About The Aerial Joy Instructors

Darby Florian

Aerial Joy Owner and Instructor

Darby Florian

Darby Florian is an experienced aerialist who has been practicing the aerial art form for over eight years.

Her love for movement began with gymnastics in first grade and continued as she cheered in high school and college.

She moved to Rock Hill and attended Winthrop University to get a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education and later received her Master’s in English for Speakers of Other Languages from Western Governors University.

Coaching gymnastics for 10 years and teaching in the Fort Mill schools for 13 years has equipped her to teach students of all ages and ability levels. With her combined skills in gymnastics and aerial, she has honed her craft and has become a passionate aerialist.

She is currently CPR and First Aid certified and Certified through Aerial Physique- Level One Silk. 

Learning from so many talented teachers in Charlotte and being a part of the growing aerial community in Charlotte has been invaluable. Now it is time to develop our own aerial community in Fort Mill and so Aerial Joy was created.

Casey Bio Pic

Sling 1 Certified Aerial instructor

Casey Jackson

Casey Jackson is a Sling 1 certified Aerial instructor through Spin City who brings fun and silliness to her classes! She has a ballet and dance background of 10 + years and has always enjoyed watching Cirque du Soleil aerial performances.

Hayden Shugart

Acro and Dance Instructor

Hayden Shugart

Hayden Shugart has twelve years of dance experience. For her, dance is a beautiful creative outlet that helps her keep moving, allows her to connect to music, and fosters her ability to show emotion.

Currently, she is a dancer at Miller Street Dance Academy and this is her fifth year performing in their Performance Company. Contemporary and jazz are her favorite styles of dance, and she has been working as a dance teacher assistant for four years.

Teaching kids is a passion of hers! She enjoys teaching acro, lyrical, jazz, tap, and ballet, and she can’t wait to help our aerialists learn dance they can use in their aerial performances.

Silk Instructor

Sarah Small

Sarah Small has been performing with Caroline Calouche & Co. and teaching with Charlotte Cirque and Dance Center since 2012.

Over the last decade, she has taken workshops from Tanya Burka, Susan Murphy, Amy Ell, and others from NECCA. She also attended Central Piedmont Community College for Dance Performance, taking ballet and modern dance instruction from Clay Daniel, Tracy Chan, and Katherine Horne and has taken dance workshops with Maria Caruso of La Roche University and the Bodiography dance company.

Sarah started working with Elevate in 2015, traveling around the southeast to perform for corporate and private events on Silks, Sling, Trapeze, Lyra, Lollipop Lyra, and Stilts. She loves performing, sharing her love of aerial arts, and snuggling with her two cats.

New Student Offer


First 2 Classes

Aerial Hoy Logo