AcroYoga is a powerful practice that allows for the simultaneous exploration of yoga and acrobatics teaching us how to connect with each other and our breath through communication and trust. AcroYoga creates a powerful connection between partners through a graceful sequence of inversions, flows and balances.
Tuesdays 7 – 8 PM (All Levels)
Fridays 1 – 2 PM (Beginner)
Saturdays 9 – 10 AM (Beginner)
Aerial Arts are perfect for seasoned professional dancers, actors and performance artists to gain new skills for their resume! However, don't let that statement shy you away if you're new to the circus and performing arts world. We welcome new students every day – even if you're not looking to perform!
Our Aerial classes are designed to teach basic and advanced techniques, choreography and strength building. Plus, you Learn To Fly!
Aerial Composition & Choreography
Use skills learned in previous aerial classes to develop more cohesive sequencing and complex choreography. This class will perform at our Circus in Progress showcase. Teacher permission required.
Chinese Pole, an art form used in circus acts, is a static pole on which artists perform various tricks. Performers climb, slide and hold poses, with the "the flag" being the most famous trick. Students will increase core and upper body strength needed to perform at their best.
If you already have an exercise regimen and are interested in increasing your core and upper body strength – ditch the gym! This class can replace your upper body day. Even bodybuilders, CrossFit athletes, and regular gym enthusiasts test out Chinese Pole tricks.
In this foundations class, students gain an introduction to Circus Arts, developing a basic skill set. All experience levels welcome. Apparatuses and skills taught include tumbling, aerial silks, lyra, trapeze, spanish web, globe, juggling, stilt walking, and tight wire.
A unique adult fitness experience that combines familiar exercise techniques with the circus! Using handstand conditioning and aerial skills as an inspiration, students develop a deeper awareness of their body as a source of stability, strength, and functionality. Become aware of muscles that you didn't know existed!
This introductory class focuses on humor created through character choices, improvisation, games, object partnering, and the revelation of character. Learn techniques that will encourage you to be more bold and playful, rather than cautious on stage!
The class is taught by Adrian Danzig, who served as the Producing Artistic Director of 500 Clown, a Chicago-based Clown Theater ensemble that toured nationally. Adrian was also an early Neo-futurist, a founding member of Redmoon Theater, and a clown with Big Apple Circus Clown Care.
Flexibility & Contortion
Contortion: Thursdays 6 – 7:30 PM (Advanced)
Not as flexible as you want to be? Increase flexibility, strength, and healthy circulation while you prevent injuries! The advanced contortion class is an additional 30 minutes at the end of Flexibility.
Mondays 8:30 – 10 PM (Advanced)
Learn to tumble or just practice your skills in a multi-level class where everyone, beginning student to advanced, is welcome. The advanced section is an additional 30 minutes at the end of class.
Start from scratch and learn the fundamentals of flight in inversions training. Gain access to your strength and confidence to de-mystify headstands, forearm stands & handstands.
In this foundations class for Northwestern students, students gain an introduction to Circus Arts, developing a basic skill set. All experience levels welcome. Apparatuses and skills taught include tumbling, aerial silks, lyra, trapeze, spanish web, globe, juggling, stilt walking, and tight wire.
Throw, climb, balance, and fly! Blend techniques from partner acrobatics, contact improv, aikido, and ballroom dance to improve and expand on your partnering skills. Increase your understanding if your own body and how to work with others in this all level class.
This class is for students who have taken at least two aerial arts classes. Students will master wraps, drops, sequencing, and choreography and develop skills to perform more advanced aerial routines and techniques.
Love classic action movies like Errol Flynn’s “Robin Hood” or “The Princess Bride?" Learn Single Sword, a theatrical style of sword play dating back to the golden age of Hollywood.
Single Sword is a theatrical style of sword play dating back to the golden age of Hollywood. Featured in the classic swashbuckling great movies of the 30’s and 40’s and modern classics like “The Princess Bride." Influenced by modern sabre fencing, this is one of the most useful sword techniques to master.
Particular attention will be paid to the safeties required to perform fights as well as how to connect stage combat techniques to text, character and intention. The course will conclude with a skills proficiency test. Students that pass will receive a Society of American Fight Director’s certificate in Single Sword.
“I attempted the foot web after refusing it for two years of beginner’s classes due to fear. I finally ‘did’ it and I was glad I overcame that fear. It was an important milestone for me as a 52 year old with no background in the gymnastic sports.”
– Joel L.
Yes! Adult students can purchase $30 drop ins online or over the phone.
Families who are considering taking their first class at the Gym can purchase a $30 taster class for their child. Tuition can be pro-rated should you decide to enroll in the remainder of the term. Please note that this option is only available for purchase over the phone: 847-328-2795
In general, students start with and repeat recreational-level classes until they develop a higher level of confidence, strength and proficiency. While a background in dance, gymnastics or other athletic pursuits will be an advantage, circus arts and physical theatre employ our muscle groups in different ways than other activities and it most often takes several sessions for students of all ages to adapt and master skills necessary to move to the advanced level.
Students need to receive instructor permission to take advanced classes and in some cases, advancement is subject to passing a skills test. If you feel ready to advance to an advanced-level class, we encourage you to talk to your instructor, who can assess if you are ready.
We recommend wearing clothing you are comfortable moving in, that is not too loose fitting.
Close-toed gym shoes should be worn to Parkour and all Circus Arts classes to use during stilting and unicycling. All other classes require bare feet.
Yes! If you register online after the class has started, your tuition will be automatically pro-rated.
Unfortunately, we are unable to allow make-ups for missed classes, as it makes it challenging for us to ensure a safe ratio of students to instructors in each class.
At the Actors Gymnasium, we operate on a philosophy that using multiple apparatus in conjunction with each other builds the increased strength, confidence, and performance skills critical to help artists achieve a level of competence that allows for the meaningful concentration on a specialized skill or apparatus. Because of that, most of our classes teach multiple apparatus.
Foundational skills remain constant from one apparatus to another. Wraps, climbs, hangs and most baseline tricks can be learned and improved on any apparatus. Until students reach an advanced skill level with sufficient strength and knowledge, the benefits of specializing will be minimal.
If you are ready to start focusing on one particular apparatus, we encourage you to consider taking private lessons with us.
No, the parking lot at the Noyes Cultural Arts center is easy for students to be dropped off and picked up before and after class.
For those who want to stay nearby, there are benches throughout the building where you can wait for your child as well as Tallmadge Park just outside our doors.
No, parents are not allowed to sit in on their child’s class, unless the class is a parent-participation class.
Parents, friends and guests are invited to attend class on parent observation days only, which takes place on the last class in each session. An email reminder will be sent.
A full refund, minus the $25 administrative fee, will be issued for students cancelling prior to the start of the first class session. If cancellation is made prior to the start of the third class session a refund, minus the $25 administrative fee and the prorated cost of the first classes, will be issued.
We do not offer any refunds after the the third class session has taken place.