Scorpion Beats – a fun intro to dynamics in aerial silks

When I was first starting aerial silks, one of my teachers said, “a lot of it is about being as lazy in the air as possible.”

That might sound completely incorrect, but it made complete sense to me. It’s about economy of movement – use as little muscle as possible to achieve the thing properly (it kind of reminds me of Occam’s Razor too).

Enter dynamics – using momentum and gravity to assist movement and execute tricks, so that you can minimize actual muscular effort. Dynamics can be an exciting and daunting aspect of aerial arts, especially in aerial silks, where the grip is more difficult than on a trapeze, aerial rope, or lyra. Grip IS easier in humid climates, but I live and teach in the desert, so dynamics requires a little more mental preparation, water spritzes, and rosin.

And regardless of climate, grip strength in dynamics can be a barrier to entry.

This is one reason I love Scorpion Beats! You get to work on momentum while hanging from your legs – no grip required. The finishing pose in scorpion is a safe place to explore and familiarize with beats. See below how it works!

(By the way – I’m in the process of moving my free tutorials onto a new Youtube channel. If you’re following me on Sara Kaiser, be sure to subscribe to Wakeful Ascent Aerial Arts (where this tutorial lives) as that is where all future updates will go…thanks!)

The key is to let your body be lax – once you’ve initiated the first beat, you can let the forces carry you. Flow with it – allow the back to bend, rather than bending the back, and allow the torso to crunch, rather than crunching the torso.

For this particular beat, keep your arms by your ears, and stay firm in your hamstrings to keep your knees at a 90′ angle.

You don’t need as many beats as I show here to get a good launch, in fact, when done correctly, you hardly need any beats at all (likely just one!) to generate enough power for a bigger move.

Play with this and see how it feels. And if you’re feeling inspired by this tutorial, there is a lot more where it came from! I launched Aerial Silks Online in 2019 and have been adding aerial silks and aerial hammock tutorials ever since. There are tutorials on tricks, poses, drops, original sequences, technique, transitions, foundations, dynamics, body awareness, and recovery. It is important to me to teach with nuance and care, and you’ll find tons of insights within this platform.