Aerial Arts

Aerial Arts

What are aerial silks?

Aerial silks, also known as aerial fabrics, aerial tissue, or aerial ribbons, is one of the newest and most challenging, yet most awe inspiring and versatile aerial art forms. It is an exciting time for this new aerial style, because it is gaining popularity and continues to explode with new developments. Aerial training used to be limited to Olympic level gymnasts and circus performers, but now it is being offered to the public as a fitness program and a way for those with dance/gymnastics or other athletic backgrounds a chance to stay fit while being creative. Some of the newest trends to develop from aerial silks are aerial yoga and aerial suspension training.

Our program at The Edge starts with aerial conditioning that incorporates safe and appropriate leveled skills that show the relationship between the conditioning and the skill sets that we are working towards. Aerial conditioning is done at the studio on our aerial stations where the top height is 10.5’. Only when a student has met certain skill requirements ( since one cannot wear safety harnesses as they would get tangled in the fabric) are they then offered the transition to our silks program which we hold at Heartland Gymnastics where the fabrics are suspended from a height of 22’.

What is the static trapeze?

Static trapeze, also known as fixed trapeze. In contrast to the other forms of trapeze, the static trapeze bars and ropes mainly stay in place. Most often, the static trapeze is about 1.5 feet wide and the bar is generally 1-1.5 inches in diameter. Many of the skills learned on a the static trapeze are transferable to the silks or lyra and conditioning on the trapeze is complimentary as well. We utilize both the trapeze and silks in our conditioning program at the studio and have, at our second location at Heartland Gymnastics, 4 silks and 1 lyra, 2 static trapezes at as the heights of 5’ and 8.5’ from the ground respectively.

Static Trapeze is one of the easiest of aerial acrobatic disciplines to begin with but perhaps one of the hardest to master. We start by learning simple moves on and under the bar which can be achieved with very little strength, by intermediate level techniques move up in to the ropes where you learn to invert in the ropes supporting your own weight and by advanced level we teach you dynamic catch and release style tricks, dismounts and moves which require more advanced strength and flexibility.

Our aerial conditioning classes take students of any fitness level and work on improving strength and fitness while learning good trapeze technique. Static Trapeze is an ideal starting point for students wanting to start in aerial arts or who just want a fun way of getting fit.

What is the lyra?

The aerial hoop (also known as the lyra, aerial ring or cerceau/cerceaux) is a circular steel apparatus (resembling a hula hoop) suspended from the ceiling, on which aerial artists may perform aerial acrobatics. It can be used static, spinning, or swinging.

What are the risks of aerial arts?

Aerial arts is a potentially dangerous activity working skills at various heights. The most common injuries are overuse injuries of shoulders and back, pulled muscles, bruises, fabric-burns, and dizziness/nausea (from upside-down or spinning). Possible risks include but are not limited to sprains and in rare cases, broken bones, paralysis or death. Students agree to participate at their own risk.

Students should only take classes from professional aerial trainers. Aerial arts involve complex wraps and positions that if executed incorrectly or slightly off could have major consequences. It also involves subjecting the body to large impact forces that may cause sprains, strains, overuse injuries and internal organ injuries and/or bleeding if done incorrectly. Do not try to learn from Youtube or people who are not qualified professionals. Unsafe aerial instruction can result in paralysis or death.

What safety measures do you take?

he Edge-Your Fitness Advantage takes your safety very seriously. Our teachers have been trained on site by one of top aerial arts teacher certification programs in the country: Born to Fly Productions with Julianna Hane & Rebekah Leach. Julianna is the author of “The Aerial Teacher’s Handbook”—the bible in the aerialist world for teaching aerial arts. All of our trainers are CPR certified. We also carry commercial liability insurance. Our aerial equipment holds a minimum of 2,200lbs dynamic load and the rigging holds between 10,000-15,000 lbs. We have a regular inspection and maintenance schedule to keep our equipment clean and in good repair. We work above high-impact gymnastics mat that are specially designed to absorb large impact forces.

What can I do to ensure my safety?

Your safety is ultimately in your hands. All students must adhere to The Edge-Your Fitness Advantage student safety policy, or they will be asked to leave the class.

The Edge-Your Fitness Advantage Student Safety Policy:

We insist on a mastery of basic skills before progressing to skills requiring more strength, endurance, stability, and understanding. Our program is based on Levels (1-5) that build on each other. Therefore, our policy are as follows:

Students are not allowed to practice anything that they learned off YouTube.

If a student wants to learn a skill that they saw on YouTube, they can email the link to their instructor and ask their instructor to teach it during class. The instructor will evaluate whether the skill is appropriate for the student’s level, and will teach it - or not - accordingly. Please check out this great article by Laura Witwer that explains why.

Purchasing Your Own Equipment

Please carefully consider if you are qualified to own fabrics and rig or contract the rigging of your own equipment. The Edge-Your Fitness Advantage assumes no liability of personal aerial equipment or use thereof.