How to Become an Acrobatics Instructor (Twist, Turn, Teach)

how to become an acrobatics instructor

If you’ve ever marveled at the gravity-defying stunts of acrobats or pondered about the path to becoming an acrobatics instructor, you’ve landed on the right page.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the SPECIFIC steps you need to embark on your journey to becoming an acrobatics instructor. We will cover:

  • The skills you need to master.
  • The training required to perfect your craft.
  • How to secure a job as an acrobatics instructor.

So, whether you’re a beginner gymnast or an experienced athlete looking to share your passion, stay with us.

We’re about to unfold the roadmap to becoming an acrobatics instructor.

Ready to flip into action? Let’s get started!

Contents show

Steps to Become an Acrobatics Instructor


Step 1: Research the Profession

Before you start your journey to become an acrobatics instructor, it’s important to thoroughly research the profession.

This includes understanding the daily tasks, required skills, potential work settings and the safety measures associated with the job.

Acrobatics instructors spend a majority of their time teaching acrobatic techniques and movements, planning routines, and ensuring the safety of their students.

They need to be physically fit and have a deep understanding of body mechanics.

They must also be able to demonstrate acrobatic techniques and guide students through each step of a routine.

Potential work settings for an acrobatics instructor can include dance studios, circus schools, fitness centers, and private coaching.

It’s important to know that teaching acrobatics requires ensuring the safety of students at all times, which may involve spotting students during stunts, maintaining equipment, and knowing how to respond to injuries.

Researching the profession will also provide you with an understanding of the qualifications needed.

For instance, most employers require acrobatics instructors to have a background in acrobatics or gymnastics and some may require a degree in physical education or a related field.

Certification in first aid and CPR is also usually mandatory.

It’s also helpful to reach out to current acrobatics instructors to get firsthand information about the profession.

This can provide you with valuable insight into the day-to-day realities of the job, which will help you make an informed decision about whether this is the right career path for you.


Step 2: Gain Proficiency in Acrobatics

Before considering a career as an acrobatics instructor, it is crucial that you have a strong skill set in acrobatics yourself.

This proficiency can be gained through a variety of methods, including formal training, self-taught practice, or prior experience as a gymnast or dancer.

You should aim to master a range of acrobatic skills, such as flips, cartwheels, tumbles, and balances.

Having a wide repertoire of skills will make you a more versatile instructor and allow you to cater to a broader range of students’ interests and abilities.

Consider enrolling in a specialized acrobatics training program or attending acrobatics workshops and masterclasses to hone your skills.

These programs usually provide structured training and can significantly speed up your learning process.

Also, staying in shape physically is of paramount importance in acrobatics.

Regular strength and flexibility training should be integral parts of your fitness regime.

Remember, proficiency in acrobatics doesn’t only mean being able to perform the stunts; it also means understanding the mechanics, safety considerations, and teaching methods related to each acrobatic move.

You will need this knowledge to teach your students effectively and safely.

Once you’re confident in your abilities, you can start gaining teaching experience, for example, by assisting experienced instructors or providing private lessons.

This practical experience is invaluable for learning how to communicate effectively with students and handle various teaching scenarios.


Step 3: Complete Formal Training

To become an Acrobatics Instructor, formal training is necessary to master the skills and techniques needed in this field.

You can start by enrolling in a professional acrobatics training program.

These programs are often offered by circus schools, dance studios, and gymnastics centers and may take several months to a few years to complete.

Formal training will provide you with a wide range of acrobatic skills including tumbling, balancing, flexibility training, strength development, and performance techniques.

You’ll also learn essential safety protocols and teaching methodologies, which are crucial for instructing students in the future.

Some training programs might also offer specialty tracks that allow you to focus on specific types of acrobatics, such as aerial acrobatics or partner acrobatics.

Exploring these different styles can help you decide which one you want to specialize in as an instructor.

Another important aspect of formal training is the opportunity to perform.

