Owner, Cirque de Vol
Sara Phoenix has been professionally rigging for aerial acrobatic workshops, performances and productions since 2011. She has expertise in rigging for schools, amphitheaters, and outdoor events with portable rigs. She has had the privilege of training with many expert rigging professionals including Delbert Hall, Ludwig, and Brett Copes.
Rigging Inspection by Delbert Hall
Every six months, Cirque de Vol brings in certified rigger Delbert Hall to inspect all the rigging at the studio.
Delbert Hall is a Professor of Theatre and Dance at East Tennessee State University since 1986. Dr. Hall earned his Ph.D. from the University of Florida, and an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is an ETCP Certified Rigger and an ETCP Recognized Trainer. He is a member of IATSE Local 699 and a Safety Consultant and the American Circus Educator. Delbert is an expert in performer flying, having flown performers in over 350 productions nationally, including productions at many of the major regional theatre companies in the US. He has worked with internationally known directors, such as Debbie Allen and Christopher Renshaw, and flown major performers and celebrities such as the Backstreet Boys. Dr. Hall conducts rigging inspections for theatres and major theme parks and regularly does rigging for aerial dance productions and teaches rigging classes and workshops across the country. He is also the author of the books Rigging Math Made Simple (currently in its third edition) and is the co-author of The Rigging Math Made Simple Workbook, The Arena Riggers’ Handbook and The Theatre Riggers’ Handbook. He also writes an online newsletter on aerial rigging, called The Flywire.
New to aerial arts? Love it? Great! Thinking of rigging your own space?…
10 Good Reasons Why New Aerialists Should Think Carefully Before Rigging:
1. Safety. While the aerial community works hard to keep aerial arts safe, the reality is that people can be seriously injured and even die practicing aerial.
2. Liability Risk. Rigging your own space means you are personally taking on substantial liability risk. If anyone is injured in your space, they or their next of kin can sue you.
3. Training in the studio with an instructor and other students means you never have to train alone. Even highly trained aerialists should NEVER PRACTICE ALONE. It’s important that there always be at least one other person present to help if there is an accident and to call 911.
4. Rigging is a skill in itself. Only trained riggers are qualified to assess the load bearing capacity of a roof or potential rigging points. If you want to learn how to rig, study rigging! If not, consult a reputable rigger.
5. Injury prevention. Practicing in safe conditions will help you avoid injuries so that you can practice for many years and ultimately become a stronger aerialist.
6. Practicing in unsafe conditions not only is dangerous for you as an individual, but it actually harms the entire field of aerial arts. More accidents leads to higher liability risk associated with aerial arts and increasingly higher costs for insuring aerial arts. High risk and high cost prevents people from offering classes and performances.
7. Give yourself time to develop. Having your own equipment and rig does not alone make you a stronger aerialist. Training extensively with experienced instructors does make you a stronger aerialist, whether or not you have your own rig.
8. There are excellent ways to cross train for aerial outside the studio from running and swimming to crunches and pull-ups.
9. Protect your good reputation. People in the field of aerial arts will respect you more if you help uphold aerial safety standards.
10. Aerial is about community! As a community, we spot each other, we nudge each other on to do that one extra pull-up, we take care of each other’s rope burns and give hugs and encouragement and suggestions. Help us keep our community safe and supportive for everyone.
Train together. Stay safe together. Have fun together!