Level Goals & Prerequisites

About Class Levels

Classes at Sky Candy are all about progressions. Each class is designed around a number of core concepts, listed as “Goals” in the table below. These core concepts develop from one level to the next. In each 5-week series (or 10-week series, for Youth & Teen classes), your teacher will introduce you to a selection of skills, drills, and transitions from that level’s curriculum. 

Series classes start at Level 1 and run through Level 4. (Note: In some of our newer programs, we may not have fleshed out the higher levels yet.) For most apparatuses, Level 1 classes have no prerequisites and are open to those with no experience.

It’s All About the Journey

It can be easy to see a list of levels as a ladder to climb as quickly as possible, but we encourage students to let go of expectations about how long it will take them to graduate from a level.

In our experience, many students can expect to spend up to 3-6 months in a Level 1 class, and around a year or so in each subsequent level. That said, everyone moves at their own pace, and progress isn’t always linear. Students are welcome to move back to a previous level after taking a break, recovering from injury or illness, or just to refresh fundamental skills in a less advanced class. 

We use the prerequisites listed below as a quick guide to what you’ll need in the next level, but your teacher always has the final say on when you advance.

Familiarity Vs. Mastery

You’ll see in the list below that many prerequisites ask for “mastery” of particular skills. We define mastery as the ability to execute these skills without prompting or spotting by your teacher. They are emphasized either because they embody the Level Goals or because they’ll be particularly important in the next level. 

“Familiarity” with a skill or transition means that you’ve learned it and can execute it safely…but you might need some reminders from your teacher.

Silks 1
Prerequisites

  • No prerequisites to enter

Goals

  • Master basic climbs and descents
  • Learn footlock fundamentals as well as basic footlock shapes and skills
  • Learn the mechanics of and build strength to execute short arm inversions from the ground
  • Learn the theory of S bend – Russian, opposite side knee hook, hip key
  • Learn the mechanics of knee hooks and lever action

Silks 2
Prerequisites

  • Mastered
    • All climbs
    • All single footlocks in the air
    • All double footlocks from the ground
    • All split pole inversions, tagging acceptable
    • Single pole straddle inversion, tagging acceptable
    • Hip key from Russian lean
    • 10 second long and short arm hang with hollow body
  • Familiar With
    • All Level 1 material

 Goals

  • Master footlocks and foundational footlock skills in the air
  • Learn dives that fall forward and small slack drops
  • Understand theory of S & U wraps and locks
  • Understand theory of outside, same side and outside, and opposite side families
  • Introduce rotations around a fixed point (e.g. barbecue options and J-flip)
  • Build strength in short arm positions and straddle inversions in the air
  • Develop endurance for sequencing familiar skills

Silks 3

Prerequisites

  • Mastered
    • Twisty, bicycle, lever, and straddle climbs
    • Footlock roll-ups and arrow
    • All S & U options from Russian
    • Short arm straddle inversion in the air
    • Crossback straddle
    • Wrapped 360
    • Hip key from knee hook and fan kick
    • Catcher’s and cross catcher’s
  • Familiar With
    • All Level 2 material; in particular students should be knowledgeable of the theory of choosing/creating S & U locks and how to move through the outside same side and outside opposite side families

 Goals

  • Apply understanding of S & U wraps and locks
  • Apply understanding of outside same side and outside opposite side families
  • Introduce C shaping
  • Learn drops and rolls that fall sideways and backwards
  • Introduce beats and build long arm inversion strength
  • Work on more advanced conditioning drills for skill such one arm hang, meathooks, and skin the cat

Silks 4

Prerequisites

  • Mastered
    • Windmill
    • Single star
    • Off the back
    • Barbecue or roll around
    • Can use a beat of their choice to invert, tagging acceptable
  • Familiar With
    • All Level 3 material; in particular students should be knowledgeable of the theory of star wraps/drops and how to move between the outside same side and outside opposite side families

 Goals

  • Apply beats to dynamic skills and transitions and C shaping to rollups
  • Learn drops that change direction while falling
  • Develop endurance for longer sequences of more advanced skills
  • Apply aerial theory to finding new pathways into familiar skills and creating drops
  • Introduce inside same side and inside opposite side families

Lyra 1
Prerequisites

  • No prerequisites to enter

Goals

  • Build strength in short arm positions and transitions
  • Enter the lyra unassisted
  • Master foundational skills in and below the hoop
  • Learn to move into and out of a hip hang
  • Learn the basics of knee beats

