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Aerial is a Demanding Sport and Art

Aerial Arts is a new thing so it's understandable that most people don't have an accurate understanding of what it takes to study aerial.

On one hand, because aerial is so new there is freedom to create and design whatever your heart desires. As long as it's safe for your body, it is all wonderful art! This is what draws so many into aerial arts.

On the other hand, the novelty means that there can be a serious gap in understanding of the physical demands from a sports science standpoint. Aerial Arts has more in common with Olympic level gymnastics than any other activity that children might pursue.

Parents generally understand that Simone Biles didn't just magically pop out of her house one day as the GOAT of women's gymnastics. Parents understand that there are banned skills in Olympic gymnastics because of the risks, even for the greatest athletes. Parents understand that certain gymnastics skills take a great dedication to training before that can be safely performed.

Parents generally don't simply put beams and uneven bars up in their basement with no training and expect the kids to just self-teach gymnastics.

We need to look at aerial arts with that sort of lens. Aerial Arts is just as physically demanding and carries similar levels of risk.

1. Children should never be left unsupervised with aerial apparatus.

2. People of all ages need to train aerial under the supervision of a fitness professional who understands aerial arts unique requirements.

3. Do not expect to progress as an aerialist if you are not conditioning specifically for your aerial work with consistent intensity. All bodies are aerial bodies. All bodies have work to do to make the magic happen!

4. Learning the wraps and pathways of aerial arts is NOT enough to succeed as an aerialist.

5. Success at levels beyond beginner require life choices to be made. Human bodies cannot tolerate the consistent and intense training for aerial if they are also dividing their energy with other sports. Aerial training requires concerted effort in nutrition and recovery between training sessions.

*The exception is dance. Dance is highly beneficial for people who want to pursue a career in aerial performance. At AerFire, aerial and dance is closely coordinated and communication between instructors benefits our students' progression.

6. Children should NOT do aerial arts beyond beginner level if they are competing in other sports, especially if that sport is intense on upper-body. I know it is tough to make these choices, but significant injuries happen when children are pushed too hard without recovery days between their physical training sessions. They cannot be pitching baseball, serving volleyball, or rockwall climbing on their aerial rest days. This will result in overuse injury.

7. It's OK for children to remain in beginner and recreational levels of aerial throughout their childhood years. There is no rush to any finish lines in aerial. It is a valid choice to compete in another sport and remain recreational in aerial.

8. Children who want to make aerial arts their main sport need clear focus on aerial. They need guidance in developing healthy training and practice routines. They need guidance in developing independent work ethics along with learning what it means to be teachable and adaptable as they develop their craft. AerFire's Intermediate Youth Aerial Program is designed to do this!

9. All levels of aerialists need to be realistic about what it takes to train and how much they are personally willing to invest in that pursuit. At AerFire, we have prerequisite skills before intermediate and advanced skills. These are in place for everyone's safety.

*A child doing beginner level conditioning CANNOT do intermediate or advanced level skills!

*If a person wants those skills, they have to dedicate energy to the conditioning required!

AerFire Instructors are happy to patiently teach at the appropriate level as long as it takes a person to progress. We won't coerce, yell, punish, or use any abusive means to train. So it is totally up to the student how far and fast they want to push themselves. "I am boss of my body."

10. There are some skills we will never allow at AerFire. There is no governing board restricting risky skills in aerial arts, but AerFire takes a conservative Safety-1st approach. There are many skills AerFire does not allow for children because their bodies are still growing, bone density and joint stability must be fully formed before many of the advanced aerial skills. However, when children train within their safe range, they will be able to learn those skills seemlessly as adults.

There is no rush to any finish line!!!

We are here to build strong!

We are here to teach the science behind the art!

We are here to enable aerialists of all ages to create their own art!

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