The Pre-Professional program is designed for students displaying great interest and potential in the aerial arts. Students receive approximately 15 plus hours of weekly training in various aerial disciplines, contortion, dance styles, and acrobatics. Regular public performances, workshops, and collaboration with the company complement the program.


With its strong commitment to positive ideals, high calibre of coaches and guest artist/instructors from around the world, Vertical Fix has become a highly-reputed company for training students in the aerial arts, attracting students from all over the Arizona area and nationally to a unique learning experience. Students will benefit from this workforce by being continually exposed to new material and teaching styles – a constant renewal of energy and inspiration.


Pre-Professional students are expected to have a strong work ethic and dedication and be supportive of others in the space. Safety is of the utmost importance and is achieved through self-confidence and respect for classmates, coaches, and equipment. Focusing on quality of movement and not just stunts, students are given the tools they need to make this unique art form an expression of artistry and skillful technique into a professional career.


Students can expect to train a minimum of 15 hours a week with various coaches across a broad range of disciplines. Regular public performances, workshops, and collaboration with the company will complement the program.

Students will learn skills and conditioning across multiple disciplines including:

  • Aerial silks

  • Aerial hoop

  • Trapeze static/dance

  • Corde Lisse

  • Aerial straps

  • Invented apparatus

  • Strength training/injury prevention

  • Flexibility

  • Dance Genres

  • Adagio

  • Hand balancing/ floor work

  • Acting


Program Cost


$2500 total cost

$500/mo payment plan available


Training Schedule

Start Date: November 13, 2018

End Date: April 14, 2019

Tuesday – 6 PM to 9 PM

Thursday – 6 PM to 9 PM

Friday – Open Gym (Optional)

Saturday – 12 PM to 5 PM

Sunday – 12 PM to 4 PM

Teacher training & observations not included in regular schedule


  • Must be 14 years or older

  • Available to commit to the time that is required for the program

  • Previous training in:

    • Circus

    • Dance

    • Gymnastics

    • Sports

    • Martial Arts

    • Skating, etc.

  • Development and understanding of the human body

  • Possess talent, passion, determination, and open to learning new skills

  • Audition will be required to enter the pre-professional program


The audition will be held across two days on November 3rd & November 4th, 2018.

Day One

  • Day one auditions are appointment-based and interested students will need to register for a time slot. Time slots are available in 10 min increments between 12 PM and 3 PM on November 3rd.

  • Students must present a fully choreographed act

  • Acts must be between 3-5 minutes

  • Acts performed in previous student showcases are perfectly acceptable for this audition

  • Costuming is not required, but highly encouraged

Day Two

  • Day Two auditions will begin at 12 PM for all students receiving a call back. Please plan to be at the studio from 12 PM and 3 PM on November 4th.

  • Students will complete an assessment test in order to observe current skill levels in strength and flexibility. Students should be expected to be tested on the following:

    • Flexibility test

      • Seated pike, Standing pike

      • Splits – Right, Left, Middle

      • Straddle

      • Cobra

      • Bridge – Floor and standing

      • Shoulder Flexibility

    • Strength test

      • Pull-ups to max

      • Leg lifts to max

      • Skin the cats

      • Straddle ups

      • Pike or straddle climb – No legs

      • Dead hang – 30 seconds to a 1 min

      • Push-ups

      • Handstand – wall or with out

    • Dance and Choreography

      • High kicks

      • Across the floor

      • Improvisation work

      • Dance combo


MoNika Ell

From a child, the art of body movement always intrigued MoNika. From Wushu at age 6, to ballet at age 13, he always pushed for more. His high school ballet teacher introduced him to a local circus company Pendulum Aerial Arts, where he trained over the next 12 years. MoNika joined Pendulum Aerial Arts at age 14 and went to be with the company until the age of 25. Throughout the years with Pendulum, he grew with the company as the years went on. The timeline follows starting off in the after school kids program, the recreation classes, the youth program, the Pre-professional 4 year program, Principle company member, head coach, director of education and assistance artistic director.


But MoNika wanted more, and began taking opportunities to travel abroad, which led him to Hong Kong. There, he was introduced to pole dance, and in just a few years, he placed 2nd in the world and 1st in the nation.


The summer of 2015, he left his home in Oregon and traveled south to California and then to Arizona. While maintaining his training, he immersed himself with yoga, Pilates, conditioning, technique, and overall health. Through diverse instructing, philosophy, and continuous research, he wants his student’s body movements to be a reflection of a healthy core.


MoNika has never let fear and limits intimidate him from achieving more, making him broad-range artist. MoNika has worked with: Cirque du Soleil, Pendulum Aerial Arts, Aerial Arts Academy, Oregon Ballet Theater, Oregon Gymnastics Academy, Nike, Adidas, Columbia Sportswear, Lululemon Athletica, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Atlantis, Intel, Engelbert Strauss, Les Farfadias, and many others. MoNika’s genres include: Wushu, ballet, aerial circus arts, modern &contemporary dance, pole dance & competition, contortion, jazz, tap, hip-hop, gymnastics, Pilates, and yoga. He has performed charity events, collaborated with artists from countless nations and backgrounds, and is an instructor in nearly all genres.


MoNika wants the best for his students and will always make sure the students have a strong foundation in the discipline they choose. May it be in yoga, circus, dance, Pilates, etc, a strong foundation is key to progress as an artist, and athlete. Along with his focus on foundation, he continues to challenge his students in and out of the studio with his teaching methods. He loves to share his knowledge to those who have the hunger to learn and who has an open heart and mind.

7425 S Harl Ave, Tempe, AZ 85283

P: (623) 850-8155,


©2018 by Vertical Fix, LLC. All rights reserved.