Elizabeth Skwiot, founder of Aerialates®, is a professional aerialist, certified Pilates instructor, and certified personal trainer.

Elizabeth's entrance into the world of aerial arts happened when she first stepped off of a flying trapeze platform in 2001. Feeling more at home in the air than on the ground, she continued to study other aerial arts including aerial dance, corde lisse, static trapeze, doubles trapeze, and fabric.

After becoming trained in Pilates, she realized that the aerial apparati she used as a professional aerial performer offered a new dimension to standard Pilates exercises; thus began Aerialates. The Aerialates brand of aerial pilates is designed to renew and expand upon standard Pilates exercises, challenge participants in ways unavailable with other Pilates equipment, and make the aerial arts more accessible to participants of varied physical abilities.

Elizabeth has taught aerial arts at Trapeze Arts, Oakland; Studio 12, Berkeley; Xelias Aerial Arts Studio, Minneapolis; Hennepin Center for the Arts, Minneapolis, and has served as a guest instructor at the Motivity Center, the 2005 American Circus Festival, and the 2005 Sustainable Living Festival. She has performed with Terry Sendgraff's Aerial Dancers, Flynn Creek Circus, and Xelias Aerial Performance Company. Her aerial studies include training at Circus Center, San Francisco, CA; Motivity Center, Berkeley, CA; and Espacio Zero, Buenos Aires. Elizabeth is a STOTT-certified Pilates instructor, a NETA-certified personal trainer, and an ACE- and NASM-approved continuing education provider.

Before (and during) her circus training, Elizabeth received a 'traditional' education and holds a B.A. in Spanish and Comparative Literature (UW-Madison) as well as an M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature (UC-Davis). In addition to teaching Pilates and aerial arts, Elizabeth has taught Spanish and English at many colleges and universities including the University of St. Thomas, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, the University of California-Davis, and the Institute of Production and Recording.

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