our blog


March 10, 2024 / by Kay / In events

How to make a breakthrough

Change is inevitable, progress is not. And we all want to progress with our circus pursuits, right?

Most people in circus yearn to be better than they are at some aspect of their discipline, regardless of whether you are a beginner, intermediate or pro. And, by and by, with regular practice, it happens sooner or later.

The degree and speed of progress depends on the choices you make. These may include but are by no means limited to:

  • How often you train
  • Who you train with
  • Your internal chatter
  • Your approach to target-setting
  • Whatever it is that motivates you

Change isn’t the only thing that’s inevitable. Another certainty is that if you charted your progress on a graph, it will never be a lovely, smooth line going steadily upwards.

If you consistently make good choices, there will be a general upward trend, but it will always be a jagged series of peaks and valleys. No one gets better and better at a trick or sequence each time they try it.


Intensive training with clear intentions turbo-boosts your likelihood of success. When your focus stays on something for a meaningful amount of time, day after day, it smooths out that line on your graph.

That’s the premise of The Easter Edge. And, for that matter, our Pro Track Training Programme too.

Not everyone can take four weeks or four months out of their lives to get the benefit of intensive training on our full-time courses, and those courses aren’t suitable for everyone.

But many people are off work over the Easter weekend.

How much better is it to achieve something you yearn for – a dream come true, no less! – than to get to the Tuesday morning and realise you’ve done nothing worthwhile?

B&Q makes a killing at Easter as people spend their hard-earned time off on some DIY project that could actually be done on any other weekend. Spring cleaning is over-rated and outdated. Progress is always a mixture of those fabulous, levitational moments when you feel like you hit it just right, then frustration when you can’t do it as well as that for the next seven attempts. Or nine, or more.

But you can reduce the number of wipe-outs and increase the sense of achievement when you crunch those attempts into a short space of time, then add the motivation of deadlines, the encouragement of classmates and the support of instructors.

Progress is inevitable at The Easter Edge. Change is also part of the package!

Over the four days, you’ll pick one discipline for each of the four workshops per day, and that will be your schedule for the weekend. There’s bound to be one of them that you haven’t done in depth before.

If you’re a seasoned circus artist, you’ll probably be used to goal-setting in one format or another, and The Easter Edge will be a great vehicle for you to make your breakthroughs.

If you’re nearer the start of your circus journey, this can give you strong foundations, and you can bring some things that feel out of reach into your reality.

Book Easter Edge Festival Here

Click here for more information about Pro Track Training Programme.

Why this way is so much more satisfying

The Easter Edge is a new concept in the circus scene – a progress-driven full weekend of training in specific arts. It’s the evolution from the Edinburgh Aerial and Acrobatic Convention (EAAC) which was organised by Aerial Edge for more than a decade. Instead of a crazy, random selection of taster sessions every day, you will curate your own schedule, choosing four disciplines to work on. You’ll do a 90-minute workshop on each of them every day, and the pathways are designed to gain appreciable progress over the four days. This could be much more satisfying especially for more advanced acrobats and aerialists, and it allows you to get a solid foundation in an art or two that’s new to you. Everyone moves together in a cohort so even if you’re at a different level to your classmates, you’ll see each other’s progress and encourage it. Some workshops are more suited to intermediate or advanced level, but that won’t mean there’s no space for beginners. Few people will have extensive experience in every one of the four disciplines they’re working on over the weekend. Most people will be trying something for the first time. So join us for a weekend of adventure, laughs and sense of achievement.


with Edd Muir

This Easter Edge path will focus on dynamic areas of straps. It’s ideal for people looking to advance their switches and flares to get their roll-ups. It’s a great opportunity to practice tricks using a pulley system with a quality spotter to guide you through more advanced sequences – for instance, flare to high switch then meathook into low switch. There are a few moves in straps which are the holy grail – switches, flares, roll ups and dislocations. You’re either trying to resist the movement and stay still in static pose or you are generating movement, and it’s the generation of movement that people struggle with most. That’s because you need the right techniques – even if you’re strong as an ox, you won’t get there without good technique. These four workshops can embed the technique you need to master to move you forward. For example, there’s a moment of execution from flare to switch and you can’t mistime it. And when you do a switch, the final position is side planche. Finding and holding that position will be a big part of what you need to learn. We’ll be using the pulley system to suspend you off the ground, so your movements are not limited by the floor. This is great to generate spin and lift you so you don’t worry about bottoming out the trick. We don’t generally get to do this in an ordinary straps class.

