Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

Updated January 4, 2022 at 6pm

In light of the developing COVID-19 picture and the spread of the Omicron variant, Defy Gravity will be implementing a COVID vaccine requirement for all students and staff beginning January 17th, 2022.

In the early days of COVID, we had significant cleaning procedures in place, quarantine time for apparatuses, and lower class caps, as much was still unknown about how COVID spreads. We now know that surface transmission is a negligible factor and the best way to prevent transmission is to do two things: wear a mask and get vaccinated. We’ve been dancing and flying in masks for almost two years now, and with Omicron added to the picture, we’ll be continuing to do so for the foreseeable future. While we will not be reinstating all elements of our COVID protocols from earlier in the pandemic (for the reasons listed above), we will be making a change to requirements for staff and students to be in the studio space.

Starting with the Spring 2022 schedule, we will require students to show proof of vaccination to take classes at Defy Gravity. Please submit proof of vaccination to the Google form below at your earliest convenience. If you would like to discuss any of this, please feel free to email [email protected]

IMPORTANT NOTE: To upload pictures to this form, you must be signed in with a Google account. If you do not have a Google account, you can email a picture of your vaccination card to [email protected]

Link to form:

We are currently only requiring vaccination and not boosters, as not everyone may yet be eligible for the booster depending on when they got their initial vaccination. However, if you are eligible for your booster, we heavily encourage all students to get boosted (if you’re not already). Boosters have been making a big difference in Omicron transmission rates, and being fully vaccinated helps protect the whole DG community.

Prior COVID Updates 

Updated May 29, 2021 at 1:00 pm

As you’ve probably heard, last week the CDC made some updates to their guidance for mask-wearing and distancing for vaccinated people. Based on that information, Urbana has suspended COVID restrictions as of May 14th. The general mask mandate for businesses has been removed, but individual establishments can set their own safety policies, which is what Defy Gravity will be doing.

We want to have protocols that allow everyone to safely participate in classes, especially those who are more vulnerable due to health conditions, those who are still waiting for a vaccination, and those with young children. So for the time being, masks will still be required for all staff and students while in the studio. We will continue to review new information, vaccination numbers, and COVID rates as Illinois goes into Phase 5, and re-evaluate our policies as we move into summer.

While we strongly encourage everyone who’s able to be vaccinated to do so, we will not be requiring proof of vaccination to participate in classes. People’s health records are private information, and it would not be appropriate for the studio to collect them. As we get into the hotter months, we will implement mitigation measures such as more fans, and air purifiers if/when we stop requiring masks. As we continue to evaluate our policies, we will reach out to our student community for your feedback on keeping the studio a safe space to train.

One positive aspect of continuing our mask requirement is that it gives us more options to safely phase out some other COVID restrictions, such as smaller classes and not sharing poles/aerial apparatuses. Pole room class sizes are scheduled to move up to 10 people in June, we’re now able to share bar apparatuses in classes, and we’re reviewing increasing class sizes in the aerial room for July.

If you have questions or concerns, you’re welcome to reach out ([email protected]). And as always, sincere thanks from all of us at Defy Gravity for your support and commitment to our community’s safety. 

Updated Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 6:00 pm

We have some exciting news to share!

With the approval from the Public Health Department, we are planning to reopen for in-studio classes on February 1st! You can sign-up now for our online and in-studio classes through PunchPass. We will be following our COVID procedures as they were in the fall, including:

  • Students and instructors must wear a mask within the studio at all times. 
  • We will maintain heightened cleaning policies as before, including sanitizing high touch surfaces, mopping the floors with alcohol and soap, and quarantining fabric aerial apparatuses between classes.
We had Virtual Open House events on Zoom this past week. Below are links to Tuesday’s recording and our presentation slides:

Recording of Tuesday’s meeting (unlisted YouTube link)

Meeting slides (PDF)

Additionally, here’s the Behavior Agreement link as discussed in the Open House:

  • Student COVID agreement
  • All students participating in in-studio classes must have one on file. It’s the same as the September version, so if you’ve already signed it, you’re good to go.
  • If you are NEW to in-studio classes in the COVID era, you must sign ahead of your first class.
  • We encourage the community to read over the agreement ahead of your first class and ask any questions you may have via [email protected] Do not reply to this email.
  • If you prefer to print and sign a copy ahead of your first class, please bring to class with you. We will have paper copies available outside the studio door.

Your friends in flying,
Defy Gravity

Last updated Friday, November 20, 2020 at 5:00 pm

Hello DG community,

Yesterday, Governor Pritzker announced that as of Friday, November 20, Illinois will be moving into Tier 3, which prohibits gyms from operating any classes indoors. As there is currently no end date for this order, the Defy Gravity administrative staff have developed the following plan as we believe best fits our community and the realities at hand.