Lyra 2
Prerequisites

  • Mastered
    • Side entrance
    • Straddle inversion, tag acceptable
    • Knee hang
    • Pike +
    • Horse
    • Lion
    • Gazelle
    • Mermaid
    • Hip rotation with transition of choice
  • Familiar With
    • All Level 1 material

 Goals

  • Build strength in short arm positions, inversions, single knee hangs, and balances
  • Learn the myriad of ways to hang from the lyra
  • Learn beginner dynamic movements: beats and small drops

Lyra 3

Prerequisites

  • Mastered
    • Straddle entrance
    • Pullover and front balance
    • Ankle hang
    • Back balance
    • Amazon
    • Skin the cat
    • Horse into single hip hang
    • Top bar knee hang into hip hang
    • Can use long, pike, or bell beat to re-enter lyra
  • Familiar With
    • All Level 2 material

 Goals

  • Learn to use beats for dynamic skills and transitions
  • Apply different hanging positions to new shapes
  • Learn rolls around the bottom bar
  • Build confidence in drops
  • Build spin tolerance
  • Learn technique and build strength in long arm inversions and flare

Lyra 4

Prerequisites

  • Mastered
    • Single arm, elbow, and knee hangs
    • Flag
    • Back hip circles or Russian rolls
    • One drop of student’s choice
  • Familiar With
    • All Level 3 material 

Goals

  • Learn advanced hangs, balances, and half and full release skills
  • Expand repertoire of dynamic skills and rolls
  • Develop endurance for longer sequences of more advanced skills
  • Increase spin tolerance and strength in long arm inversions

Trapeze 1
Prerequisites

  • No prerequisites to enter

Goals

  • Learn the basics of inverting through tuck and straddle
  • Begin working towards short arm inversions
  • Explore shapes and transitions under the bar, from sitting, and from standing
  • Find ease and balance in neutral positions: sitting, standing, knee hang, and hip drape
  • Begin working with single point trapeze (most of class will be taught on static trapeze)

Trapeze 2
Prerequisites

  • Mastered
    • Inversion without assistance through tuck or straddle, tagging acceptable (working on pullover)
    • Knee hang, hip drape, standing in demi pointe, and pike under the bar, bent knees acceptable in pike
  • Familiar With
    • All Level 1 material, including transitions

 Goals

  • Develop transitions above/below bar
    • Anticipating changing points of contact as you move from above to below the bar (and vice versa)
    • Introductions to dynamic transitions
  • Discover new pathways through rotations (sit to hips/hips to sit)
  • Find cleaner inversions through an understanding of hinges
    • Develop the strength to rotate at the elbow in short arm inversions
    • Distinguish long and pike beats by changing the hinge

Trapeze 3

Prerequisites

  • Mastered
    • Consistent short arm inversions in tuck, straddle, and pullover entrances
      • Pullover can be from assisted grip and on the bar, tagging acceptable
    • Clear distinction between long and pike beats
    • Gazelle into bat
    • Rock n roll
    • Ankle hang, without safety rope assist
    • Front balance
    • Splits under the bar
  • Familiar With
    • All Level 2 material, including transitions

 Goals

  • Develop an understanding of pelvic tilt in horizontal rolls
  • Build more dynamic transitions, including transitions in beats and an introduction to drops
  • Introduction to leg wraps and hip corsets
  • Find secure points of contact while working in ropes

Trapeze 4

Prerequisites

  • Mastered
    • Consistent, clean short arm entrances, including pullover and rope inversions, without tagging
    • Working on long arm inversions
    • Safely change points of contact while inverted in ropes
    • Confidently exploring transitions out of neutral positions: standing, knee hang, and front balance
    • Working on sequencing
  • Familiar With
    • All Level 3 material, including transitions

Goals

  • Deepen understanding of momentum, pelvic tilt, and weight shifting
  • More horizontal and vertical rotations, beat transitions, and drops
  • Introduction to pops
  • Explore pathways into, out of, and between wraps
  • Develop a personalized vocabulary of transitions and shapes

Sling 1
Prerequisites

  • No prerequisites to enter

Goals

  • Learn to enter the sling and to invert
  • Discover foundation and neutral positions and how to transition between them
  • Introduction to knee hooks and learn which shapes/skills they lead to
  • Develop standing skill vocabulary
  • Explore open sling shapes and skills

Sling 2
Prerequisites

  • Mastered
    • All entrances, tagging okay
    • All neutral positions, knee hooks, and transitions
    • Catcher’s
    • Turnkey
    • Arabesque
  • Familiar With
    • All Level 1 material

