Aerial Play & Fitness Teacher Training

As long-time aerial teachers we know that sequencing is critical to a popular and safe class. The AP&F Movement Series have been tested and perfected over 8+ years, and we're excited to share these class plans with you, and the theory behind them. Our signature rhythmic teaching method eliminates choppiness, keeping your students focused, engaged, smiling and safe.

Heather & Becky

AYO website-115

Online + Live “Hybrid” Teacher Training


Open to: Ages 18+ with a strong fitness, yoga, dance, or aerial background. Prior group (fitness/yoga/dance) teaching experience is strongly recommended.

Teachers: Becky Stella & Heather Haugen

Structured to keep you on track, and flexible enough to fit in to your weekly routine, the training curriculum begins with 8 weeks of video practice and individual skype coaching and culminates in a 5-day, in-person teacher training. Use the 8 weeks to condition your body and learn sequences we will refine and expand upon at the live training.

The program includes:

– A single-point aerial hammock (your color choice)
– 8 weeks of skill-building videos and online coaching (via skype or google-hangout)
– 5-day live training (in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)
– Training videos and printed manual
– 55 hours total training (39 with instructors, 16 solo practice)

Aerial Play & Fitness training is truly one of the most comprehensive, intelligently designed and enjoyable experiences that I have encountered in the aerial arts and fitness field. The online advance training was crucial in maximizing the live training time. And the videos are a great resource for planning classes and refining skills after the completion of the live portion.

I left the training with 17 very wise, and seamlessly integrated, movement scripts and potentially 17 separate classes! Becky’s presentation style is grounded, friendly and very accessible. She makes herself available before and after the training to answer questions and offer assistance as needed. I was able to absorb the material in a way that was immediately transferable to my own classes. I am extremely satisfied with this training and highly recommend it to anyone who plans to teach aerial fitness or acrobatics.

Jayne Dean
Owner, Connecticut Aerial Yoga, West Hartford CT

What is Aerial Play & Fitness?

An expressive and playful way to experience “silk” hammocks, Aerial Play & Fitness develops your core and arm strength, coordination, and grace. Elevate your heart rate in a playful way and deepen body connection through rhythmic movement. Build foundational strength and progress in to more complex movement including hammock tricks. Aerial P&F uses both low (at the knees) and waist-high hammock to safely and smartly progress skill level. They rhythmic flow and mindful pace keeps each student enthusiastically but safely working toward his/her edge. Expert sequencing helps your students avoid nausea, maximize endurance, progress skills, and stay safe.

While the techniques are accessible to many people, there is sophistication and depth to the work, and thus we require teacher trainees to have a strong fitness, yoga, dance, pole, or aerial background in order to become a teacher. If you are already familiar with the aerial hammock (or are a teacher) this is the perfect training to advance your skills. The material progresses in to complex and challenging movement. Since the live portion of the training is physically challenging, the online preparation will build your strength and familiarity with the fabric through the weekly practices, assignments and coaching.

Aerial Play & Fitness Classes were developed in 2011 by Becky Stella & Heather Haugen. Prior to 2016, teacher trainings were run in a “live-only” format. The teacher training is geared towards trainees interested in teaching in Fitness, Dance Studio, and Aerial/Pole Studio environments.

Why a Hybrid Program?

Over the years we’ve witnessed a gap emerge in teacher trainings amongst trainees. Those who would enter the training with some fabric experience had a huge mental and physical advantage over students with no experience. The experienced trainees were better able to absorb the teaching methodology, modifications, and spotting, making them more talented teachers from the get-go. Not to mention… it’s much easier to take a teacher training when you are already in shape! We want to give everyone that same advantage.

Movement on a hammock is more complex than typical fitness regimens, so teaching requires not only experience but understanding the nuances of how to troubleshoot all the funny (and sometimes not so funny) things that can go wrong. A teacher that understands how to identify fabric placement & angle, modify, pad, adjust, spot, and cue is a safe teacher and a popular teacher.

I just finished my teacher training and it was fabulous! I do so many trainings a year as a pilates instructor and studio owner. With that being said, this was the best teacher training I have ever had!!!! The Play & Fitness training surpassed all my expectations as well as my teacher, Becky Stella! She was wonderful. She sent weeks of aerial videos to practice in advance and to keep for reference, and we also received a color manual. The series were all designed to balance your body without even creating your own sequence. I can open my manual and pick out 2-3 series and that is my class…but, I can also break them apart and use what I want to write my own class, which is great too! I did not want my training to end. Becky is an amazing teacher and I want her back at my studio next year, or sooner if I can get her here!