Participating in performances can enhance your skills and give you a better understanding of what it’s like to be in the spotlight.

Lastly, it is important to stay physically fit and mentally alert during your training program, as acrobatics is physically demanding and requires a high level of concentration and discipline.

Regular practice and perseverance are the keys to becoming an accomplished acrobatics instructor.


Step 4: Obtain Certification

As an acrobatics instructor, having a recognized certification can boost your credibility and job prospects.

It’s a proof that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to teach acrobatics safely and effectively.

Certification can be obtained through various organizations, such as the Acrobatic Arts, USA Gymnastics, or Circus Arts Institute.

These programs typically include a combination of coursework, exams, and practical evaluations.

The coursework often covers teaching methods, safety procedures, anatomy, and the principles of acrobatics.

Before enrolling in a certification program, ensure that it is recognized and valued within the acrobatics community.

Some programs may require prerequisites, such as a certain level of acrobatic skills, a first aid certification, or a number of years of teaching experience.

After obtaining your certification, you may need to renew it periodically, usually every few years, which often involves continuing education and a renewal fee.

This ensures that you keep up-to-date with the latest teaching methods and safety procedures in acrobatics.

Remember, your certification is not just a piece of paper; it’s a testament to your professionalism and commitment to providing a safe and effective learning environment for your students.


Step 5: Gain Teaching Experience

To become a successful acrobatics instructor, gaining practical teaching experience is a key step.

This experience will not only hone your own acrobatics skills but will also help you to develop strong teaching techniques and a comprehensive understanding of how to work with students of different age groups and ability levels.

Volunteering or interning at a local gym or dance studio is a great way to start building this experience.

You can assist experienced instructors, observe their teaching methods, and gradually take on more responsibility as you get comfortable.

You could also consider offering private lessons or running community classes to get hands-on experience.

In addition, teaching experience allows you to build a reputation within the industry and create a network of potential employers and clients.

You can also gain insight into the administrative aspects of running classes, such as scheduling, planning lessons, and managing safety protocols.

This experience will be invaluable when you are ready to take on your own classes or even open your own acrobatics studio.

Furthermore, many professional certifications and job opportunities require a certain amount of teaching experience, so the more experience you gain, the better positioned you will be for further career advancement.


Step 6: Understand Safety and First Aid

A critical part of being an acrobatics instructor is ensuring the safety of your students.

This will require you to gain thorough knowledge of safety measures associated with acrobatics training.

You must learn to set up the equipment safely and ensure that your students are using it correctly.

You’ll need to understand the importance of warm-ups, cool-downs, and conditioning exercises to prevent injuries.

In addition, knowing first aid is indispensable for an acrobatics instructor.

Accidents and injuries are not uncommon in this field, so being prepared to handle such situations is crucial.

You should consider getting certified in CPR and first aid.

There are many organizations that offer these certifications including the American Red Cross and American Heart Association.

This step will also require you to understand the common injuries associated with acrobatics, how to treat them, and when to seek professional medical help.

The more you know about injury prevention and first aid, the safer your students will be.

Furthermore, it’s important to enforce safety rules in your classes and create a culture of safety.

This means encouraging students to listen to their bodies, take breaks when needed, and speak up if something doesn’t feel right.

You should also create a supportive environment where students feel comfortable sharing any concerns or injuries.


Step 7: Develop a Specialization

As you become more proficient in your acrobatics skills and start to gain experience as an instructor, it’s important to consider developing a specialization.

This can be a specific style or form of acrobatics, such as aerial acrobatics, partner acrobatics, or acrobatic gymnastics.

Alternatively, you may choose to focus on teaching a specific demographic, like children, adults, or professional athletes.

Choosing a specialization can make you more marketable as an instructor and can help you stand out in your field.

It also allows you to deeply understand and master a particular aspect of acrobatics.

This can be determined based on your own interests and the demand in your local area or where you plan to teach.

Remember that developing a specialization often involves additional training and certification, so be prepared to invest in your ongoing education.