 Goals

  • Master inversions from the ground and introduce aerial inversions
  • Introduce and develop comfort with forward dives
  • Further explore knee hooks and which shapes and skills they lead to
  • Introduce theory as it relates to catcher’s, seatbelt, and hip/thigh corsets
  • Introduce dynamic movement

Sling 3

Prerequisites

  • Mastered
    • Catcher’s dive of choice
    • Seatbelt entrance of choice
    • Hip corset entrance of choice
    • All transitions
    • Pullovers at various apparatus heights
  • Familiar With
    • All Level 2 material, in particular students should be knowledgeable of theoretical relationships between catcher’s, seatbelt, and corsets, and how the different knee hooks lead to different base positions

 Goals

  • Deep exploration of the basics of sling theory, covering knee hooks, catcher’s, hip corset, and seatbelt
  • Learn drops that move backwards, sideways, and straight down through space
  • Introduce C shaping
  • Learn new beats and work on long arm inversion strength
  • Explore sideways/coronal plane rotational movements

Sling 4

Prerequisites

  • Mastered
    • Front, back, and side drop/dive/roll
    • Theoretical relationship between catcher’s, seatbelt, and hip corsets
    • Inversions from the loop
    • Comfortable with dynamic movement
  • Familiar With
    • All Level 3 material

Goals

  • Apply sling theory to discover new pathways
  • Experiment with more challenging variations and longer sequences using previously established skills
  • Stack drops, explore new drop pathways, and incorporate more dynamic movement using previously established skills

Pole 1
Prerequisites

  • No prerequisites to enter

Goals

  • Gain confidence moving on the floor with the pole
  • Learn to climb the pole and invert from the floor
  • Learn how to spin on both static and spin pole
  • Build spin tolerance
  • Become accustomed to the sensations of the pole on the inner thighs

Pole 2
Prerequisites

  • Mastered
    • Basic climb
    • All pole sits
    • All spins
    • Fan kick
    • Headstand
    • Inversion from ground, tagging acceptable
    • Crucifix, tagging acceptable
  • Familiar With
    • All Level 1 material

 Goals

  • Build strength for aerial inversions
  • Learn to sequence skills on and off the pole
  • Learn inverted skills with at least 3 points of contact
  • Introduce and build strength towards shoulder mount

Pole 3

Prerequisites

  • Mastered
    • Handstand transition from floor to pole and pole to floor
    • Inversion in the air, tagging acceptable
    • Caterpillar climb, at least one climb
    • Butterfly
    • Flatline
    • Flight attendant
    • Ball
    • Cradle
    • Superman from floor
    • Outside leg hang into side climb
  • Familiar With
    • All Level 2 material

 Goals

  • Learn to switch your torso from one side of pole to the other
  • Build confidence with shoulder mounts and begin trying them in the air
  • Develop endurance for sequences of skills on the pole and increase spin tolerance
  • Learn skills with only two points of contact

Pole 4

Prerequisites

  • Mastered
    • Extended butterfly
    • Shoulder mount from the floor
    • Brass monkey
    • Iguana, any variation
    • Ballerina, any variation
  • Familiar With
    • All Level 3 material, including transitions

Goals

Harness 1
Prerequisites

  • Some prior aerial experience required, any apparatus
  • Solid hollow body hold, 20-30 seconds, bent legs acceptable
  • Able to hold a side plank

Goals

  • Learn safe use of equipment
  • Become comfortable moving between planes
  • Build core stability and awareness
  • Navigate moving on the wall with another person

Harness 2
Prerequisites

  • Mastered
    • Safe use of equipment and able to navigate being on the wall with a second person
    • Any bat hang entrance and exit
  • Familiar With
    • All Level 1 material, including transitions

 Goals

  • Moving away from self-spotting with a hand on the rope as core strength and awareness build
  • Maintain a horizontal position in all side-facing jumps

Harness 3

Prerequisites

  • Familiar With
    • All Level 2 material, including transitions

 Goals

  • Pass through multiple orientations in jumps
  • Practice sequence building

Straps 1
Prerequisites

  • Comfortable with bent arm inversions
  • Working on straight arm inversions
  • 2 or more pullups
  • 3 or more skin the cats

Goals

  • Develop proper meat hook position
  • Strengthen long arm and one arm technique
  • Introduce and work on flag prep progressions
  • Integrate spins into skills