Suggested prerequisites: be able to do a pull-up and straddle over from hanging position. Straps is like rope and silks in that you get the most out of it when you gain a certain level of strength, but it’s also great if you know nothing about it because it’s very effective for conditioning. You may want to bring your own wrist wraps.

Chinese Pole

with Edd Muir

This path is suitable for you if:

• You’re a seasoned pole person who wants to develop ballistic style • You’re a shiny pole person who wants to transfer skills • You’re a beginner who wants to learn a cool trick or two

There are a few exciting moves that you can execute without having had any previous experience – sliding down the pole head first is one of them. That alone is your Instagram moment. Beyond that, the learning curve is a brick wall – you need the foundational skill of the climbs to be able to execute the tricks. Sometimes in classes people lose heart when the they want to hit the tricks and they haven’t got the patience to learn the climbs. The great news is that you can definitely master the climbs over these four consecutive workshops, then you’ll have the solid foundation to move on to the thrills. Edd was taught with the old Chinese style, which is ballistic – sudden bursts of movement, going from static to somersault to catch. For example, fish to flag/Superman pose, beat out and use that momentum to swing out to human flag. A lot of shiny pole people want to transition to Chinese. Because it’s covered in rubber, you don’t slide so it allows you to be more static, to let the pole give you purchase to do more ballistic moves. You’re not manoeuvring with the slide. The challenge is that to be able to hold a move, you need to hold your own weight with body tension, whereas on shiny pole you can wrap. Once you’ve got that, you can more cool ballistic somersaults, catch and release tricks etc. It looks more impressive, definitely more acrobatic. In this path, you’ll work on the human flag. Everyone wants to get that, and it’s totally achievable. Fongi is another popular move that will be in the path – a shoulder mount and swing and twist back to the start, and shoulder to fish.

Prerequisities: Soft rubber-soled flat shoes like Feiyue or old-fashioned plimsolls (not trainers), and layers on the body such as leggings and jeans, Long-sleeve T-shirt and sweatshirt.

Dynamic Rope

with Freya Pellie

Rather than focusing on static poses, this class series will equip you with new dynamic ways of moving in the air – giving you new choreographic options, snappier entrances to familiar wraps, and moments of weightlessness that will make new transitions possible. Over the intensive you’ll build a solid foundation in dynamic rope, covering fundamentals such as front-back beats, straddle beats, bell beats, flares, and hula to S-wrap. We’ll likely also spend some time on S-wrap roll-downs to give your hands a break! If oyu have some prior knowledge of beats, pathway variations and beat combos will be offered and we’ll look at some sequencing.

Suggested pre-requisites: 10-second dead hang, be able to invert in the air (i.e., without using the floor).


with Sam McFarlane

Over the course of the four sessions, you will experience a broad range of ground-based acrobatic activities, such as handstands, tumbling, acrobalance and partner acro. You’ll be working on movement inspired from dance, gymnastics and martial arts.
You will explore a range of transitions and variations which are useful for combining movements. We will be making full use of the tumble track along with other apparatus as we use these skills to create fun sequences and to interact with our fellow students either in partner acrobatics or group synchronicity.


with Sam McFarlane

This path has its ups and downs! You’ll spring to life after learning some simple and safe basics, and work up to wall running and inversion techniques. Past experience as a bouncer not necessary, and we can jump to more difficult moves according to your skill set.
As well as being super fun and an art in its own right, trampoline is really helpful in developing the proprioception necessary for aerial and ground-based acrobatic skills, which is why it’s always in our full-time training courses. When you practice moving through the air frequently, you start to recognise where you are regardless of what stage you’re at in the movement, no matter which way is up. When this no longer requires conscious effort, your brain can work on the specifics of the trick you’re trying to nail.

