills in which the flier is supported on the base's hands.

  6. 6

    TBD by group preference

    Let us know your ideas!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you serious - anyone can come?

Yep! Whatever your age, size, gender, background... acrobatics is for you.

What should I bring to practice?

If we're practicing outside, a mat or blanket is great. You may also want a water bottle. A portable speaker is great to share music. Ideas for new skills are always welcome. In general, just bring yourself!

What should I wear?

Shirts that tuck in are a must, as are pants or shorts that allow you to move your legs freely. No shoes. Avoid socks and slippery pants - they tend to result in fliers falling off. Fliers should tie back long hair and pin headcoverings so they're not in the bases' faces.

Are you going to force me to try a skill?

Never! We have a strict "say 'down' anytime, come down anytime" policy and will never push you beyond your comfort zone.

Can I just come to watch?

Absolutely. You can also come just to spot and help others, without being one of the acrobats.

Does it cost anything to participate?

Nope. The club covers any acro costs that come up.

Is there a lot of physical contact?

Yes. But no one will ever touch you without your consent, and you get to choose where you're comfortable being touched. The most common points of contact are hips, hands, and feet.

Can I be a base? A flier? A spotter?

Yes to any role you're interested in! You can also specialize and work in just one role if you like.

What if I think I'd like to perform?

If you are interested in performing in our end-of-year show, make sure that you are coming regularly to practice. We have checklists on CampusGroups that can help you get an idea for the skills you'd need to choreograph a full routine, but really, even newcomers can perform and still look great.

Is there a chance that I will get hurt?

As with all physical activity, yes, there is.

How does the club prioritize my safety?

We start with skills that have a good track record, are slow, and are close to the ground. We train our spotters to prevent injury. Most of us have been doing this a while and have a good idea of where a newcomer is skill-wise, and will speak up if we think things are happening too quickly.

What is the COVID policy?

We follow JHU's guidelines.