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 2feels 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.
Every year, I like to take some time to reflect on what we have accomplished, assess our vision, and see where we are headed. This has been a tough year. It was a time of transition, which is always a struggle. But I don’t feel this on simply an individual level. I feel like our country has been in transition, and it has been a rocky year for many. In addition, the aerial community saw the loss of a couple of beloved artists and teachers. Our hearts have been heavy.
However glum the world looks, there is always glimmer of HOPE so long as DREAMS are alive. This website-Born to Fly Productions-has seen hope appears in three major forms this past year, as we make our way toward our life-long dreams. Thank you for still believing in us.
Dream Number 1: Birth a Studio
For the past 7 years, the website has been selling memberships and books in order to raise funds to build a dedicated aerial space. We have been saving like crazy and everything went into the new studio this year.
I am proud to report that Born to Fly Productions now has an official headquarters in Castle Rock, Colorado. Prior to this year, we were operating out of our home and rented space. We spent the summer putting together an amazing space.
In one way, it was the finish line to an extraordinary fundraiser. In another way, it was just the beginning to another extraordinary journey. The local studio is called AerialWorks.
Here is the video of the construction:
Nightly classes help to pay the monthly expenses of the space. We put on regular shows which are an absolute blast. However, all this is helping to forge the path for the next dream: Having guest artists come as residents to create new creative work. I am in LOVE with the creative process and creating new things. It is what will spur me on till the day I die. In my opinion, there is always something new waiting to be danced.
Plug for Resident Artists: If you are looking for collaboration or looking for a space in which to create, please contact us at email@example.com. We are hoping to have spots starting August 2017.
Dream Number 2: Birth a World-Class Aerial Teacher Training Program
Two words: Julianna Hane. If it hadn’t been for her leadership and hard work, it wouldn’t have happened. When I exited the military and we were moving back to Colorado from South Carolina, I begged Julianna to come with me so that we can finish what we started. I am so happy to say that she is here now at Born to Fly Headquarters, teaching classes, helping to create high-quality resources, and leading amazing teacher trainings. This next summer of 2017 is PACKED FULL of every teacher training that we offer so far – from aerial lyra to fabric to sling (which will be my first time revealing my sling secrets!!) — it’s going to be rewarding and refreshing to connect with others who love the educational process as much as I do.
Not only is the Born to Fly Teacher Training Program a way to connect with great training, it’s a way to connect with amazing mentors that include industry leaders such as Sarah Bebe Holmes, Rain Anya, Amy Tynan, and others who are excelling at what they do. I’m excited for the partnerships and collaboration taking place within the program. The Born to Fly Secret Facebook group is now my go-to place to chat with other high-quality teachers, and I appreciate having them there.
Dream Number 3: Continue to Create Resources for the Aerial Community
While this may have been our least productive year so far, things are still moving forward. We spent a lot of energy moving and building our new studio (and I have two young kids at home which sucks up a ton of energy!). However, we still managed to find time to release a new product: This year saw the launch of our first set of flash cards; our Hoop Choreography Cards, which features over 250 moves from our Born to Fly Lyra Curriculum. We hope to make a set for each apparatus as well as posters. (Below are the posters in our studio which are soo helpful when you are in the middle of class-planning and draw a blank. They have saved me numerous times this past 6 months! They’ll be released for sale once they are perfected. For now, I’m still testing them out on our test-subjects students.)
The next couple months will see the release of our next manual, An Aerialist’s Guide to Surviving Pregnancy. It’s a look at what a mother-to-be goes through as their body changes over the 9 months of human-growing. The movement focus is aerial yoga, since it is gentle and the most approachable form of aerial during pregnancy.
We are almost done releasing our first set of trapeze videos here in the AerialDancing.com Video Library. This set included roughly 100 videos featuring Melissa Roberts of Canopy Studio. The curriculum that Canopy has established over the past 15 years has helped to make the single-point trapeze a very approachable form of movement. I am forever grateful that they opened up their curriculum to us through the video project (and manual to follow in 2018!).
Next-up in 2017: Sling Videos! I have started work on a sling manual (or two). It makes sense to create the videos as I create the manual, so expect to see sling videos soon.
As our nation feels a new kind of cultural depression, it is all the more important that we are here for each other. Aerial is a part of that circus family that helps breathe wonderful energy into people, as they learn how to express themselves and create art. We don’t create resources just to create resources. We are hoping that the bottom line happens by the end of the day: People’s mind, body and spirit are nurtured by their opportunities to enjoy aerial movement. Whatever form that takes will differ by local venue, but I hope that it’s all going towards creating sustainable communities that support and love on one another. We have the great privilege of sharing the art of play with the world. Let’s keep pressing on.
Internship Opportunity Summer 2017
There are so many resources that the community is waiting to see created. If you are an energetic aerialist who wants to get involved in the community in a unique way, see if you fit the criteria to apply for an internship at Born to Fly Productions during the summer of 2017. Includes monthly stipend.
Applicants would need to:
– live locally to Castle Rock, Colorado, USA for the summer of 2017 (mid-May through end of July)
– be fluent in all major adobe products including Photoshop, InDesign, Premier and Adobe Acrobat Reader. (nothing too fancy, but enough to get in there and tackle projects.)
– help with social media advertising; create regular posts on various platforms, gather blog postings, put together newsletters, coordinate campaigns for prize giveaways, etc.
– have excellent customer service skills, able to communicate effectively, write and answer e-mails warmly
– be available to assist with various projects in the studio to include helping with photoshoots and organizing teacher trainings
– have the gift of organization; be able to take a ton of information and organize it in an effective manner
– ready to tackle a variety of projects that support creating aerial resources and curriculum; the more knowledge of various aerial apparatuses, the better
– a great bonus: be as obsessed as Rebekah about collecting moves and organizing them into their appropriate levels for teaching aerial
Benefits of the Job include: monthly stipend, access to studio time to create or workout, be a part of the Born to Fly teacher trainings (a great way to learn more about the depths of teaching aerial!), great job satisfaction in seeing projects completed, learn another side to the aerial industry
To apply, please send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.