Aerial Terminology – Are we all just a bit nuts?

Have you ever been out with your cirque friends and somehow the conversation has hit the technical talk? Your completely unaware how strange you must sound until you notice the peculier glances over when your in mid sentence with ‘you wrap into mini me… NO, sorry you go into buddha and then around the world….’ It must sound like we are part of secret society and we are speaking in code.

But in a way we are, its not the sort of club that has a secret handshake or crazy initiation unless you count all the bruises, callouses and burns to outsiders would sound like we are involved in some pretty dark stuff! But all of this got me thinking: What the hell are these things called anyway? Ive put together a basic list of some terms, some are more well known as other names in different regions so please feel free to let me know what they are and enjoy!

Apparatus: the technical equipment needed for a particular activity or purpose. (Thanks dictionary) In short a hoop, silks, hammock, rope, cube or other awesome steel structure that allows you to work around and with all the while looking extremely awesome.

Carabiner:  a coupling link with a safety closure, used to securly and safely support your apparatus so that you do not plummet to your death.

Engage: Often used in referal to engaging your core for strength and to lift your butt over your head. Its not the processes of sucking in your gut, but more what you would do if someone was to punch you in the stomach – brace for it!

Foot lock: The process of wrapping the silk around your foot in a manner that it will allow you to put pressure on your feet without slipping. This is what you will need to do to get into some tricks and also to rest in-between.

Lyra: a snazzy name for aerial hoop which is made or metal and looks like a hula hoop except if you drop it on your feet if will hurt. A lot. Lyra’s have one or two points at the top and can also have several below it. It can be used single or double and looks pretty brilliant when your spinning around. Be warned – lyra can be a bit bitterly and you may bruise but somehow they don’t really hurt.

Planche: remember that craze where everyone was laying flat on random things? Well this is like that except your arms are supporting your weight and it kills your abs like crazy. In your face died out craze.

Rigging: the way in which your able to hang in the air and can be done by cable or rope. Rigging may also involve rescue 8 which is what your silks is wrapped on and connected to a carabiner and a swivel which will allow your to spin around and turn in a 360. Rigging can also refer to the points in which your equipment hangs from.

Static: Often used in referal to trapeze and simply means that it does not do a lot of swinging or moving but the tricks look just as impressive.

Truss: Ever seen a free standing outdoor rigging structure and looked at those tall metal rectangle things that look like you could totally climb on? Those are trusses…and don’t climb on them, your being pretty adventurous enough doing aerial!

V Up: an aerial essential and is the process of pulling your body up and over your head with your legs straight and opening up to a V shape. Upside down your can hook one leg over the fabric  and start wrapping or climbing. This can take some time to master but if you got it on the first go that you go! if not, don’t worry you will get it.


1 Comment on Aerial Terminology – Are we all just a bit nuts?

  1. Great list! I fond of the way that circus and gymnastic people will speak of tricks as if they are actual things that a person might have or not have. Example: Someone can have, not have, or maybe has lost their splits. As if a person’s bag of tricks might be an real bag that they are all stored in. I wonder what that bag might look like 🙂

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