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Technique Tip - Split Roll-Up (how not to lose your foot locks!)

Quick story for ya! My very first aerial performance ever was a student showcase back in 2008 at the Baruch Performing Arts Center in NYC. My big 'shining moment' was the Split Roll-Up (aka Rotisserie).

I must've practiced it 50+ times prior to show day but my nerves got the best of me ... I rolled the wrong way and completely lost my back foot lock.

Since I was so inexperienced I didn't have the reflexes to 'save it' and go into another skill so after I untangled myself, climbed down and walked to the side of the stage feeling utter embarrassment. It wouldn't have been so embarrassing if I didn't know anyone in the audience but ALL of my friends were there to witness my aerial debut!

Oh, how I wish I had a video of this moment, but it was back before we carried our glowing devices with us everywhere!

(side note, do you get more nervous when people you know are watching you perform versus total strangers, or just me?)

Flash forward to years later ... I know I'm not the only one who has lost a foot lock doing this skill! See below for a video breakdown and tips.

Common Mistakes

#1 - Bending your knees when rolling up or down - It causes too much slack in the silk that you're holding which can result in your foot lock coming off.

#2 - Rolling the wrong direction - As we learned from my story above ... if you roll the wrong way your foot lock comes off!

#3 - Not keeping the tension in the front foot lock - This is usually due to bending the legs or reaching both hands too high up on the front silk.

Prior to doing this skill, stretch your splits well on both sides. Split Roll-Up requires hamstring flexibility and hip mobility. Focus on keeping your legs straight and active. Engage your quads to fully straighten your knees - you'll need that engagement in the air!

Once you're warmed up place your double foot locks on and lower into a split.

If your right leg is forward, place your right hand up high on the front silk and your left hand in front of your chest. Pull the silk toward you with your left hand creating tension.

Begin to drop your shoulders to the left as you kick your leg to the right to roll up (roll the direction of your front leg's baby toe). Complete 1, 2 or 3 rolls.

As you roll up commit to straight legs the entire time and do your best to re-split in between each roll.

When un-rolling the same applies! Straight legs, re-split and keep the tension in the silk above your front foot lock.

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