Rigging & Aerial Safety
The Rising: Victoria Centre for Circus Arts follows professional circus industry standards.
The safety of the Rising's coaches and students is of the upmost importance.
The Rising's Rigging
The Rising: Victoria Centre for Circus Arts' aerial circus rigging was designed and executed by Professional Aerial Circus Rigger, Performer, and Costume Circus Structure Designer Peter Boulanger.
Peter Boulanger is a former Cirque du Soleil Artist, Ecole Nationale de Cirque artist, and Co-Owner/Artistic Director of The Underground Circus - Vancouver's Premier Professional Circus Company.
Learn more about Underground Circus by visiting their website: https://undergroundcircus.ca/
The Rising's Position:
Recreational Aerial Training from home setups/Outdoor Rigs
We are so happy you have chosen The Rising as your circus hub! Aerial Arts / Circus is a beautiful and challenging physical art form and is growing in popularity. Circus used to be on the fringes and was not accessible as a recreational activity or something you did to get in shape. If you said you did "circus" (aerial) then you were an actual professional Circus Artist. We are honoured you have chosen The Rising as your training ground, regardless of whether or not you ever step onto the performance stage. The circus is a special place and there is a niche for everyone here!
Due to the rise in circus ( aerial ) as a recreational activity there have been some questionable and dangerous practices developing. The Rising seeks to keep high professional standards when it comes to aerial safety. Serious accidents can occur from falls as little as a few feet off the ground and students/parents must appreciate and understand these risks. With the rise of social media, you can now view inexperienced people (including children!) set up at home rigs without consulting a professional aerial rigger and structural engineer and training without supervision or crash mats, on unrated equipment bought cheaply off the internet or home reno stores ( eg. amazon and Home Depot), and the list goes on. There are many videos of “aerial falls/bloopers” that you can view if you want to get an idea of how easily things can go wrong when you are new. In the professional circus world (of which we are a part) this is very worrisome for many reasons. It is our opinion that it takes years of solid training with a coach, and also a certain age maturity, before one understands Aerial Theory and technique and how to know your limits and train safely. Setting up an aerial point in your home can negate your home owners insurance. You would need to look into getting additional insurance, as you would if you had a pool or trampoline. Typical 2 x4 home construction is not designed to withstand the repetitive forces of dynamic live loading. Typically an aerial rigging point and all gear used should be rated for 10 x max static load or 6 x max dynamic load, whichever is greater. So, if you had a 100lb aerialist plus 10 lbs of gear then using the static load equation the point would need to be rated for 1100 lbs ( SWL ). Other terms important to understand when setting up an aerial rigging point are Safe Working Load, Working Load Limit, Minimum Breaking Strength, and Design Factor. If you don't know how to apply these terms you're not ready to install an aerial point. It's also important to have someone who has been taught how to inspect aerial rigging gear and is able to routinely check the point and all equipment used for signs of wear.
The Rising does not sell circus equipment or advise students on how to set up an aerial point in their house. Quality Aerial Circus equipment is costly and should be bought from actual circus equipment suppliers and not off amazon, eBay, and pop up suppliers, etc. These items are often unrated for live load bearing, not to mention cheaply made or knock offs of name brands.
We know this may sound discouraging but most people don't know the scope of safety protocols that aerial arts require. It‘s important to keep a robust respect for the dangers of aerial arts. This is all too often lacking, especially in the online world. In the professional circus arts world most of us choose not to have home set ups or backyard rigs because of safety issues, cost, practicality, and the quality of training we get in a facility is much higher quality. Very frequently the money is better spent on more classes and open training. That being said, if students are looking for extra practice to become stronger aerialists:
Open Training Drop In or Strength & Flexibility classes for those age 14 and older
register for more than one class/week ( discounts of 10-15% )
practice your sit ups, leg lifts and chin ups at home
purchase a chin up bar for home use
work on your flexibility several times/week at home
take yoga, dance, gymnastics, pilates classes, weight training to cross train
work hard, consistently and have patience. Becoming an aerialist does not happen overnight.
Have fun and train aerial smart!