Aerial Silks Theory Breakdown: Swing Seat

Swing seat: beloved for that it lets us sit when our hands and arms get tired. But what is it? What are you sitting on and how does it hold you up?

If you didn’t get a chance yet, you can take a look at last week’s thigh hitch lesson here

A swing seat is also a hitch. But for the theory I’m about to lay out to make sense we need to think of thigh hitch as two parallel hitches instead of one unified hitch. Once we do that, we can then move on to realize that swing seat is your thigh hitch with split poles and a body part to hold them in that shape. In this case, that body part is your booty. So it’s still a hitch–or a rope structure that depends on an object to hold its shape (unlike a knot). 

When you push one pole out and around your bottom hip and under your butt, it crosses OUTSIDE of the other wraps and tails. It has tension on it because that pole is connected to the ceiling (or rigging point etc.). This means that the tension pulls this wrap upward against the rest of the wrap and your body, thereby creating a secure system. What makes this such a versatile position in part is that it secures around one leg and leaves the other free.

Understanding this can help you to design other ways into the swing seat. You know the elements, all you need is a bit of creative thinking.

Several months ago I woke up from a nap and thought “I want a new way into swing seat.” I have never liked the look of slicing an arm through the poles no matter how much I tried to finesse it. I thought, “I just need to get above a thigh hitch.” An idea popped into my head and since I had silks in my cabin studio at the time, I could test it right then and there. It was a winner. Since then I’ve worked to elaborate on the sequence and named it after my friend and fellow instructor Caitlin’s dog Jasper. The tutorial for this sequence is available on Aerial Silks Online.