I know this is a Burlesque Blog and Podcast, but I actually started in Pole and Aerial. With that in mind, I have collected (and trashed) many a manual, book, and DVD offering instructions in the Aerial Arts. Below is a short list of some of my favorites (in alphabetical order), all of which offer excellent images, explanations, and supporting education.
Aerial Physique Fit – ($30) – This is an excellent guide for conditioning, aimed specifically at the aerial and circus community.
Aerial Silks: 91 Ways to Split on Silks – ($29) – I don’t recommend this one for brand newbies, but if you know what you are doing (more or less), this could be a good one for you to build and develop your splits on the silk.
Applied Anatomy of Aerial Arts – ($20) – This is a wonderful book full of rich graphics. I will say you will need some knowledge of anatomy to get the most out of this book. See below.
Beginning Aerial Fabric Instructional Manual – ($98) – Now, this wasn’t one hundred dollars when I originally purchased it forever ago, but it continues to be one of my favorites. In fact, her entire line is amazing, including her Aerial Yoga Manual, (and Volume 2), The Aerial Hoop Manual, and her Intermediate and Advanced editions (if you can still find them).
Beginner’s Guide to Aerial Silk – ($20) – This guide by Jill Franklin is a great place to start. With an emphasis on some of the basics, like plantar and dorsiflexion, you’ll want to make sure you actually read this one, rather than just look at the pretty pictures. Also, check out her Intermediate Guide.
Conditioning for Dance – ($32) – Another great option for working on strength and conditioning. You’ll find plenty of useful diagrams, as well as specific exercises broken down.
Dance Anatomy – ($20) – Okay, so I’m an anatomy nut, but I love these images with highlighted muscle groups. This really helps you understand what muscles need to engage for certain dance moves and sequences.
Dance Imagery for Technique and Performance – ($26) – This book is all about technique and is incredible for those instructors who really want to up their teaching game.
The Dancer’s Foot Book – ($20) – Show me a dancer who doesn’t care for their feet, and I’ll show you a liar and a faker!
ElevatED – ($100 +) – I’m not sure you can get access to these books without taking their trainings, but they are excellent.
Pole Dance Fitness: The Complete Book – ($30) – I’ll be honest, the pictures aren’t my favorite, but the content is one of the better I have seen that’s available. The progressions are solid, but the recipes are kind of unnecessary.
Soaring with the Soul – ($65) – This is a beautiful Aerial Yoga book, though more for instructors than students. Even still, it’s one of the more comprehensive manuals I have seen on Aerial Yoga.
Trail Guide to the Body – ($72) – If you are teaching physical fitness, you really ought to get to know the bodies you are training. Start here, or with another comprehensive guide to anatomy.
There are so, so, so many more in my library, but again, not all books are created equal and some are far too technical for most people, so I didn’t include those (not trying to be elitist, but there are limits to most people’s ability to geek-out on anatomy and physiology).
Do you have any favorites I forgot to list? Let me know and I’ll revise my blog!
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