Technique Tip - Directional Terms

Updated: Oct 2, 2021

Have you ever felt unsure of where your right, left, front, back, up, down are when you're in the air learning a new skill?


Yeah, me too!


In my first year or so of aerial classes, I remember wearing Halloween costume tights that had one purple leg and one red leg to help me remember my right from left. While my peers probably assumed it was a fashion choice, little did they know I wore them to help me navigate myself in the air! 🤣


This week's tip is on the topic of directional terms. Whether you're an aerial student or a teacher it's important to understand key terms, especially if relying on right/left isn't doing the trick.


Aerial can be a rather complex movement puzzle, the more we can clarify and simplify the better!


Below is a video breakdown along with descriptions/examples of a few commonly used terms in aerial.





POLE, POST OR LIVE END - The secure or tight part of the silk above your lock or wrap


TAIL OR DEAD END - The dangling part of the silk that is below your lock or wrap


OUTSIDE - Refers to your arm, leg, or even the piece of silk that is furthest away from the pole


INSIDE - Refers to your arm, leg, or even the piece of silk that is closest to the pole


SAME SIDE - If the silk is on the right and you hook your right knee (could also apply to other parts of the body)


OPPOSITE SIDE - If the silk is on the right and you hook your left knee (could also apply to other parts of the body)


OPEN SIDE - If the audience were looking at you from the front, the side of the skill or shape that's more open


CLOSED SIDE - If the audience were looking at you from the front, the side of the skill or shape that's more closed


CLOCKWISE- Used when spinning or turning - outward motion (en dehors in ballet terms)


COUNTER-CLOCKWISE - Used when spinning or turning - inward motion (en dedans in ballet terms)


Next time you hear instructions such as 'lean to the open side' or grab the 'live end' it is my aim that you'll have a clearer idea of what that means!






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