Silks and Rope

with Nea Kunnari and Bara Dankova

This path is suitable for all levels and experiences, and would work well alongside the dynamic rope pathway. You will cover the basic locks and shapes like footlock, hiplock or catchers, to ensure everyone has solid foundational skills and refine them if you have experience. Perhaps you will be experimenting with finding new way in or out, or varying the shapes that you move through while you reach a lock. Then the focus shifts to discovering your individual ways to make them more interesting, and to placing them into your own sequences. Some creative doubles work will be Interspersed throughout the first three days, based on where you want to go with it, and on Monday there will be time for more personal explorations. In martial arts traditions, it’s considered vital to revisit the most basic patterns of movements regularly, because: • There’s always some refinement that you can make which helps you grow in different directions. • You have developed as an individual so you are approaching something that’s no longer a conscious activity from a different perspective, which can mean you are able to take something completely fresh away. • Revisiting a familiar and foundational form with a different level of experience can leads to a breakthrough in a more advanced pattern. This pathway will give you the opportunity to reap these rewards as well as to gain creative expansion on your current skillset. If you’re new to these two similar yet very different arts, you’ll gain a solid foundation and capture some great Insta moves.

Aerial Hoop

with Freya Pellie

Rather than focusing on static poses, this path will equip you with new dynamic ways of moving in the air, giving you new choreographic options, snappier entrances to familiar moves, and moments of weightlessness that will make new transitions possible. There will be a focus on spins and swings, beats and flares. Over the intensive, you’ll build a solid foundation for beginning your dynamic journey, covering fundamentals such as front-back beats, bell beats, and flare pathways, as well as learning how to generate faster starting spins and carry that force with you into the air. We’ll also look at elbow and hocks beats, and pathways using these.

Suggested pre-requisites: 10-second dead hang, be able to invert in the air (i.e., without using the floor).

Doubles Trapeze

with Mark Gibson

If you want a quick route to developing your own doubles trapeze act, this would be a great path for you. This series of workshops will have you developing a series of moves into a performable duo piece. You’ll start with static basics and move swiftly on to flow sequences. You’ll will cover some dynamic catch-and-release tricks with the help of safety lines to add a thrill factor. And we’ll take people as far as they can go safely in the four days. Book in with a partner or let us know if you are looking for one.

Suggested prerequisites: Basic aerial skills. Bases will need to be able to get to catchers and flyers will need to be able to invert in the ropes.

Dance Trapeze and Big-Ass Static Trapeze Tricks

with Mark Gibson & Vee Smith

Strap on your gaiters! It’s time to pull off some of the more thrilling and daring moves on static and dance trapeze Over this series of workshops, you’ll push past your current limits as you move between Vee’s expertise in dance trapeze and Mark’s big-ass tricks on static. On static, you can play with catch-and-release tricks such as: • Knee lean-out, drop to ankles • The apple • Hope and Pray • Big drops to ankles • Dismounts • Elbow rolls • Back balance rolls • Belly spins Each day we will also build up your use of dynamic beats to generate the forces necessary for big-ass tricks. Dance trapeze is different not just because it’s rigged from a single point which allows it to spin on the spot – although that alone can transform a simple sequence into something more impressive, especially at low height. It’s not even that you can play with a much bigger range of movement by swinging on it, and making it swoop round in large circles, spinning as you go. And it’s not that it opens more possibilities for integrating movements on and with the trapeze while you’re on the floor. It’s about how you can use all of the above to dance with the trapeze. The movement of the trapeze itself lends a sense of flow that makes your sequence seem more graceful, or dramatic. Whatever effect you seek to give, the dance trapeze somehow emphasises it.

Prerequisites: ability to invert and do one pull up, good hocks hang and a sense of adventure.