As of Friday the 20th, we will be cancelling all in-studio classes for the remainder of 2020. Historically, the studio closed for a stretch of time in late December and early January. With the additions of U of I students leaving the area and the new shutdown order, we feel it best to preemptively cancel in-studio classes for this window of time and turn our energy and attention to our DG Online offerings.

DG Online classes will still be running as advertised through November. We have a variety of flexibility, conditioning, floorwork, and dance classes on the schedule right now. We hope that even if you’ve primarily joined us for in-studio classes thus far, you give DG Online a try. This month, we are also offering a Sexy Saturday series as part of our Community Care classes. These classes are pay-what-you-please and more information about them can be found across our social media.

In December, we will be refreshing our DG online schedule with some new offerings, some different class times, and other opportunities to virtually engage with the DG community. For those of you who submitted to be a part of our December-ween virtual showcase, be on the lookout for additional emails to discuss continued involvement in that show and how it might look moving forward.

If you are unable to access DG Online classes and have an active pass you wish to pause, you will need to email [email protected] as soon as possible to do so. It is significantly more difficult for us to honor pauses retroactively, and we appreciate your sensitivity to this. We of course hope you’ll join us for our virtual offerings, and appreciate your continued support of our small business.

We are currently in the process of cancelling in-studio classes from Punchpass. Classes cancelled prior to 11/20 will receive the regular cancellation emails. Classes cancelled after 11/20 will not receive individual emails as to not spam your inboxes.

We know it’s hard to say goodbye when it feels like we just got back to doing what we love, but we are all part of many larger communities beyond DG. And it is absolutely vital for the health of our larger communities that we all do whatever we can to reduce the spread of COVID. For those reasons, we are happy to dance from home.

We look forward to seeing you in the virtual world, and will forever remain--

Your friends in flying,

Defy Gravity

Last updated Monday, August 3 at 5:30 p.m.

Below is the link to the recording of the Reopen Q&A meeting hosting August 2 at 3 p.m. The meeting covers COVID cleaning and procedures, differences for reopen, information about transferring passes affected by shutdown, and DG Online previews. 

Click here to view the meeting recording.

The meeting slides can be viewed here.

The Pass Transfer Google Form can be completed here. Please complete once and with the fullest information available to you as pertains to previously purchased passes. With any additional questions, please email [email protected]

Last updated Tuesday, June 23 at 7:00 p.m.

While the state is nearing a Phase 4 reopen, Defy Gravity will not be opening for Summer 2020. We are dedicating our funds, gained in large part to DG Online classes, to developing a strong reopen plan for our brick and mortar studio in Fall 2020. With this reopen of our physical space, we will also bring back some of the most popular DG Online classes such as Bend and Flex, Bend and Rest, Conditioning, and more.

If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, we invite you to fill out this brief Google form as we work to build a better DG for the post-COVID world:

We encourage the community to stay updated on our progress via our website and social media. We also encourage folx to use this time while the studio is closed to:

  • Take classes with DG instructors who are continuing their online offerings solo
  • Take virtual classes from other studios with DG friends
  • Turn an intentional focus to dismantling white supremacy within self, circles of influence, and through redistribution of funds wherever able

We look forward to continuing to engage virtually with everyone as we work towards the reopening of our studio space.

With love,

Defy Gravity

Last updated Friday, May 1 at 10:53 a.m.

Dear Defy Gravity Community,

The shelter-in-place ordinance has been extended to May 30, impacting us all in different was and DG is not exempt from this. Collectively, we've experienced the closing of our brick and mortar studio, social distancing from our studio friends, classmates, and teachers -- and the inability to train, learn and move on our well-missed apparatuses. This hurts and we know it. We're feeling it too.

In efforts to bridge this gap, we're hosing Zoom socials to provide fellowship to the community and launched DG Online through PunchPass. We're offering 16 Zoom classes with more launching soon. We're so glad to chat, train, and squal over each other's pets with all of you online. The DG magic is still there, it's just different and it can sustain us for now.

From an undermined amount of time, Defy Gravity will operate solely online through Zoom classes, pre-recorded classes, and virtual private lessons. It is likely we'll need to continue to operate online even after shelter-in-place is lifted; it will allow the studio time to gather the necessary funds to re-open physically. Many folks have asked, "What can I do to help?" The best thing you can do to support the studio right now is to buy and use your class punchcards and memberships.

We do not know the full impact COVID-19 will have on our community and our city. Like many other areas of our lives, so much is uncertain. What is certain is that when it's needed most, the DG community comes together. What is also certain is that we're doing all we can to reopen so our community can be together, in person. Thank you for continuing to support Defy Gravity and our community.

Until we can all be home in the studio...

With gratitude,

DG Admin and Staff

Spring Showcase 2020 Canceled

Last updated Tuesd​ay, April 22 at 9 a.m.

