How to Fly 101: Your Guide to Aerial Silks


Wanting to fly is something I have always desired. Sadly, I can only fly freely in my dreams, and that doesn’t happen often enough.  I was introduced to aerial silks in my junior year of high school. I didn’t think much of it until my friend told me about a Groupon deal in in the summer of 2016. I signed up for a class; nervous and excited. I still clearly remember my first class. I couldn’t do anything.

Aerial silks supposedly originated around 1959, in a French circus school. Like the name indicates, it is an aerial dance, which means you’ll be up in the air. Aerial silks (or tissues) uses two long pieces of fabric with a knot at the top to hold the two together. The silks can range from 20-50+ feet high. Sounds terrifying, but the height is preferred to perform tricks.

There are a lot of videos on the web that showcase this amazing art. It might come across as familiar, because Cirque du Soleil often has acts with aerial silks. As beautiful as it is, like all sports, there are measures for safety. Since you are suspended so high up in the air, it is good to have a sense of fear. It makes it so that you listen to your body and mind, before you do anything drastic. Also, if you are a beginner, always check with your instructor to make sure the rigging is safe. I am in no way a professional, and I depend on my instructor’s advice.. Don’t do moves that are unfamiliar and don’t push your body off the breaking point. No injuries are worth it.

I love silks very much, which is why I encourage all of my friends to try it out. While there are some who are willing, there are others who tell me, “I won’t be able to do it,” “I don’t have enough muscle,” “I’m too fat.” These are EXCUSES that I hear way too often. Anybody with any body can try out this art form. During my first three months, I could do jack squat, but slowly my body began to build muscle and even now I can’t believe how strong I have gotten. It is truly a full body workout. There is a lot of core and bicep/triceps involved. You don’t have to be flexible. These are all techniques that can be built during your training. If this is something that you have been looking to try for some time, stop hesitating and go to a class. If silks is not the right aerial for you, there are also other options.

It’s time to stop sitting on your bum, daydreaming about flying with the birds. I have linked studios that provide aerial training in Utah to start your journey.

ONYX Pole and Aerial Fitness, Cirque Asylum, Kairos, Aerial Arts of Utah, The Moxy Movement (This studio only provides Lyra and Pole)