Meg Stokes
Precision Pilates Studio – Asheville, NC


Online Preparatory Coursework (8 weeks):

During the 8-week video practice period, you’ll receive 2-3 new video sequences to explore and practice each week. You’ll schedule three 80-minute “Face-time” meetings with your instructor to receive individual coaching on the video material (via Skype, Facebook video, or Google Hangouts).

Weekly Time Commitment
* 2 hours of personal practice per week, on your own schedule. You can choose to practice more or less depending on your fitness and experience level. The goal is to get comfortable with the movement sequences that we will build upon and refine in the live training, preparing you for more challenging, complex movement.
* Three 80-minute private Skype coaching sessions, every 2-3 weeks.

Live Course (5 Days):

Upon completion of the online coursework, we’ll convene for a thorough 5-day training to cover: PnF June 2014
– Functional anatomy of aerial tissu/hammock work
– Perfecting your technique
– Intermediate conditioning and hammock tricks
– 20+ vetted movement sequences and class sequences
– Sequencing theory (to create your own)
– Spotting, safety, and adjusting your students
– Rhythmic cuing and teaching techniques
– Equipment and rigging safety


Students must attend 100% of the online and live course to receive certification. To graduate, students will teach a sample class (live or via video) and receive feedback from instructors. Graduates are eligible to participate in any advanced trainings.

Easy Technology

You’ll need:
– a reliable internet connection
– a computer or tablet with a built-in camera
– Skype. It’s free and easy to download! Never Skyped? Try it out here. (We also use Google Hangouts and Facebook as backup platforms.)

How to Register

Please complete the ONLINE REGISTRATION FORM and submit your $300 deposit (instructions provided on form).

I have so many positive things to say about my training experience. Becky is professional, personable, incredibly knowledgeable and an excellent instructor. It is obvious that she really cares about aerial arts and fitness and wants everyone who participates to get the most of their experience. She has a wealth of experience with students that she freely shared with us, and I was impressed with how emphatic she was about safety. Becky made sure that not only could we rig our hammocks safely, but that we also understood common medical conditions that could negatively impact a student’s experience. All in all, a well-rounded experience that made the most out of the time spent learning the material.

Monica Reed-tremmel
Club B-Fit, DesMoines IA


You’ll need a space to practice in with at least 8ft ceilings and a minimum clear floor space of at least 9ft x 9ft. We can help advise on rigging your hammock in the space you’ll be practicing in, but you’ll want to hire a contractor to inspect your ceiling and/or to install your rigging point.

Yes. If you complete coursework as scheduled, you will come to the live training in great shape. If you have any physical injuries, challenges, or limitations, you must notify a program leader so we can determine the best way to support your training and keep you safe.

If you are simply interested in online video training, check out our video library instead! These videos will provide you a huge amount of material to practice, and will get you in shape. However, they will not teach you how to teaching these skills live. It’s easy to think one could learn everything from a video, but trust us… it’s just not possible or safe. To receive certification, you must complete both the online/video preparatory practice and the live training.

Training graduates are eligible to take the Aerial Dance & Tricks (advanced level) training. This 2-day training expands the Aerial Play & Fitness curriculum with *complex maneuvering, *advanced hammock tricks, *choreography, and coaching on *how to “freestyle”/create your own hammock movement.  This training is intended for those who are already very comfortable on the hammock and want to expand their acrobatic skillset, perform, or teach aerial hammock dance classes. Check back for advanced training dates.

I had such a fabulous experience with Becky. I was looking for an aerial hammock training that was highly instructive but also current and fun. And I absolutely found that with Becky’s training. She is very knowledgeable in aerial and provided a training that not only included clear and thorough instruction in all the basics but also a beautiful expansive curriculum of fun poses for a variety of fitness levels. Her training was laid out in such a way to provide a clear understanding of the progression of basics to intermediate to advanced, in a way that we can take back to our classes and provide a wonderful fitness option for our students. She clearly explained the safety for getting into and out of each pose. I loved her personality. She is warm and kind and unassuming. I had so much fun that I wanted it to last one more weekend!

Lisa Darrell

Have more questions? Want to host a future live training at your studio?