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Dragonfly Aerial Instructor Certifications

The Dragonfly Aerial Company is an elite training program for aerialists that pride themselves on the highest caliber of performance as an aerial educator.  We are members of American Circus Educators and nationally recognized by the United States Association of Gymnasts for our safety-focused aerial instructor training program and gym/studio licensee installation program. Our program is not easy, but those who hold the Dragonfly instructor certification are among the best and most supported in the industry and those looking to hire an aerial instructor or implement an aerial program in their gym or studio know that the Dragonfly Aerial Company is where to go for a well rounded and complete aerial educator who will be a resource to their entire program.  Our fabric teacher training is broken up into five levels with each level providing lesson plans and skills for six months of aerial instruction.  Each six-month period has 24 lessons that can be used weekly to span the hundreds of skills covered in the program.  Levels one and two encompass what we believe are the beginner skills and aerial foundations.  Levels three and four cover intermediate skills and focus on preparing students with appropriate progressions to later achieve advanced skills.  Level five is an open-ended advanced training category where theory explorations and more difficult skills are taught.


In addition to covering aerial fabric skills, we include industry appropriate topics to supplement each level of training that an instructor goes though.  Topics include spotting techniques, rigging, anatomy, movement language and cuing, classroom management, customizing and creating progressions, emergency protocols and risk management.

What Sets Dragonfly Apart?  Dragonfly does not believe that anyone can be prepared thoroughly enough to be an aerial coach in 30 hours of class time.  We have precious cargo in our hands and it is our responsibility to be the best we can be as we take on the role of trusted"coach".  When Dragonfly agrees to invest in a coach, we are there for the long haul, to come along side them with ongoing future resources in every aspect of running an aerial program from class diversification to injury prevention, specialty programs, equipment care, studio culture, performances, sequences, choreography, spotting techniques, student performances, building curriculum and much more.  We provide our graduates access to our online portal with video and one sheets of our skills in addition to the resources listed above, we provide our coaches with  YEARS OF CLASS BY CLASS CURRICULUM sheets. 


We offer a supplemental support program that provides additional resources to manage and grow your program such as parent letters, documents on studio culture and rules, rigging check grids and reminders.  Aerial directors have access to consult on timely subjects such as when to start marketing Summer Camps or how to increase revenue through specialty programs. With multiple gyms in our program we can compare notes on everything from pedagogy to setting class rates and policy. We share with each other what works and what might not be as effective based on demographics etc... Dragonfly is not just a certification, it is a culture. Dragonfly is rooted in the growth mindset culture and the right disposition is an integral ingredient for a Dragonfly certification. Once accredited you are listed on our certified instructors list which is shared with the USAG and other organizations and groups looking for qualified candidates. Dragonfly certificate holders must renew and/or update their certification every two years along with their required CPR certifications.

What Does It Take? To apply, candidates must first submit an essay on their aerial journey thus far and their aspirations including why they would like to coach. Entry level candidates must also submit video with the execution of a clean hip-lock, basquel (straddle up) and single star.


Green Level 1/2 (Fundamental certification)  If accepted into the program, Green candidates must read Emily Scherb's Applied Anatomy as well as Julianna Hane's, Aerial Teachers Handbook. Green level candidates must attend the 30 hour hands on class portion and complete 20 hours of assisting.  Students will have 3 months to fulfill the 20 hour assisting requirement and then must submit video of themselves executing a class on their own for review. Our Green Level certification includes well-rounded intruction on all American Circus Educators Teacher Core Competencies. This class is available in two sections, L1- 30 hours and L2- 20 hours and provides over one year of weekly curriculum sheets with video and skill one-sheet accompaniment.


Blue Level 3/4 (Intermediate/Advanced certification) candidates must complete Green level certification and the affiliated 4.5 hour Complete Aerial Anatomy online course by Emily Scherb. Students must pass the correlating rigging exam for their certification level as well as a spotting and progression pathway exams. Local students will be given opportunities to fill these requirements at Dragonfly's Colorado home base.  Our home base is always looking for new coaches in order to keep a diverse staff and although completion of the Dragonfly certification does not guarantee placement, it is a requirement for our coaches for fundamental instruction. Certifications are subject to renewal after 3 years. Portal access is free to coaches for the first year and nominally priced subsequently.

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