While 2020 was an extremely challenging year for those who love close contact and putting inspiring people in a room together, we want to focus this post on the good that came out of this year.
Looking back on 2020 is fairly interesting. Here are some highlights to catch you up on Aerial Fit’s journey through this crazy year. A huge thank you for all of your support through 2020!
January through March 2020:
January is always a busy month at Aerial Fit, when inspired new beginners find the studio for the first time and longer-term aerialists get re-inspired to start a new year strong. January through March of 2020 we had a lot going on and were ready to start the new year strong. Little did we know what a turn the year would soon take.
- We had a lot of inspired new beginners in several Intro to Aerial Series.
- We enjoyed a busy Winter Intensive program and Show Off Night.
- We were looking forward to a Student and Staff showcase that was nearing the final stages of preparation.
- We were in the process of running a recently revamped teacher training program.
Then, March hit and of course everything ground to a halt. As March began we were about to start several really fun new mini-series classes, we were excited to delve into the spotting and assisting portion of our teacher training, and we were putting the final touches on our student showcase. But then COVID.
In mid-March we closed our studio, one week before our governor gave the order for non-essential businesses to close. It was a tough decision but as we watched the trends and listened to the experts we felt that we did not have any other choice. Our mission has always been safety first, and with much still to learn it seemed like the wisest decision to make.
March – May:
Our top priority was still to keep everyone inspired and fit even while the studio was closed. During these early pandemic months we dedicated ourselves to finding fun ways to keep training at home, without aerial equipment, and we really enjoyed seeing so many familiar faces in our online classes. It was actually a fun challenge, although it was hard to be in the empty studio.
During that closed time we also deep cleaned and redecorated the studio, connected with other studio owners across the country, studied up on air filtration and deep cleaning, and began to wrap our brains around what training in the COVID era might look like when we able to reopen.
May – August:
When we reopened in May, with reduced capacity, new air filtration, new cleaning protocols, no equipment sharing, and all the other things we could do to safely back in the air, we were so happy to see you all again even though faces were hidden behind masks. Since May we’ve been teaching from a distance, we’ve taken all spotting out of our curriculum, and we’ve learned again how amazingly strong and adaptive our students are!
August – December:
One benefit of our new tiny classes is that we’ve been able to target them even more precisely to each student’s goals. We’ve seen so much progress, in small and large ways, from our students and that has definitely been a silver lining to this whole year.
We were also incredibly inspired to see how effective the at-home training had been. Those students who stuck with online classes actually came back stronger in many cases, and that really inspired us to keep exploring virtual possibilities.
As our state continued to reopen, we noticed fewer and fewer people showing up for our online classes. Over the summer we moved to making all of our classes pre-recorded, so they could be done at any time. We enjoy the challenge of targeted a full class to one aerial skill, and we’ve got many more coming.
Big Exciting Project Coming Along!
Several years ago we had a vision for an online video library resource, for aerial teachers and dedicated students, to share some of the knowledge we’ve accrued over the years of teaching so many different types of students. Two years ago we started filming videos for this library, but we never had much free time to develop it. Since COVID has vastly reduced our class capacity, we’ve had more time on our hands and we’ve put lots of energy into moving this project forward. In 2020 we released our first comprehensive online course, several smaller offerings, and in 2021 we’ll be releasing our video library! It’s a huge project that puts our curriculum into an online format, and it’s a project that will keep growing exponentially once we’ve released it.
Plans for 2021:
We are hopeful that this pandemic can be behind us as soon as possible, and we’re really excited about the vaccines that are coming. Until then our goal is still to keep a safe and fun space for like-minded aerialists to thrive, and to offer resources that help further aerial not only as a fitness modality, but as an expression of artistry and personality.
In January and February we’re offering tiny mini-series classes for returning students to get back in the air! And, we’re offering tiny Intro Series for new students wanting to see what it’s all about. But mostly, we’re continuing with small classes and private lessons by appointment, virtual on demand classes, and continuing to develop our video library and other online resources.
If you’ve read all of this, thank you so much! We are honored and humbled by everyone who’s supported us through this tough time, and we are so looking forward to seeing you all up in the air sometime in 2021.