written on May 26, 2020

Depending upon the performance, you may see performers juggle, dance, and fly through the air on various pieces of equipment. For many young athletes, working on silk and hoop skills paves the way for the ability to perform breathtaking tricks.

Learning the Backstage Secrets

The performers in the troupe are known for doing death-defying stunts that are often shown without a safety harness or net. The decision to do so without safety gear is only made after a performer has undergone years of training and can demonstrate perfect moves every time.

One of the things that you don’t see when the acrobats are flying through the air on stage is the hours of hard work that go into learning their tricks. Long before the performance occurs, aerialists practice learning their routines using state-of-the-art harnesses and trampoline systems to keep them safe.

It is also worth noting that many of the performers are using safety gear. The wires and harnesses are sometimes disguised by costumes and strategic lighting.

Mastering Silk and Hoop Tricks

Every professional performer started out where many of our campers are today. Beginner silks and hoops programs teach the basics of safety along with foundational moves and positions that can transition into more difficult maneuvers.

New aerialists must first learn to master skills such as the various ways for mounting the hoop. Then, students learn simple poses such as the Mermaid and Man in the Moon.

On the silks, aerialists learn special climbs and foot locks in the early stages. They then move on to more complicated wraps and drops.

Developing Troupe-Level Skills

Many hours of practice go into those amazing performances that inspire gasps of awe from the crowds. Cirque du Soleil aerialists often work on silks and hoops that are lifted high off the ground. Their equipment may also raise and lower during their performance, and there may be several people performing at the same time.

Troupe-level skills include those that are done from incredible heights. A Cirque du Soleil performer may also transfer from one hoop to another or perform tricks with a partner. They also use advanced tricks such as neck spins that enthrall the audience.

In one popular show, Corteo, an aerialist performs on an aerial chandelier. This impressive piece of equipment includes a horizontal and vertical hoop. Variations of the chandelier may also have a pole in the middle. This allows for the ultimate level of creative expression during a performance. It also demands a high level of skill since it blends the elements of trapeze, pole fitness, and hoops performances.

Cirque du Soleil is made up of 1300 performers who come from around 55 different countries. According to the Cirque du Soleil website, 35% of their performers come from athletic backgrounds that include sports such as rhythmic gymnastics, trampolining, and tumbling. Others began their career with artistic training in circus performance and dance.

Learning how to perform on silks and hoops could easily be a young acrobat’s first step toward developing a career in the performance arts one day.