Here we have Aerial Hoop top 10 frequently asked questions that beginner aerial hoop dancers may ask when considering taking up this sport.
1. How difficult is Aerial Hoop?
Of course this is subjective but speaking from my experience, I don’t find aerial hoop to be difficult. Having said that how I measure progress is how smoothly and easily I can execute tricks, even if they are the most basic ones. All hoop practitioners know that basic beginner hoop moves are just as pretty an impressive as advanced tricks. Like most sports, Aerial Hoop or Lyra Hoop has multiple levels of experience and skills. Entering into each stage has its own challenges and difficulties. Having an instructor or online course that guides you through the progressions from absolute beginner to next levels will prepare your body for advancement and simplify the whole learning process for you
In Aerial hoop fitness, there are certain muscles that gets engaged the most. By regularly conditioning those muscles it can smoothen your path to be an excellent aerialist.
Choosing the right aerial hoop equipment depends on your environment, space and needs. If you already have a Stage Pole from the Lupit or X Pole brand, you may be able to install a Lupit Lollipop attachment or X Pole Lollipop hoop on your stage pole. Although this option is convenient, the lollipop attachment may not be the right apparatus for you if your long term goal is to compete and perform on the aerial hoop that is traditionally rigged from the ceiling through a spanset. Many aerial hoop moves utilise the spanset space for tricks that are above the upper ring of the lyra hoop. Having said that if you’re installing the traditional lyra hoop your space will require a strong and suitable ceiling type or truss installation. You can then use this space to rig your single point hoop or double point hoop for your home practice. Another type of common installation for aerial hoop at home is by utilising a portable A Frame that you can pair with not only the aerial hoop, but also other aerial equipments like the X Pole Fly Pole, Yoga Hammocks, and Silks amongst others.
3. Is Aerial Hoop a good workout?
Aerial Hoop engages the entire body’s muscle in a gradual manner and help you grow at your own pace. It is definitely a great body workout that can improve your endurance, mobility, flexibility and strength. The added bonus of aerial hoop workouts is you will reap the gains of getting fitter as it is a sustainable workout that you are more likely to commit and look forward to compared to a boring workout.
When it comes to any sport, every person comes from a different background and is different from other. I started out self learning aerial hoop tricks at home through Youtube videos and virtual classes. Having had several years of experience pole dancing, it did work for me to self learn but my progress was slow. The real game changer was when I started attending in-studio classes to supplement my home lyra work out. Having a professional aerialist guide you through progressions for your level and spotting you in new tricks really helps to overcome the nerves and hesitation in trying tricks on your own. If you are training at home, invest in a really good crash mat under your home lyra hoop set up and practice with a friend and spotter around.
5. How to execute aerial tricks elegantly and fluidly?
The level of confidence in performance will help to execute aerial hoop moves elegantly. And this level of confidence will rise with a steady practice and commitment to every move. Also, check out these amazing tips by Danna Rossi on how to improve dance techniques even when you don’t have a dance background. I applied the same tips in my pole dancing as well as aerial hoop dancing which helped me tremendously. The bottom line is, practice, practice, practice. With more practice, you are not only becoming stronger, your movements will also turn to a muscle memory response making it easier for you to focus on a cleaner and more fluid execution.
6. How does one get good at aerial hoop?
The beauty of Aerial Hoop fitness is there are progressions from complete beginner level all the way to more intermediate and advanced levels. Set your goals according to your level and focus on refining every move even if it’s the most basic move. Doing regular conditioning exercises and repeated drills of beginner tricks can help you advance faster. For example, if you dedicate 1 hour a week for hoop dancing, at least 75% of the time should be spent on conditioning exercises. It may seem boring and you may be tempted to dive right into practicing tricks, but you will yield the returns of conditioning exercises really fast. Learn to love it and don’t skip it!
7. Which is harder, aerial hoop OR pole?
Both aerial hoop and pole engages similar muscles and help to build physical strength over time. It is rather hard to pinpoint either one as easier than the other as they both demand its own fair share of endurance and conditioning exercises. The common consensus however, its that beginner level aerial hoop is considered easier than beginner dance pole. For one, you have more contact and grip points in aerial hoop dancing as you can wrap your body around a circular metal ring. Whereas on a vertical pole, you will need more strength as you are likely to be supporting your weight with less contact points.
8. Can aerial hoop exercising help lose weight?
Yes indeed. Aerial hoop can be quite challenging and gives the necessary pressure to your muscles to encourage muscle growth. As we all know muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue does. It all however boils down to the frequency and intensity of your aerial hoop workouts. The more aerial hoop workout coupled with a conducive diet and lifestyle will definitely help to lose weight.
9. How to overcome fear of height in aerial hoop?
The more challenging part about aerial hoop is the suspended height of Lyra Hoop set up which is most of the time necessary to perform various tricks, drops splits and body rolls. The best way to overcome fear of height is feel strong and confident in a move. There is less to fear when you know your likelihood of falling or injuring yourself is lower. Having a thick and suitable crash landing mat can also help you feel secure and safe even when you are suspended in the air. Also, don’t forget that it is completely possible to lower the aerial hoop all the way to a few inches above the ground to master certain beginner moves and build confidence before trying tricks that are suspended higher up.
Similar to dance pole spinning you might get dizzy spinning on the aerial hoop. We have a great and in-depth article on how to avoid dizziness from dance pole spinning. Practicing the tips to overcome dizziness will make you aware of the spinning momentum and ways to manage it. Learning professional tips to overcome dizziness and cope with the spinning movements will definitely help you enjoy spinning tricks and motions in your practice.