2021 Reflections (Part 2): A Sling Book

The Aerial Sling Manual Vol2 was released in 2021.

One of the biggest highlights for my career last year was the release of The Aerial Sling Manual Volume 2. I released it in the summer time and saw great sales thanks to supports from this website and my Instagram channel (@borntoflycurriculum). “Great sales” is relative as my aerial influence is quite small, but in terms of the sales my books normally see, I was thrilled with the outcome. I was also thrilled with the feedback. So many aerialists are tagging me on social media with what they were able to uncover after soaking in the material from the book. I also launched some online courses based on the chapters of the book that were highly successful. I definitely feel most at-home on sling and I think that really showed through this book and the courses that I ran last year.

Below is the introduction from inside the book in order to give you a complete overview of what you can find in this book. More than any other book I have ever created, I coined new terms for the skills. While many other apparatuses were already established by the time I wrote my book on the topic, sling has not been well-formed, and the language on it is very sparse and inconsistent. I did my best to create a consistent vocabulary that helps to tackle the skills and break them down. Many readers will have a hard time adapting the “newness” of the language, as I can almost guarantee that it is different from your local studio (unless your local studio includes me as your teacher), but once you get immersed in this version of sling, you may find yourself making connections that were on the tip of your aerial brain but not quite clear until the language was able to articulate them for you.

I also released a special sling workshop into my video library in December 2021, but it was available for a limited time. It was a great overview of the material included in the summary below. I plan on releasing a few more bonus workshops into my video library this year, so stay tuned! I announce them in my newsletters which are coming out about once every couple months. Double check that you are on the current mailing list (available to members only).


This book starts off with some conditioning drills in Chapter One. I find drills a very important part of each class, especially inversion work here in Level 2. Regular practice of these will allow the body to grow and maintain strength. Just make sure to keep enough variation in your practice to keep the muscles “guessing”, allowing the mind to stay involved in your training and prevent ruts from growing too strong. Chapter One also includes some foundational vocabulary and other odds and ends that are appropriate when beginning Level 2.

Chapter Two covers arabesques in a brand new way that I created in order to help establish consistent vocabulary for the various ways a body could lean to one side in the sling. The main two types of arabesques are front arabesque and back arabesque. Back arabesque is popular on fabric, where you commonly see it used in conjunction with things like crossback straddle. In sling world, front arabesque is actually the shining start when it comes to crossback straddle (which is the topic of Chapter Eight). Chapter Two also covers running man, as many of the entries fall out easily from arabesques.

Chapters Three & Four cover the pair of reverse skills: catcher’s and seatbelt, respectively. The whole world of sling can be split right down the middle into catcher’s-land and seatbelt-land, and I find it important to juxtapose these two topics for comparison discussions. Chapter Four also covers the hip corset topic, which is where catcher’s and seatbelt are united into one skill together.

Chapter Five is all about getting off your hands for a moment and getting upside-down on your knees and ankles. I cover ankle hangs and knee hangs mainly in this chapter. I tried to further stay off the hands in Chapter Six by spending time around the hips with another pair of reverse skills: side back balance and hip key. Side back balance is one of my favorite skills, so that got a bit more emphasis.

Chapter Seven covers beats and drops. Building a foundation is so important for me that I tend to push drops far back into the curriculum, so there are not as many drops as one might typically expect for this point in the curriculum. Nevertheless, you should find all the classics here.

As I mentioned earlier, Chapter Eight covers crossback straddle. It also covers a hodgepodge of skills from fabric. One important topic here is “high catcher’s,” which will be developed more in Level 3.

By the end of Level 2, my expectations for students is that they have a good grasp of a wide range of topics. They should also have super clean inversions, so don’t neglect those drills! What you can look forward to after this level is a season of building harder skills as well as diving deeper into the complexities of sling. But, no hurry. Enjoy the journey!


You can download the digital version or purchase the paperback from this website. (Sorry, we only ship to USA addresses — if you live internationally, please email mail@firetoys.com to request them to put it in their shop so that you can purchase it.)

One great perk of the digital download is that there are LINKS to all the videos from the video library, which is extremely handy for seeing the skill played out when you need that extra visual reminder. Please note that the video library is sold separately and the videos themselves do not come with the book. This is often a point of confusion. They are linked but they are two separate products: the book is one product. The video library is it’s own product. They are designed to work together, but we don’t sell them together. Sorry! However, if you email us (info@aerialdancing.com) and ask nicely, we’re always happy to let new members trial a membership if they bought a download and want to peak into our library to see what all the fuss is about. Mention this blog. 🙂

Want to save 10% on your purchase? Make sure that you are logged in to your membership account (which is free, although the free version doesn’t include the video library). All members automatically save 10% on their cart when they are logged in to make a purchase.

Thank you so much for all the support. I am really excited to start work next year on more books. Currently, my top three projects are a Trapeze Manual, Fabric Vol3 and Sling Vol3. Facebook message me to tell me which book you think I should work on next!

New Fabric Book (Vol 2) is Now Available for Pre-SALE!

Aerial Fabric Manual Vol2 COVER

The Aerial Fabric Manual Volume 2 is now available for sale!!


My previous books The Intermediate Aerial Fabric Instructional Manuals in Parts 1 & 2 are no longer in print and have been removed from virtual shelves everywhere. The two books have been condensed and combined into this massive textbook.

