Silks vs Hoops - Choosing the Right Aerial Art for Your Event

Aerial arts have captivated audiences worldwide with their breathtaking displays of strength, grace, and acrobatic prowess. Among the most popular forms of aerial performance are aerial silks and aerial hoops (also known as lyra). Each offers a unique spectacle, and the choice between them can significantly impact the ambiance and visual appeal of your event. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between aerial silks and hoops, and highlight key equipment terms such as straps aerial, aerial hoop frame, freestanding aerial hoop, aerial frame, and aerial silks rig.

Aerial Silks: Elegance in the Air

Aerial silks involve performers climbing and maneuvering on long, flowing fabrics suspended from a rig. These fabrics allow for a wide range of movements, including climbs, wraps, drops, and poses, making aerial silks a versatile and visually stunning choice for any event.

Key Equipment:

  • Aerial Silks Rig: This is the setup from which the silks are suspended. It needs to be sturdy and properly installed to ensure the safety of the performer. Depending on the venue, the rig can be a permanent fixture or a portable structure.

  • Straps Aerial: While not specific to silks, straps can be used in conjunction with silks for added acrobatic elements. Straps are flexible and durable, providing additional support and enabling a variety of complex maneuvers.

Aerial Hoops: Strength and Grace in Circular Motion

Aerial hoops, or lyras, are metal rings suspended in the air, allowing performers to execute a series of spins, poses, and acrobatic feats. The hoop can be static or spinning, adding an extra dimension of movement and excitement to the performance.

Key Equipment:

  • Aerial Hoop Frame: This is the structure from which the hoop is hung. It must be secure and capable of supporting the dynamic movements of the performer.

  • Freestanding Aerial Hoop: Ideal for venues without the capability to install ceiling rigs, a freestanding aerial hoop comes with its own support structure, providing flexibility and ease of setup.

  • Aerial Frame: This versatile structure can support both silks and hoops, making it an excellent choice for events requiring multiple types of aerial performances.

Comparing Aerial Silks and Hoops

Visual Impact:

  • Aerial Silks: The flowing fabric of silks adds a dramatic and elegant touch to performances. The fluidity of movement and the potential for stunning drops and wraps make silks particularly mesmerizing.

  • Aerial Hoops: The circular shape of the hoop provides a strong visual focal point. Performers can use the hoop’s symmetry to create beautiful, balanced shapes and spins.


  • Aerial Silks: Offers a broader range of movements and can be adapted to different themes and styles, from classical ballet to contemporary dance.

  • Aerial Hoops: While slightly more limited in movement variety compared to silks, hoops excel in showcasing strength and control, with impressive poses and spins.

Setup and Space Requirements:

  • Aerial Silks: Require significant vertical space and a secure rigging point. The silks rig must be properly installed, which can be challenging in some venues.

  • Aerial Hoops: Require less vertical space than silks and can be used with either a ceiling rig or a freestanding frame, making them more adaptable to various venues.

Conclusion: Choosing the Right Aerial Art for Your Event

When deciding between aerial silks and hoops for your event, consider the visual impact, versatility, and space requirements. Both forms of aerial art offer unique and captivating performances that can elevate the ambiance of any occasion.

At Entertainment Mafia, we specialize in providing top-tier aerial performers and the necessary equipment to ensure a spectacular show. Whether you opt for the elegance of aerial silks or the striking presence of aerial hoops, our performers are equipped with the best in straps aerial, aerial hoop frames, freestanding aerial hoops, aerial frames, and aerial silks rigs to deliver an unforgettable performance.

Contact us today to learn more about our aerial entertainment options and how we can help you create a breathtaking event that leaves your guests in awe.

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