Warped Studios

Face of Aerial Dance

Warped Studios; (Left to right) Adam Roethel, Production Coordinator; Maria Hackbarth, Artistic Director; Sarah Masarik, Assistant Director, Sheboygan Location; (Not pictured) Catherine Hughes, Assistant Director, Milwaukee Location; Photo by Linda Smallpage, Boutique Photographer

“When you become an adult, you don’t often get the chance to hang upside down and swing,” says Maria Hackbarth, the founder and owner of Warped Studios in Walker’s Point.

The aerial dance studio offers folks just that opportunity. Warped Studio’s aerial dance classes – available for both adults and children – are unlike any other fitness activity around. Participants are hoisted up with bungees and cables for an intense dance workout. The aerial twirls and stretches strengthen your core, improve flexibility, better your circulation and more – and they can be fun as well.

“Sometimes people will say, ‘Oh, I can’t do that,’” says Hackbarth. “I tell them that my oldest client is 88 years old – and she has so much fun and gets a great workout.”

Hackbarth, who has decades of dance experience, founded Warped Studios as Warped Dance Company in 2007. The company toured locally and around the world, performing in Switzerland, Chile and more. In 2015, Hackbarth opened a studio in Sheboygan and started hosting dance classes. She brought Warped’s unique aerial dance classes southward in November of 2021, opening her new Milwaukee location in the former home of the Milwaukee Ballet. Catherine Hughes is Warped Studios’ assistant director at the Milwaukee location, and she produced the studios’ first student aerial showcase in June. “I’m honored to be in a position where I can help Milwaukee students grow and learn,” Hughes says.

On top of offering aerial fitness and dance classes, Hackbarth also continues to run Warped’s professional and pre-professional dance company, putting on shows throughout the year. This December, Warped will perform How the Grinch Stole Cirquemas! The dance company is also available to hire for corporate events, birthday parties, outdoor festivals and other occasions.

“It’s been very exciting to grow our Milwaukee location,” Hackbarth says. “In the future we’re planning to offer more youth classes, as well as ballet, contemporary dance and other options. We’re looking forward to continuing to expand.”

504 W. NATIONAL AVE. | 414-573-0964

919 N. 14TH ST., SHEBOYGAN | 414-573-0964