Christmas Craft Idea for Aerialists

Posted on: December 8th, 2014 by Rebekah Leach

Here’s my favorite Christmas craft idea spotted this season: Making aerial apparatus ornaments. This great tree ornament idea comes from Jordan Anderson and Clayton Woodson of Aerial Fit at Circus Building.

tree ornament

 Make a Fabric Ornament

They are pretty simple to make. For an aerial silks ornament, use a thin slice of actual fabric material (perhaps some lying around from when you trimmed your fabric?). If you don’t have any spare fabric at home, then you can always go to your local craft store and buy some fabric that will work instead. For your “rigging,” attach your fabric directly onto an S hook or other tree ornament hook. Purchase a sturdy hook at your favorite hardware store or use a thin wire to loop the fabric on.

Make a Hoop Ornament

To make the aerial hoop ornament, your first task is to find a ring of some sort. You are likely to luck out at your local hardware store for a good little solid metal ring. Next, wrap it in your favorite color tape. Electrical tape works especially well because it’s generally already thin, but you can use any colored tape. I suggest cutting it down to about 1 cm across if you have thicker tape. This will help lessen the bumps and lumps as you tape. Then, use ribbon or wire for your “rigging.” Use gold lined wire ribbon to make it especially pretty. Twist it as you go up.  Attach to an S hook or other tree ornament hook.

Make Your Own Apparatus!

Experiment with making a miniature trapeze or other favorite apparatus. These make great Christmas gifts for your students, teachers and/or other aerial friends. Or make them to put on your own tree to show off what you love!

Happy Holidays from

10 Progressions of the Hip Key

Posted on: November 22nd, 2014 by Rebekah Leach

This Fall we are all about Rope (a.k.a. Corde Lisse) here at We’ve been uploading new Aerial Rope videos to our site. Now and then we like to release one of our videos so that everyone can enjoy the in-depth coverage of common aerial moves ~ see the end of this article for a video covering the progressions of the hip key. These progressions are not “THE” progressions. They are simply A way to approach different points along the pathway of mastering the hip key. There is a lot to absorb. For some items, take or leave ‘em, but we hope you learn something new about training the hip key!

If you love the depth of these articles, you will love when the Rope Manual Volume 1 gets released 2015! (more…)

Not All Bones Are Created Equal => Not Everyone Splits the Same

Posted on: October 26th, 2014 by Rebekah Leach

Have you ever heard one of your students say they don’t feel a stretch at all, but just that things feel stuck. One person recently put it this way, “When I’m in a seated straddle I can not forward fold over the center at all, there is no pain or stretch, when someone puts pressure on me I begin to feel something but it is very faint.” Our bodies are not all created equal and this article is going to highlight where some of those differences come from – particularly in the hip joint.

When someone can’t do the splits, we want to jump to the classic conclusion that they must be tight and inflexible, but that’s just simple not true. It may be true, but we can also be misled by anatomical variations of the hip joint.


femur inclination

In the pictures above, do you notice the differences at the top of the femur? The ball on the end of this femur goes inside the socket of the hip joint. These two people are not going to squat the same, nor obtain the same flexibility level in their splits safely. One of these people will be able to perform a wide straddle with no issues. The other will experience pain and feel much comfortable in a narrow stance.


Above are two pelvic girdles. The person on the right might run into a block when trying to perform a forward fold in pike position. Below is a side view looking at the hip socket. One is pointing straight out and the other is pointing down and towards the front. Again, this lends itself to people having different positions where they are immediately comfortable and other areas where their bodies are sending them messages that say “Don’t go in that direction!”


Of course it would be great if every student could get perfect 180 degree splits in every direction, but if we honor the way our bodies are made, this simple isn’t anatomically possible for everyone to do safely. In the end, our goal should be to get to know our bodies better and to use our strengths, improve our weakness, and work safely to find the edge of our individual abilities and potential. Very few people are at the edge of their limits, so its important to keep working and not make excuses, but it also important to recognize anatomical limits that may exist! Most importantly, the race to flexibility is against yourself – never against the next person. Don’t compare your range of flexibility to anyone else’s. Embrace who you are and how God made you – bone structure and all.

 Photos used with permission from Paul Grilley.

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