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Stay Safe In The Air


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As you know Aerial Arts can be dangerous.

We are sure you have seen the stories about aerial rigging failures, human error and fatalities blasted across your news feed…

You also know that there are risks associated with taking aerial classes as well as training privately with a coach or on your own.

There ARE ways to significantly reduce your chances of injury or incident though and ensure that you have a long, fulfilling career as an aerial artist or aerial student.

1. Build a Solid Foundation

No matter how ‘natural’ aerial arts may be for you or how ‘easy’ it seems to shimmy up that silk (lucky you!) it is imperative that you take as many aerial classes as possible during your first year + of discovering aerial. Regular aerial class with a reputable, experienced instructor will help you build a solid technique and lower your risk of injury.

2. Do Your Research

When beginning your aerial journey (or moving to a new location) be sure to research the aerial studios in your area. You can do this by reading reviews online, asking questions in online forums, reaching out to current students who have trained at the studio as well as the studios themselves.

Some questions to ask/look out for might be: “What are the instructors like at this studio?” “What is the ceiling height?” “Who did the rigging?” “Do they use safety mats?”

Some studios will let you ‘audit’ a class (watch) before participating. This is a great way to get a feel for an instructor as well as address any safety concerns such as rigging, safety mats and discern the overall atmosphere of a studio.

3. Listen to Your Coach

As much a you may want to attempt that Twisty Double Back Dive that you saw Brett doing on Instagram 😉 It is important to be patient and put the time in to developing a strong foundation (see above) before attempting big drops and tricks.

If you are studying at a reputable studio your instructor will advise you on when you are ready to attempt such drops (we would suggest you start off small with a Single Star Drop or another ‘closed’ drop that your coach suggests). Stay focused, be patient and consistent with your training and you will get to those exciting, fun drops…when you are ready.

4. Get Educated About Rigging

Although you may not know any professional riggers personally, there is A LOT of excellent information out there on the World Wide Web about aerial rigging. For a start check out this interview we did with with pro rigger Tim Contreres on the subject.

This is especially important as you advance in your training and if you have considered or are considering purchasing your own rig, training space and/or working professionally as an aerialist.

Having at least a basic understanding of aerial hardware (Carabiner’s, Swivels etc.) as well as pulley systems, motors and load limits can help you know the kinds of questions to ask a professional rigger and/or structural engineer and what to look out for in their answers.

5. Use Good Judgement

It is important to use your own best judgement when it comes to aerial related issues such as whether you are ready to perform, how much height you need for that drop or if you actually want to take class with that notoriously ‘hard’ instructor. Yes, your coach is likely to weigh- in and help you make these decisions but ultimately you are responsible for the choices you make so take the time to consider your options from every angle, stay alert and listen to your own instincts both on the ground and in the air.

If aerial is your passion (and we know it is!), nothing is going to stop you from training, learning and growing as an aerialist. Don’t forget though, your aerial journey is not a race, it is a beautiful artistic exploration and and opportunity to express yourself fully!

Take your time, be informed, stay focused and stay safe!

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