One of the most important considerations in any aerial dance endeavor is the safety of performers. Acrobats typically do their shows without any safety nets or spotting, which is based on the fact they have learned proper technique and have the appropriate set-up of equipment. Even still, most performers work at their own risk. For many beginners, the ability to hang upside down using their own body weight or trusting a silk suspended from the ceiling is daunting, but it can be one of the most freeing aspects of the art when accomplished.

Safety Tips

There are a number of precautions that can be taken throughout the course of an aerial practice or peformance to ensure the maximum safety of the dancers. Here's a list of things to keep in mind, as is recommended from past experience and the UF aerial club officers.

Before a Peformance

Learning how to set up your equipment is critical for everyone's safety. Many times, professional companies can come in and install it for you. According to the online community "Simply Circus," the best things to use as aerial equipment mount points are wooden, concrete or steel beams or ceilings. For more information, visit their site. And do NOT try to mount your curtains at home, you WILL fall.

As for any type of dance, proper stretching is critical to warming up your muscles to avoid tears and pulls. UF club president Adam Crosland notes this is especially true in aerial, as gravity can work against you and stretch you farther than you should go.

Safety Mats
It's a good idea to have a safety mat underneath each piece of equipment, even during performances. That way, if a foot wrap or knee-lock goes awry, you do not fall onto hard ground.

During a Performance

Many times, a performer can request a spotter when they are doing a particularly tricky move or endeavor in the air. There is no shame in requesting this, as it's better safe than sorry. Also, many times people can be spotted while mounting an apparatus, and can do so in an artistic way.

Take Your Time
Aerial pieces are often slow and lyrical, mainly because it takes the performers time to travel to a proper height to do tricks or a silk or situation themselves to manuever on another apparatus. Never try to do something too quickly while in the air, and be certain that every wrap and lock is stable before you move onto the next move. Often, performers can incorporate dance moves into securing themselves, so as to distract their audience from what they are really doing.

After a Performance

Equipment Storage
Be sure to properly put away all equipment so it does not get damaged or loose for the next time it is used. At UF aerial club meetings, typically 15 or 20 minutes is reserved for this process. Be sure all of the rigging ropes are tied with proper, secure knots, and maintain your equipment to keep it in good shape.

Keep Stretching
Often times, performers don't even realize the amount that they have stretched themselves and their bodies, due to adrenaline or disorientation from being inverted, etc. Be sure to hydrate yourself and stretch even muscles you didn't think you worked, because you will be sure to feel them the following day.


This site was created by Kim Libby.