It won’t be a surprise if you get dazed when you see an actual aerial performance for the first time. It’s so cool that you’d just want to try it yourself right away. Once the show’s finished, thoughts of buying your own hoop and learning how to use it may be running through your mind.
We don’t want to kill your excitement but ask any professional lyra hoop instructor on learning aerial arts at home by yourself and you’ll get a big no. Many may ask why it’s possible to teach yourself pole dancing without seeking professional guidance but not lyra hoop even though they seem to exhibit the same degree of difficulty and risk. This is the argument we’ll be tackling in this article.
There are many dance studios offering aerial hoop workshops although they’re not as many as pole dancing classes yet. You may not have access to this kind of dance studios or you may not know any aerial arts instructor and these may be the reasons why you’re aiming to be a self-taught performer. Here are points you need to think about if you insist on learning the art by yourself.
Importance of Proper Instruction
A lot of self-help manuals and instructional videos are available but they’re best used as reference materials only. Nothing beats getting guidance from a qualified instructor who can personally teach you the dos and don’ts in using lyra hoops.
The ‘single knee hang’ and the ‘candlestick’ are two of the most basic moves for beginners but they’re also the most fall-prone positions.
These moves require squeezing specific parts of your muscles which you may not know if you’re only watching someone’s demo video or you’re reading it from a guide book. There are techniques you need to learn and bad habits you need to get rid of which both become obvious when a personal coach points them out to you.
You can learn some of the basic moves, like the ‘man in the moon’, without help from a personal coach.
However, you don’t want to be able to do only this move all the time. Eventually, you’ll want to do a full routine, replete with transitions, combos, and several basic and advanced circus moves. The advanced moves require a different level of body strength and muscle flexibility which amateurs ‘ those without any background in gymnastics or dancing ‘ may find incredibly difficult to train on their own.
Many who have tried learning pole dancing and aerial arts at home after quitting formal classes decided to come back to class because of the hurdles of self-teaching they experienced. They managed to improve their styles by themselves but had difficulty learning moves like inversions and other intermediate-level tricks.
You may be able to execute the advanced moves by yourself but you’ll definitely have doubts if you’re doing them correctly. One wrong move and you may endanger your own safety, which brings us to the next point in this article.
Performing on a lyra hoop is risky even if you practice it on lower heights. It gets more dangerous as you learn more advanced techniques like inversions and swings, both increasing the chances of the falling neck first. Falls are part of the art and they can’t be completely avoided but their risks can be minimized if you know proper preparations.
Beginners are the ones most negligent in observing safety measures possibly due to their eagerness to hop on the hoop and try some tricks. Those who attend formal classes still face risks of falling even in the presence of instructors and spotters.
What more for those who only happen to see a move on a YouTube video and become too excited to think about anything else but to try it right away, only to find themselves already in an awkward position inches away from injury.
Having a personal coach, a spotter, or a friend you can train with may save you from dangerous situations. Practising at home by yourself increases the chances of accidents occurring.
Whether you’re practicing with a partner or you’re alone, don’t forget to take precautionary measures like placing a crash mat underneath the lyra hoop to cushion your fall.
Lyra hoop performances give the illusion of flying: the freedom brought by combinations of swinging, spinning, circular, and vertical movements in all directions emphasize the act’s difficulty and artistry. The wide variety of movements also demonstrate the need for a spacious room to properly execute all of them; small apartments and rooms with low ceilings won’t do.
Placing the lyra hoop in a small room will just constrain your movements and may even render some moves completely impossible to execute. You may be able to do basic moves but eventually, you’ll need a wider area to learn more advanced tricks.
Dance studios providing formal aerial arts classes are spacious enough to allow full utilization of lyra hoops. This allows you to freely execute every move you can think of without worrying about your safety or space constraints.
Recommended Aerial Hoop Products
Rigging your equipment
Similar to installing a dance pole, you need to measure your room’s specifications before you buy your own lyra hoop for home use. Not all ceiling types are appropriate for holding aerial hoops. You need to consult a professional to help ensure safety during installation.
Some rooms may have been constructed decades ago using materials not suitable for withstanding heavy hanging loads. Old structures may have compromised ceilings which may suddenly fall off while you’re hanging on the attached hoop. Trees can be rigged but they’re not as reliable as ceilings.
The process also requires special considerations you should take into account. Another option for aerial hoop installation is to use free-standing riggings which can hold your lyra hoop without the need to drill it into the ceiling. These contraptions can be used either indoor or outdoor.
Learning lyra hoop at home is not impossible but you should be prepared to face more difficulties compared with learning it in studio-based formal classes. We’ve outlined the benefits of learning it with a personal coach, listing the things you can only get from enrolling in aerial arts classes over self-help instructional videos. We highly recommend to take up formal lessons if you’re serious about it, and just use videos and manuals as supplemental materials.