You should also consider attending workshops, seminars, and other professional development opportunities to continue learning and improving in your chosen specialization.


Step 8: Create a Portfolio

As an acrobatics instructor, it is crucial to have a portfolio that showcases your skills, past performances, and teaching experience.

This portfolio can be a combination of photos, videos, or written testimonials from past students.

Ensure that the videos and photos highlight your proficiency in different styles of acrobatics and also your ability to teach these skills effectively.

If you have been a part of any professional acrobatic performances or have participated in competitions, be sure to include these experiences in your portfolio.

You can also add certificates or awards you’ve received in the field of acrobatics.

It is also beneficial to include examples of lesson plans or training schedules you have created for students in the past.

This will give potential employers or clients an insight into your teaching methods and philosophy.

Remember to keep your portfolio updated as you gain more experience or learn new skills.

This can be a digital portfolio accessible online, or a physical one that you can present in person during interviews or meetings.

Your portfolio serves as a powerful tool in demonstrating your capabilities as an acrobatics instructor.


Step 9: Network with Acrobatics Professionals

Networking is an essential part of any career, and in the field of acrobatics, it is no different.

By interacting with other acrobatics professionals, you get to share and gain knowledge about the industry.

You can connect with other acrobatics instructors, performers, choreographers, and even circus directors to broaden your perspective about the industry.

You can start networking by attending acrobatics conferences, workshops, and festivals.

These events not only help in learning new techniques but also offer a great opportunity to meet and connect with industry professionals.

By building relationships with other acrobats, you can potentially open doors to job opportunities, collaborations, or even mentorship.

Social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and acrobatics-specific forums can also serve as a great tool for networking.

Join acrobatics groups, participate in discussions, and share your experiences and ideas.

Remember, networking is not just about taking, but also giving.

Be ready to share your experiences, knowledge, and connections with others in the industry.

A supportive, collaborative network can be an invaluable resource in your career as an acrobatics instructor.


Step 10: Apply for Acrobatics Instructor Positions

After you have achieved the necessary skills, certifications, and experience, the next step is to look for open positions as an Acrobatics Instructor.

Positions can be found in a variety of locations, such as gymnastics centers, circuses, dance schools, or fitness studios.

There are also opportunities in the entertainment industry, such as theme parks or production companies.

When applying for these roles, make sure to highlight your experience, skills, and any specializations you may have in your resume and cover letter.

Be sure to also include any relevant certifications you have earned and your experience in teaching acrobatics.

In addition, it may be beneficial to have a portfolio or video reel showcasing your acrobatics skills and teaching abilities.

This can be an effective way to demonstrate your teaching style and your proficiency in acrobatics to potential employers.

If your application is successful, you’ll likely be invited for an interview or audition.

Be prepared to demonstrate your acrobatics skills and possibly teach a sample class.

This is a great opportunity to show your passion for acrobatics and your ability to teach and inspire others.

Remember, being an Acrobatics Instructor is not just about performing tricks, but also about having a keen understanding of safety procedures, a strong ability to communicate, and a passion for teaching.

Show potential employers that you have these qualities and you’ll increase your chances of landing the job.


Step 11: Continue Professional Development

As an acrobatics instructor, it is vital to keep learning new skills and techniques to stay relevant in the field.

This not only includes staying up-to-date with the latest acrobatic trends but also improving your teaching strategies.

Consider attending workshops, masterclasses, and seminars related to acrobatics.

These events are typically organized by professional acrobatics associations or educational institutions, and they allow you to learn from expert acrobats and instructors.

Enroll in online courses that aim to improve the teaching skills of acrobatics instructors.

These courses can range from teaching techniques for beginners to advanced levels, safety measures during training, and how to handle injuries or accidents during practice sessions.

Keeping your first aid and CPR certifications updated is also essential, as it ensures you can handle emergencies during classes.

Lastly, make it a habit to engage with the acrobatics community.

Attend events, join online forums, and contribute to discussions.