Last year, I published The Aerial Fabric Manual Volume 1, which was a remake of the previous Beginning Fabric Instructional Manual, which was originally published in 2009. Trust me, the new book is sooo much better! I have learned so much over this past decade and the new books reflect that. They show the progress and evolution of an aerial teacher who loves her craft!

Volume 2 (Level 2) picks up where Volume 1 (Level 1) left off. It starts with entries into crossback straddle, the pinnacle skill that is a milestone for a beginning Level 2 student. Then, the book ventures off into climbs that build of the foundational climbs. For example, at Level 1, students learn the basic climb and the Russian climb. In Level 2, they start to turn and twist and stuff-it and other sorts of variations on the foundational climbs. They also start working on inverted climbs such as single and double knee climbs, which are clearly Level 2 as they require strong inversions.

Next, the book covers what I call “double catcher’s” aka “crochet your legs and then add thigh wraps.” True to my heart, the book is heavy in theory and you’ll learn just why I call things certain names and how to approach them in ways that help students understand the wrap, not just how to do it. Students are encouraged to learn through critical thinking through the use of puzzles and questions scattered throughout the book.

There’s a miscellaneous chapter in the middle of the book to capture skills such as ankles hands and music box. Many of the skills in this chapter are fun ways to add splits into your routines as well. One skill I particularly like is “knee tangle.” There are some interesting pathways to study from knee tangle.

The book goes on to the most brainy chapter I’ve ever written in the “hip & thigh series.” You’ll find charts and webs and connections that will blow your mind. I included never-before-seen skills that I created to help teach the theory of connecting these skills. This is my favorite topic of the book!

Next are the classics of open and closed catcher’s wraps (opposite and same side wraps), as well as s-wraps. These help to lay the foundation for the final two skill chapters: introduction to belay theory and introduction to drops. Level 2 is when a student is introduced to their first of each drop category: their first slack drop, their first dive, their first roll, etc. The drop progression is very important and this book will help guide you through it.

The first and last chapters of the book includes drills on how to prepare the book for gaining strong inversions and other prerequisite strength. There are bonus transition charts, a summary skill page, and a glossary where you can look up important terms.

This book truly has it all! This is a must-have textbook for all teachers and students of aerial fabric.

Want to flip through some pages of this book?  Preview the inside here.

Remember to go here to purchase. And remember that members always save 10% on manual purchases, so make sure to log in before your purchase to snag a deal.

Would love to hear your feedback on the book once it arrives to your house! Please send your thoughts to info@aerialdancing.com. Thanks. 



What’s Inside The Aerial Rope Manual Vol 2?

rope coverVol1new with silks ad

When I think of rope, I think of all the hard stuff: back balances, meathooks from a deadhang, one arm hangs, momentum, etc. But you can’t start there. The Aerial Rope Manual Volume 1 is the starting place for anyone who is looking to start their aerial journey and build up strength. However, The Aerial Rope Manual Volume 2 feels like this is where it really starts. We get to the good stuff. The hard stuff.

Chapter One introduces more building blocks of rope that are generally harder than what was found in Volume 1. I feel like once a student knows every building block of a certain apparatus, then the fun can begin. The rest is just choreography and transitions between all the building blocks. Some of the major building blocks are: inversions, climbs, opposite and same side wraps (OS and SS), s-wraps, crucifix (’round the back) and moves that are derived from these (all in Vol1). Now in Vol2 are:  front balance, back balance, break beat, shoefly, meathooks, Amazon and the wraps of focus are all things in hitches.

Chapter Two connects pathways between all the major building blocks that were covered in Chapter One. This picture should tell all:


This is the kind of fun you’ll find in this book to help you navigate the world of rope (or silks with poles together).

Chapter Three is dedicated to seatbelts, which are a type of hitch around the thigh. I feel like this is where the theory of the book really starts to make itself apparent. I used theory to brainstorm pathways for the book, as well as to tidy up the language and systems we use for viewing pathways to and from hitches. Seatbelts starts this conversation and then…

Chapter Four summarizes the findings of chapter three and adds to them with putting together a ton of information about all the major hitches. Since some classic hitches such as ankle and knee hitches were introduced in Volume 1, this chapter focuses mostly on the hitches around the thigh and waist. A large goal of the chapter is to provide a language with which to speak about any hitch. You will never read the words “inside” and “outside” the same after studying this manual.

Chapter Five takes on a different direction all together, closing out the book with an introduction to momentum. In the words of one aerial teacher, this chapter is “worth rubies, diamonds and gold on its own.” It’s worth it to purchase the whole book just for this chapter alone.  It contains all the foundational ideas that can then be applied to create your own momentum sequences into all the building blocks that have been covered thus far. Molly Graves commented, “Especially exciting is the final chapter on momentum pathways and beats—skills whose very nature makes them hard to pin down!” Dynamic movement can be tricky to put on paper, but with the help from expert rope artists such as Alex Allan and Allie Cooper, the world of momentum has been translated to a 2-D medium in precise detail.

Overall, this book will help you understand the world of rope or fabric better. You’ll also get ideas for training moves, how to properly progress moves, what the prerequisites are for each move, and for teachers, get teaching tips from the best aerial coaches in the world.

This book was a huge investment and is supporting a lot of artists. I hope you’ll support our work and help it to be continued by making a purchase of the book. Go here to check it out.