In addition to being a serious art form, circus acrobatics has become a trendy way to stay fit, and in downtown Phoenix, this total-body practice is made accessible for both athletes and fitness newbies alike. Class levels start with beginner aerial yoga, practiced in a safe, comfortable hammock to encourage development of basic strength, flexibility, and spatial awareness. To get a feel for flight, introductory series in acrobatics help students get comfortable on performance apparatuses like silks, rope, and trapeze. And, for those who dream of running away to join a traveling circus show — dancing high above the cheering crowd, suspended on a spinning metal hoop — Altitude offers higher-level instruction to fine-tune acrobatic technique and learn daring mid-air drops. Director Nicole Crist has a background in jazz and modern dance and first took to the sky in 2005, studying with top performers in NYC. She returned to Phoenix last year to bring aerial acrobatics to Arizona and teach, collaborate, and choreograph this exciting movement art in her safe, supportive studio.