This helps you maintain a wide network within the industry, which could lead to collaborations, job opportunities, and the exchange of ideas.

Remember, as an acrobatics instructor, your professional development is a continuous journey.

With every new skill or technique you learn, you’re not just improving yourself, but also enhancing the experiences of your students.


Acrobatics Instructor Roles and Responsibilities

Acrobatics Instructors are responsible for designing and delivering acrobatics training programs, ensuring safe practice, and helping students develop their acrobatic skills and techniques.

They have the following roles and responsibilities:


Training and Instruction

  • Design, plan, and conduct acrobatics classes for different age groups and skill levels.
  • Teach a variety of acrobatic skills and techniques including tumbling, balancing, and aerials.
  • Instruct students on proper form and technique to ensure safe practice.


Safety Management

  • Ensure training environments are safe and suitable for acrobatics training.
  • Implement and enforce safety rules and regulations during training sessions.
  • Administer first aid and injury management when necessary.


Assessment and Feedback

  • Assess students’ skills and abilities, and provide constructive feedback.
  • Track students’ progress and adjust training programs as needed.
  • Conduct performance evaluations and provide recommendations for improvement.



  • Communicate effectively with students, parents, and other instructors.
  • Address any concerns or issues related to the training program.


Event Preparation

  • Prepare students for acrobatic performances, competitions, or examinations.
  • Choreograph routines for performances.


Continuous Learning

  • Stay updated with the latest acrobatics techniques and safety protocols.
  • Attend training, workshops, and seminars to enhance instructional skills.


Equipment Maintenance

  • Ensure all acrobatics equipment is in good condition and safe to use.
  • Coordinate equipment repair and replacement when necessary.


Administrative Duties

  • Manage class scheduling, attendance records, and fees.
  • Handle any administrative tasks related to the acrobatics program.


What Does an Acrobatics Instructor Do?

Acrobatics Instructors are typically employed by dance studios, gyms, circus schools, or they may work as independent contractors.

Their primary role is to teach various forms of acrobatics to students of all ages and skill levels.

This might include teaching basic tumbling, stunts, aerials, contortion, and flexibility training, among other skills.

They create and plan lessons that not only teach acrobatic skills but also promote physical fitness, coordination, and flexibility.

They may also choreograph performances for their students to showcase their skills.

Acrobatics Instructors must be able to spot students during training to prevent injuries and ensure that moves are being performed correctly.

They also need to be patient, as acrobatics is a challenging discipline that can take a long time to master.

Instructors also need to understand the physical capabilities of their students and be aware of any medical conditions or physical limitations that might affect their ability to perform certain moves or routines.

Additionally, they may also be responsible for maintaining the cleanliness and safety of their teaching space, and ensuring all equipment is in good working order.


Essential Acrobatics Instructor Skills

  • Physical Fitness: Acrobatics instructors need to be in excellent physical shape, as they need to demonstrate acrobatic techniques and assist students during their training.
  • Teaching Skills: Instructors must know how to explain and demonstrate complex acrobatic movements in a way that students of different levels can understand and replicate.
  • Safety Knowledge: Safety is paramount in acrobatics. Instructors should have an understanding of safety procedures and how to use training equipment properly to prevent injuries.
  • Communication: It’s essential for acrobatic instructors to effectively communicate with students to provide clear instructions, feedback, and constructive criticism.
  • Patient and Encouraging: Learning acrobatics can be challenging. Instructors should be patient, supportive, and motivating to help students reach their potential.
  • Acrobatic Skills: Instructors should have a high level of proficiency in acrobatics, including tumbling, balancing, and flexibility skills.
  • First Aid and CPR: Instructors should be prepared to handle any emergencies that may arise during training, so knowledge of first aid and CPR is crucial.
  • Performance Skills: Ability to perform acrobatic routines can inspire students and help them understand the rhythm, flow, and timing of movements.
  • Choreography: Acrobatics instructors often need to choreograph routines for performances or competitions, so a good understanding of choreography is required.
  • Student Assessment: Instructors should be able to assess a student’s abilities and tailor training plans to meet their individual needs and goals.
  • Discipline: Acrobatics requires discipline and precision. Instructors should instill these qualities in their students.
  • Leadership: Acrobatics instructors should possess strong leadership skills to manage classes effectively and maintain order during training sessions.
  • Teamwork: Instructors may need to work with other instructors, coaches, and choreographers, so being able to collaborate and work effectively in a team is important.
  • Knowledge of Acrobatics Styles: There are many different styles of acrobatics, such as circus acrobatics, gymnastic acrobatics, and dance acrobatics. Instructors should have knowledge of these styles to teach a diverse range of skills.
  • Passion: A love for acrobatics and teaching can inspire students and make the learning process enjoyable.


