Up in the Air

 Up in the Air

Ohio Sports Academy offers aerial arts classes for kids and adults.

Eric Spangler

Diane Trifiro, co-owner of the Ohio Sports Academy along with her husband, Tony, is always looking for unique programs to offer her customers.

“We don’t do the regular kind of gymnastics—we don’t do bars and beams—and so I’m always looking for unique things that we could offer people that nobody else is filling that need,” Trifiro says.

The newest unique offering at the Ohio Sports Academy is its DragonFly Aerial arts classes for children and adults. Trifiro says she believes it is the only aerial arts program for kids in the Dayton area and it is the only program that offers boot camp (for adults).

The Green Dragonfly program for children is designed for ages 9-16 and uses a “knot” in addition to two tailed silks to teach kids about leverage and counterbalance while spinning and wrapping. The fundamental principles of how wraps work and proper body placement are taught to insure the foundations for safety and injury prevention are enforced.

The classes are progressive, says Trifiro, so each class teaches a skill that is needed for the next class. Students are cross-trained on mixed apparatus, just like gymnastics, and incorporate aerial hoop, aerial hammock and dance trapeze.

The Aerial Boot Camp is designed for adults of all shapes and sizes, she says. Not only is the boot camp program a great workout but it’s interesting and fun, says Trifiro. “It’s a full-body workout,” she says. “It works your core, it works your abs, it works everything. But it’s just really fun.”

Fun is an important component to all the classes offered at the Ohio Sports Academy. Trifiro says she was looking for an aerial arts class to offer her customers for a while. “It’s really popular on both of the coasts,” she says.

After receiving an email from DragonFly Aerial Trifiro says the program looked like a good fit. “I needed a turnkey system so that we could just plug into our gym and it would work,” she says.

She bought a license and DragonFly Aerial sends a monthly curriculum. “All of our staff is certified so that was really important to me in finding a program that we would have ongoing support and that we didn’t have to create the curriculum,” says Trifiro.

Safety is an important consideration and the Ohio Sports Academy’s system—called a lower out system—is unique, she says. “That means that our staff can raise and lower the equipment via pulleys,” says Trifiro.

That’s important because if a participant gets stuck or scared the staff can quickly lower them to the mats below, she says. Other systems require staff to move a ladder into position to get the participant down.

Currently there are about 30 people taking the DragonFly aerial arts classes, says Trifiro. She plans to increase that number. “I’m hoping to grow it to 100 by March,” she says.

To help with that increase the Ohio Sports Academy is offering a risk-free trial. Anyone interested can find more information at ohiosportsacademy.com or by calling 743-1466.