Flying Trapeze

with Gabriel Stella and Mete Mercan

What you learn in this series of workshops will depend on your experience and skill level when you arrive. This is an open level pathway so some people may be there for the first time, while others may be throwing big tricks to catch. Some examples of outcomes from these sessions would be: • If you’re an experienced flyer, you will be using this series of workshops to come out with a tangible result, such as taking a trick out of lines, nailing the next big trick on your list, or drilling a return to the fly bar and platform with your favourite trick. • You could use this pathway to learn to swing confidently out of lines so that you can join the intermediate classes and workshops in the Aerial Edge monthly schedule (you would also be working on tricks and returns during these sessions). • For any new flyer, taking a trick to catch would be a good result in one class, while some people may take longer. Over the course of four days, you could expect to throw more than one trick to catch.

Suggested prerequisites: four consecutive workshops can be hard on your hands so we’d suggest investing in some tape, and/or gymnastic hand guards. Even if you don’t use them all the time, they will offer some protection.

Flying Trapeze and Cradle

with Gabriel Stella, Mark Gibson & Mete Mercan

Tricks and swings on the cradle catcher are entirely different to the ones you do on the fly bar, so this series of workshops is invaluable for taking your flying trapeze repertoire to a completely different level. Cradle is also a circus discipline in its own right and we’re keen to get enough people into it that we can build dedicated sessions into the Aerial Edge schedule. In these workshops you can train as a flyer or base or both. This workshop is open to all levels – we will start from wherever you are and make progress from there. In the cradle section, you will begin with swings on the catcher – like your flying trapeze swings, this alone can be a life’s work to perfect! It takes consistent repetition to move the different swings technique out of your conscious mind and into your muscle memory and this series of workshops is an ideal opportunity to get this embedded. This will improve your ability to return to the bar and platform as well as opening a whole new world of tricks with the catcher, such as somersaults, cocktail bar and pirouettes. If you’re ready and up for it, you can train tricks which start from the top of the cradle, such as pike off.
During the sessions on this pathway, you also work on your fly tricks and see the gains when you return to bar from the catcher.

Flow arts

with Yara Fares

In this path you will learn to work with two very different flow props, hula hoop and rope dart. Most people are familiar with hula hoops from childhood but this series of workshops will take it far beyond the ability to circle it around your waist. Rope dart is a martial arts weapon. It’s similar to poi but it’s only one weight and the cord can be lengthened during the flow for dramatic effects and different tricks. With hula hoop, we will be focusing on learning ways to find our flow, and with rope dart it’s more about tricks and target shot aiming. Flow arts blend dance, martial arts and object manipulation into a mindful activity that results in flow, a meditative state. The flow state has been well documented, with evidence that it enhances creativity while relieving stress and anxiety. In hula hooping you will learn: • A range of tricks, depending on your level and how you move with them • Transitions • Speed play If you’re familiar with flow arts and already know how to get into flow, we can focus on learning more and bigger tricks and variations such as floor work, foot hooping variations, coinflips and advanced chest rolls. In rope dart you will learn: • Tricks such as neck spin, sunrise, dragon wrap • Combos • Target shot aiming, different kind of shots


with Mark Gibson

These sessions will cover two types of teeterboard – Korean and Chinese. In Korean plank, you learn how to work with a partner, one of you on each end of the teeterboard, pushing down and being propelled up. This is to develop good technique for building first of all rhythm, which then leads to height. When you’re able to push each other to a good height, you can take turns at throwing tricks. These can either land on your own side of the teeterboard, or you can flip to the other side, or other people can step into your place. You’ll also learn Chinese teeterboard, which is where you get the thrill of the tricks without needing to develop the rhythm because two or more people will land on one end of the teeterboard, propelling you into the air for big tricks in safety lines. Many people find this a great way to develop back somersault technique even if it their first time with little experience. It will be possible to move on to even bigger tricks during the course of the weekend.

Prerequisites: No experience needed, but you will want some supportive trainers for this class.


Booking Process

Step 1 - Buy your festival pass £299

Step 2 - Select your 4 pathways for the weekend

Timeslot 1 Options - 10:00-11:30

Timeslot 2 Options - 11:45-13:15

Timeslot 3 Options - 14:00-15:30

Timeslot 4 Options - 15:45-17:15

Step 3 - Train Circus!