New Level System on the Hoop Cards

hoop cards levels

Our hoop/lyra cards have been newly revised to include colored triangles in the color denoting levels for the moves. So, I wanted to take a moment to talk about the level system. You can get totally nerdy with us regarding what goes in what level at our teacher trainings. Check out the schedule here. 

Green = Level 1

Now, just because it’s Level 1 does not mean it’s the easy for everyone. There are things that are considered aerial basics like holding yourself in a bent arm position that some people might take years to work up towards. Everyone starts at such different places of strength that it’s important to allow for a great variety of expectations. To help cater to populations that will take more time to get to inversions, I included a subset of beginning moves that are shaded light green. These are Level 0. The moves in Level 0 should be presented first to all students; these moves may be staple moves for the curriculum of students who come in with more weight, weaker arms, lower body awareness, etc. Other students are going to zip right through Level 0 and will be eager for everything in Level 1.

Here’s an example of a move in Level 0:

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Here are hoop moves in Level 1:

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Level 1 is designed to prepare students for inversions which make up the bulk of Level 2. Anything that can be done to help build grip strength, pull-up strength, hamstring strength and core strength while not requiring too much of it are the moves to expect in Level 1. As well as any pretty shapes performed from sitting and standing in the hoop.

Blue = Level 2

Level 2 is when students start working on inversion strength. They should come in ready for the skill by being decent at the froggie invert under the bar (Level 1), and show that they have sufficiently developed their grip and core strength. By the end of Level 2, students should be experts at inversions. They should be able to invert anywhere, under the hoop, in the hoop, in the ropes on top of the hoop, etc. They should be able to do various shapes in those inversions: ball, pike, straddle, splits, arched arrow, and many more.

While inversions define Level 2, that is not all that is in Level 2. Once a student starts to master inversions, it demonstrates that they have necessary strength for other moves and transitions for harder moves. One example is a transition around the outside of the bar called “around the world.” In order to do this move, a student has to fully trust their grip strength and have the body awareness to make the journey around the outside of the hoop. Even though this isn’t an inversion, it requires the skill set of inversions: strong grip that you can trust with all your weight, body awareness, and core control. So these are the kinds of moves you’ll see in Level 2.

Here are some examples of hoop moves in Level 2:

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Purple = Level 3

Level 3 moves are the moves that have a higher degree of complexity to them. They might require a combination of both strength and flexibility. The danger level might be higher than that of Level 2; they might have little room for error. They might require all the core control of inversions plus the ability to find a point of balance on the lyra bar.

You’ll see a great variety of moves in Level 3, everything from moves that depend on the hook of the knee to moves that depend on the hook of the elbow. You’ll see tons of ways to do splits and other ways to show off flexibility.

Here are some examples of hoop Level 3 moves:

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Red = Level 4

Level 4 moves are just plain hard. (They are moves that I am still working on myself!) They are the moves require extreme something whether it be extreme strength, extreme flexibility or extreme pain tolerance. Moves such as lion rolls require a very high level of shoulder flexibility and body awareness and control to execute. That’s a move I actually am finding easy these days, but I don’t know a lot of people who can do them. That’s how I knew to put them in Level 4.

If it’s hard to find an aerialist who can do a particular move, it’s a Level 4 move (when looking at the average aerial student population). You’ll find toe hangs, heel hangs, y-scale, and more all here.

Here are some examples of Level 4 hoop moves:

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Rebekah Leach loves talking all about curriculum at teacher trainings. Check out her teaching schedule at

Find out more about the lyra/hoop cards here. 


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