For the health and safety of our community, we unfortunately must cancel Spring Showcase 2020. We understand that this is an event that so many look forward to participating in, but events are unfolding that warrant caution. We also considered the following variables:

  • Students can't practice their shows while we're closed.
  • Rushing a live stream setup without testing and coordinating may result in issuing refunds for buffering issues, loss of signal, and poor quality.
  • Folx can't stay 6-feet apart from one another to rig.
  • We can't sterilize equipment in a timely manner.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We have a goal to schedule a performance this summer. We hope to see you there.

To view our open status, please view our homepage. For questions, please email [email protected]

March 21 COVID​-19 Statement

Last updated Tuesd​ay, March 21 at 7:55 a.m.

The governor has put Illinois under a Stay at Home order starting March 21 at 5 p.m. through April 7. We are complying with this to our fullest ability and will therefore be cancelling all open gym, private lesson, and private group classes from March 21 at 5 p.m. through April 7. Essentially, the physical location of the studio is closed until April 8. Your health is our top priority.

In response we will be freezing all passes starting March 20 and ending April 7. Folx on a monthly contract for their pass can remove their CC from MindBody to stop recurring payment. It will take a few days for update MindBody, and we appreciate your patience as we implement this.

We’re offering online classes as a way to provide our community with a piece of the DG experience at home. We’re ready to launch soon. Stay tuned for updates. Moving forward, instructors will be recording from their homes to ensure we are doing everything possible to protect those most vulnerable in our community.

For any further questions, please email [email protected]


Defy Gravity Staff

March 17 COVID-19 Statement

Last updated Tuesd​ay, March 17 at 7:55 a.m.

As with any potentially infectious virus, we’re working to help keep all Defy Gravity members safe and informed. As the coronavirus infection (COVID-19) situation continues to unfold, we know there are many questions on the minds of our staff and students. Defy Gravity is closed Monday, March 14 and Tuesday, March 15 to deep clean our facilities and adjust our offerings for the month of March. Safety is of utmost importance and you are encouraged to exercise good judgement if you are not feeling well. Please view our FAQ below.


How are you cleaning your studios?

  • Floors mopped and disinfected daily.
  • Surfaces in common areas are disinfected daily.
  • Our mat and floor sanitizer is hospital grade.
  • Use 70% alcohol solution to clean poles before, after, and during every class.
  • Antibacterial gel stations are located in every studio.
  • We added a daily deep-clean for props and apparatuses.
  • Silks are washed as frequently as is possible without causing damage to the integrity of the fabrics.

As always, if feeling ill, please stay home.

Can I schedule private lessons?

We are currently allowing private and semi-private lessons. Staff reserves the right to cancel private lessons with little warning. We appreciate your understanding.

I attend class at Defy Gravity. What can I do to help?

  • Wash your hands! Use Lincoln Square Mall's bathrooms or our own. Please wash for 20-30 seconds.
  • Use the provided hand sanitizers or bring your own.
  • Clean your poles and yoga mats. Please allow cleaner to sit on your mat for 60 seconds before wiping.
  • Remain home if you're feeling sick and cancel your class reservation.
  • Practice preventive hygiene and avoid touching your face.
  • Cough or sneeze into your arm and body. Excuse yourself to wash or sanitize your hands.
  • Students will be asked to excuse themselves from class if they're showing signs of illness.
  • Instructors are limiting "hands-on" spots to reduce contact.

How can I check if classes are canceled?

  • Classes will be marked 'canceled' on MindBody.
  • Check your email for cancelation notifications.
  • Staff reserves the right to cancel classes with little warning. We appreciate your understanding.
  • Select classes that do not require specialized equipment will be offered online. Online classes will be clearly marked on MindBody.

Have any events or workshops been cancelled?

  • Workshops and trainings are canceled through April 4. Full refunds have been issued.
  • Defy Gravity is opting out of the Boneyard Arts Festival in an abundance of caution.
  • Events and workshops scheduled after April 4 are tentative.

Is showcase still on?

Our Spring Showcase is slated for April 24 and 25. However, this date is subject to change or cancelation. Please check this FAQ or the Defy Gravity Facebook page for showcase updates. In the event of cancelation or postponement, participants will be notified via email before the public.

How are you evaluating your open status?

Defy Gravity is working with healthcare professionals to determine our open status multiple times a day. Carle Foundation Hospital issued a statement Sunday, March 15 at 3:00 p.m. that a confirmed case is in our area. In response, all classes must honor the 6-foot separation rule in compliance with COVID-19 best practices. Students must wash hands, sterilize their mats and equipment, and present no signs of illness.

In closing: we encourage our community to be proactive, not panicked.

This is a stressful moment. While it is important to be informed, please protect your mental health. Try to limit your news intake to 1-2 times a day. Getting enough rest is essential to good health and try your best to stick to normal schedules whenever you can. Make time for things that make you feel good and be diligent in your self care. We are each other's keepers. Taking care of yourself is taking care of our community. If you have questions, please contact us.


Defy Gravity Staff