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Youth Aerial

AerFire Youth Programming is designed to provide a fun, safe, nurturing atmosphere. Paula Van Kuren combines her education and experience in fitness, performance, music education, parenting, child development and educational psychology to make learning aerial arts an exciting and educational experience that will take the children far wherever they choose to fly!


Each student benefits from the work ethic, high standards, and real opportunities to perform in various venues.


Each student deserves to grow at their own pace, with body acceptance, confidence, respect, and care!

Each student deserves the right to consent to training with an understanding of what they are doing, what risks they are taking, and how it all works.  The children learn a lot of science in aerial classes along with personal responsibility and risk management. 

Aerial Jr.

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For ages 6-9, Aerial Jr is an introductory level aerial and tumbling class designed to prepare children for the AerFire Beginner Youth Aerial class. We utilize circus silks, hammock/sling, rings, lyra, and pole. We focus on foundational coordination, strength, and flexibility while learning all the basic skills.

Classes are 60 minutes once per week.

Youth Beginner Aerial

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Youth Beginner Aerial Classes are for children ages 8+ who decide that they want to learn aerial arts. Foundational strength and skill work is emphasized. Beginning stages of creating and choreography are enjoyed. Circus silks, hammock/sling, lyra, pole, and rings are the apparatuses we use in this course.


AerFire has a curriculum of content we spiral through on a flexible schedule to ensure each child is working at a pace appropriate for their body and each child is learning the skills and gaining the strength required for success! 


It is recommended that children spend a minimum of a year in Beginner Level to ensure they spiral through all beginner content until fully confident in those skills. As children progress, they can consider Recreational Aerial or Intermediate Aerial.

Youth Recreational Aerial

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For children who have been promoted from Youth Beginner Aerial classes, Recreational Aerial is for children who want to take a slow and steady approach to aerial arts training. Recreational Aerial is recommended for children who participate in other athletic activities outside of AerFire.


Aerial Arts training beyond the beginning stages is intense athletic work. It is wise to moderate if a child wishes to do multiple sports. Recreational Aerial is a slow, gentle approach beyond beginner. The class curriculum for Recreational Youth reviews all beginner content in a spiral routine, adding new skills slowly. There is a limit to the skills that can be taught at this level because many skills beyond beginner require specific athletic conditioning. That conditioning takes class time, but more importantly that level of conditioning takes rest days between aerial classes. If a child is doing other sports, especially upperbody dependent sports, outside of AerFire on their aerial rest days, they are high risk for major injuries if training aerial at their full potential. AerFire Instructors are skilled at assessing for things like fatigue and over-reaching in student’s work and will moderate to avoid injury. We will err on the side of caution, and that means that children who are juggling multiple sports will progress in aerial more slowly. Children deserve the opportunity to explore many things when they are young. The recreational aerial track allows them to do that. They can decide to focus on aerial with more intensity and move into the Youth Intermediate Class when they are ready.

Youth Recreational Aerial classes are on a year-round schedule of one 90 minute class once per week.

Youth Intermediate Aerial

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For children ages 10+ who have been promoted from Youth Beginner Aerial classes, Youth Intermediate Aerial classes are a step up into the intense athletic work of aerial arts. Intermediate Aerial is for children who truly love aerial and are willing to put in the work to build aerial muscle!

ALL body shapes and sizes are capable of pursuing aerial arts at this level!!! The limiting factor is mental tenacity. AerFire Youth Intermediate Aerial classes teach tenacity, how to condition, the science behind why we do what we do. We teach how to train like an athlete and create like an artist!

AerFire Intermediate Youth curriculum spirals review of all beginner level content as warm-up. We add a conditioning specific class to ensure that each child is building their body aerial-strong. We keep classes small so we can individualize conditioning work at an appropriate level for each person.


Example: Susie has hypermobile shoulders and needs specific strength warm-ups before class. We teach her those in conditioning class. Timmy has tight hamstrings and cannot access skills that require him to touch his toes. We give him specific work to build strength and flexibility for his hamstrings in conditioning class. These two children have different bodies with different needs. Both can succeed if given the appropriate help, especially if they learn to independently care for their own body as they grow. A primary goal in Intermediate conditioning classes is to teach children how to train their own bodies effectively and safely. Skill Classes at the Intermediate Level shift focus toward the theory and function behind the fun tricks. Why? How? This enables us to study higher levels of skill safely. This encourages children to make wise choices, always weighing the risk to benefit ratio of each skill.

The curriculum content of Youth Intermediate is designed to cover a wide range of skills across apparatus to enable students to truly master their craft. The majority of advanced aerial work globally is a variation on the foundational skills we learn at AerFire. A primary aim of Intermediate Level work is conditioning the body to be prepared to master any aerial apparatus. All foundational movement patterns are not only covered, but trained properly into muscle memory, all while working within boundaries of minimal risk.

Plus, it's exhilarating fun!!! 

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