PITTSBURGH CIRCUS CENTER
We offer an 8 level curriculum for Aerial Silks.
We start the kiddos at age 5 and have classes thru adult.
Other than being the coolest sport...what exactly is Aerial Silks?
We are so glad you asked....
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aerial silks were invented in 1995 by André Simard, the journey began when he was hired by Cirque du Soleil to develop and research acrobatics in 1987, his job was to discover original and imaginative ways to attract the audience to the shows. Now silks have been incorporated into circus arts as well as a form of aerial fitness.
Aerial silks (also known as aerial contortion, aerial ribbons, aerial tissues, fabric, ribbon, or tissu, depending on personal preference) is a type of performance in which one or more artists perform aerial acrobatics while hanging from a fabric. The fabric may be hung as two pieces, or a single piece, folded to make a loop, classified as hammock silks. Performers climb the suspended fabric without the use of safety lines and rely only on their training and skill to ensure safety. They use the fabric to wrap, suspend, drop, swing, and spiral their bodies into and out of various positions. Aerial silks may be used to fly through the air, striking poses and figures while flying. Some performers use dried or spray rosin on their hands and feet to increase the integrity of their grip on the fabric.
The three main categories of tricks are: climbs, wraps, and drops.
Climbs employed by aerialists range from purely practical and efficient, such as the Russian climb, to athletic and elegant tricks of their own, such as the straddle climb.
Wraps are static poses where aerialists wrap the silks around one or more parts of their body. In general, the more complicated the wrap, the stronger the force of friction and the less effort required to hold oneself up. Some wraps, such as the straddle-back-balance, actually allow performers to completely release their hands. Foot locks are a sub-category of wraps where the silks are wrapped in layers around one or both feet, for instance, an ankle hang.
In a drop, performers wrap themselves up high on the silks before twirling/flipping to a lower position. Drops can combine aspects of free fall, rolling or otherwise rotating oneself before landing in a new pose. Preparation for a drop can make for a pretty wrap, but the ultimate goal is a breathtaking dynamic move rather than the pose.
Of the three trick types, drops require the most strength and are also the most potentially dangerous. Rosin (dry or spray) is employed to help performers maintain their grip. Aerial silks are a demanding art and require a high degree of strength, power, flexibility, courage, stamina, and grace to practice.
The fabrics used as silks are very strong with some give and flexibility. The fabric is 2-way stretch polyester lycra or Tricot Nylon. The width varies depending on the routine and the acrobat. The fabric is usually more than double the total height of the ceiling, as it is doubled for rigging, giving the acrobat two strips of fabric to work with as they perform.
Low stretch fabrics. Low stretch fabrics are primarily used by beginners who are learning climbing techniques.
Medium stretch fabrics. Medium stretch fabrics are the principal choice of professional aerialists and graduates of professional training programs
Fabric width is mostly a personal choice. The thickness of the fabric when gathered is also influenced by the "denier", or technical thickness of the fabric's weave. 40 denier is a common choice.
Length is a function of the height of the space available.