FOR GEAR AND COSTUMES
You can easily create your own aerial tissu & lyra costumes!
Here are some ideas for costumes and aerial artist gear,
and tips for purchasing aerial tissu or lyra equipment
dance & silks costumes are easy to make if you are creative.
Many artists faced with their first performance or photo
shoot are faced with that universal question, "What
should I wear?" But unlike the times you face that
question when attending a party or special event, there
are fewer rules (and shops!) to help guide you when selecting
your aerial dance costume.
Decide on Your Theme
For some aerial dancers, the music and choreography come
first in the creative process. This means that the costume
design is driven by the theme and feel of the routine, or
the music. If this is how your process went, then you probably
already have a good idea of the look and feel you are going
other aerialists, the costume idea comes first, and then
the act is choreographed around that look. If this is the
stage you are at, then you need to ask yourself what inspires
you today: Sexy? Powerful? A story? A mood? Certain colors?
None of these are the "right" way to brainstorm
a costume idea, but asking yourself these questions will
help you get your creativity flowing.
Begin to Sketch Ideas
You do not have to be a great artist to sketch ideas. Be
sure to have color pencils or markers with you, not just
a pen or pencil, because you will want to experiment with
color ideas. If you are not a drawer, do not despair. One
idea is to take a magazine or catalog that shows fitness
scenes or people in bathing suits, and to then take a thin
piece of paper to trace the outline of the model's body.
This will give you a blank "template" for the
basic human form, on which you can try your designs.
Decide on Appropriate Materials
Once you have envisioned your design and drawn it out, you
need to figure out how to turn your creative ideas into
reality. Here are some key items to keep in mind: For safety
and effectiveness, select fabric and embellishments suitable
for aerial dance. For example, if your apparatus is silks,
you should not use sharp sequins which could cut the fabric
or scratch your skin, rough materials which would create
too much friction to do drops, or material that is too slippery
and would not let you maintain the proper grip. Also keep
in mind whether your feet, arms, and other body parts are
exposed or protected. for example, in trapeze, having a
costume element over your ankles is probably desirable,
whereas this would be a bad thing for tissu. Be cautious
of free-hanging ribbons or other elements which could get
tangled in the fabric or could get in your eyes and impair
your vision. also, beware of any fabrics which would increase
your sweating and contribute to overheating.
Feathers, black-light glow-in-the-dark paint, temporary
skin tatoos, body jewels, makeup effects, temporary hair
color, and other elements can add creative flair to your
look. Consider adding a prop, such as a red wax apple for
an adam and eve routine, or a bird of feathers to go with
a bird costume.
Stores & Secondhand Stores
To save money on purchasing material, try visiting a local
thrift store. You can cheaply buy fabrics, stretch pants,
tank tops, and even wigs and other accessories. You should
wash anything you purchase to be sure it is clean and preshrunk.
These stores can also be a source of inspiration-- sometimes
a fun piece of fabric or unique accessory can inspire your
Sewing is not as difficult as it may seem. Be sure to read
a tutorial on how to sew stretchy fabric. Also, sometime
fabric glue is an easy alternative to sewing. Sometimes,
you will find that your design requires strategic cutting
more than sewing. By taking a body stocking or tights and
cutting them in interesting ways, you can create some amazing
Once you have created your design, please do not forget
to take photos! During your performance, you might not get
as many photos of your costume as you might want, so plan
to take some photos of your costume on your body while on
the ground so that you can create a permanent memory of
your creation. Please email your costume photos to info
(at) suspendeddance.com if you want to have your costume
featured on this site!
Purchase: Now that you have costumes, what about gear for
your personal practice?
home practice or for your gym or studio, it is easy to purchase
a set of silks. If you want to add aerial yoga to your home
practice, or are hanging silks from a low ceiling just to
practice knots, you will not need as long a fabric. For
taller spaces, you will need to purchase at least double
the height of the ceiling because the fabric gets doubled
Purchase Fabric, Figure-8, and Swivel (Optional)
The best aerial fabric is nylon tricot, which is sometimes
also used to make slips and underwear. Fabricdepotco.com
and several fabric retailers in the Los Angeles fabric mart
can ship you the right type of fabric as many fabric sellers
are now very familiar with aerial artist needs. Make sure
your fabric dealer confirms that he or she has worked with
professional aerialists before, and get a referral to another
fabric seller if you sense the person is not being truthful.You
can purchase the figure-8 and swivel from REI Outdoor stores
online or other rock climbing stores.
Get Professional Rigging
Do not hang your own equipment unless you are a certified
rigger. It is not just about the fabric, but also the place
selected to hang the equipment. If the wring ceiling or
beam is chosen, your life could be at risk. Do not take
chances wit rigging and consult a professional.
Practice Only Under Supervision
Aerial arts are like scuba diving or skiing. You do not
want to get into trouble when you are alone and no one can
help. There is too much danger. Be sure to always have a
buddy with you, just in case. Aerial arts present the possibility
of falls, accidental hanging, and getting stuck in a knot
high off the ground. Even if you set up equipment at home,
you should never use it unless someone is with you.
links below will take you to third-party retailers offering
products you may be interested in for your suspended dance
arts! Whether you are a professional performer or a novice,
it's always fun to see the gear that is out there!
is not a retailer, and none of these items are sold through
this website. These products are for reference and informational
purposes only, and SuspendedDance.com makes no warranties
or representations as to the suitability or quality of these
items. All retail items shown
on this website are sold by third parties and are presented
for reference and illustration only. All purchase transactions
are solely between the site visitor and the third-party