Acrobatics Instructor Career Path Progression

The Foundation: Trainee Acrobatics Instructor

Your journey typically begins as a Trainee Acrobatics Instructor.

At this stage, you are learning the basics of acrobatics teaching, absorbing knowledge from experienced trainers, and gaining practical experience.

Your responsibilities may include assisting with classes, helping with safety measures, and understanding different acrobatics techniques.

Here are some tips for success in this role:

  1. Continuous Learning: Stay updated with the latest acrobatics techniques and safety measures.
  2. Seek Guidance: Always ask for advice and guidance from senior instructors and trainers.
  3. Active Participation: Be enthusiastic and active in every training session you attend.


The Ascent: Acrobatics Instructor

As you gain experience and confidence, you’ll transition into the role of an Acrobatics Instructor.

You’ll handle your own classes, choreograph routines, and become a crucial member of the acrobatics teaching team.

Here’s how to excel in this role:

  1. Develop Creativity: Create innovative and engaging routines to keep students motivated.
  2. Embrace Teamwork: Work closely with other instructors and collaborate on different training strategies.
  3. Focus on Safety: Always prioritize safety measures in your training sessions.


Reaching New Heights: Senior Acrobatics Instructor

The next step is the Senior Acrobatics Instructor position.

At this stage, you’re recognized for your expertise and leadership within the team.

You may take on mentoring roles, guide class curriculum, and drive the success of your students.

To thrive as a Senior Acrobatics Instructor:

  1. Mentorship: Share your knowledge and experience with junior instructors.
  2. Curriculum Development: Contribute to the curriculum and improve the overall training program.
  3. Leadership: Inspire others with your dedication, teaching methods, and safety standards.


Beyond the Horizon: Acrobatics Program Director and Beyond

As your career progresses, you may choose to take on leadership roles such as an Acrobatics Program Director or a Head of Training.

These roles involve greater responsibilities, leadership, and strategic decision-making.

Here’s what to focus on:

  1. Program Leadership: Drive the success of the acrobatics program and shape its direction.
  2. Management Skills: Develop strong leadership and communication skills to guide your team effectively.
  3. Innovation: Continue to innovate and introduce new teaching methodologies and routines.


Pinnacle of Success: Acrobatics School Owner or Principal

At the highest levels, you may aspire to become an Acrobatics School Owner or Principal.

Here, you’ll be responsible for shaping the overall training strategy of the institution, making critical decisions, and managing larger teams.


Acrobatics Instructor Salary

Entry-Level Acrobatics Instructor

  • Median Salary: $25,000 – $35,000 per year
  • Entry-level acrobatics instructors typically have 0-2 years of experience, often have been acrobats themselves, and may hold certifications from recognized acrobatics or gymnastics institutions.


Mid-Level Acrobatics Instructor

  • Median Salary: $35,000 – $45,000 per year
  • Mid-level acrobatics instructors have 2-5 years of experience and often take on more complex training routines and may start to mentor junior instructors.


Senior Acrobatics Instructor

  • Median Salary: $45,000 – $60,000 per year
  • Senior instructors possess 5+ years of experience, usually hold advanced certifications, and are responsible for creating training programs, supervising other instructors, and ensuring safety standards are met.


Lead Acrobatics Instructor / Acrobatics Program Manager

  • Median Salary: $60,000 – $80,000+ per year
  • These roles often involve leadership and administrative tasks such as overseeing entire acrobatics programs, scheduling, and decision-making in addition to their teaching duties.


Director of Acrobatics / VP of Acrobatics Training

  • Median Salary: $80,000 – $100,000+ per year
  • These high-level positions require extensive experience in the field, deep understanding of acrobatics training, and often involve setting training strategies for an institution or a company.


Acrobatics Instructor Work Environment

Acrobatics Instructors typically work in gyms, dance studios, circus schools, and sometimes in schools and universities that offer acrobatics as part of their physical education program.

They may also find employment in professional circus companies, performance troupes or even amusement parks.

Acrobatics Instructors often work with students of varying ages and skill levels, from beginners to advanced performers.

The work schedule for an acrobatics instructor can be fairly flexible, often depending on the number of classes they teach and the needs of their employer.

Many instructors might work evenings and weekends, when most people have time to take classes.

Acrobatics Instructors who gain a strong reputation and following may choose to open their own studios or training facilities.


FAQs About Becoming an Acrobatics Instructor

What qualifications do I need to become an Acrobatics Instructor?

To become an Acrobatics Instructor, you generally need to have a background in gymnastics or dance, with a specialization in acrobatics.

Many also have a degree in physical education or a related field.

You also need to have a recognized teaching qualification, which can be obtained through courses offered by professional organizations like USA Gymnastics or Acrobatic Arts.

These courses cover a wide range of topics, from teaching methodology to safety protocols.


How can I gain experience in acrobatics?

You can gain experience in acrobatics by being actively involved in gymnastics, dance, or similar physical activities.

This can be through joining a local gymnastics club, taking dance classes that include acrobatics, or even participating in circus schools.

Some people also find it beneficial to gain experience by volunteering or working as an assistant in acrobatics classes or summer camps.


Is it possible to become an Acrobatics Instructor without a degree?

Yes, it’s possible to become an Acrobatics Instructor without a traditional four-year degree.

The most important factor is having the required skills and experience in acrobatics.

However, having a degree in physical education or a related field can broaden your knowledge base and might open up more job opportunities.


Is teaching acrobatics dangerous?

Teaching acrobatics can carry some risk, as it involves physical exertion and complex movements.

However, proper training, adherence to safety protocols, and use of appropriate equipment can greatly minimize the risk of injury.

It’s important for instructors to ensure that students are progressing at a pace that’s safe and appropriate for their skill level.


What are the career prospects for an Acrobatics Instructor?

The demand for Acrobatics Instructors tends to be steady, as acrobatics is a popular component of both gymnastics and dance training.

As an instructor, you can work in a variety of settings, such as gymnastics clubs, dance schools, circus schools, or fitness centers.

Some instructors also offer private lessons.

As you gain more experience and build a reputation, you might also have opportunities to work as a choreographer or consultant, or even open your own acrobatics school.



And there you have it.

Setting out on the path to become an acrobatics instructor is no walk in the park, but it’s unquestionably exhilarating.

Equipped with the right abilities, training, and persistence, you’re well on your journey to leaving a significant mark in the world of acrobatics.

Bear in mind, the road might be tough, but the opportunities are boundless. Your expertise could lead to the next awe-inspiring performance that changes how we perceive, experience, and appreciate acrobatics.

So, take that initial leap. Immerse yourself in training. Connect with seasoned professionals. And above all, never stop pushing your physical and creative boundaries.

Because the world is waiting for the extraordinary feats you can accomplish.

And if you’re seeking tailored advice on starting or advancing your career as an acrobatics instructor, have a look at our AI Career Path Advisor.

This complimentary tool is designed to provide personalized tips and resources to help you effectively navigate your career path.

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