Here's the thing, you guys. Social media and the internet are amazing, life-altering tools that can be used for great things. They are also bottomless pits of information, much of which is not accurate, safe, or helpful.
In the aerial world, there are lots and lots of people sharing videos of themselves doing aerial online. Hey, I'm one of those people (Instagram and TikTok), so I totally get it! It's cool, it's fun, and it impresses people, so of course we want to share it!
And it can be really cool to share ideas around the world with other aerialists and learn new things. However, learning skills (especially drops) from videos you watch online can be incredibly dangerous.
First of all, unless you are watching someone who you know is a reputable, experienced aerialist, you might be watching someone who doesn't know what they are doing. One single wrap misplaced, one missed step, and you could be plummeting out of the sky to the mat instead of landing in a fancy back balance. Sometimes, a video doesn't show an extra wrap that happens behind the aerialist or the person demonstrating forgets one crucial part.
Now, here is my disclaimer: I learn new things from videos a lot. But here's the process: if it's a drop, I always work directly with another instructor to workshop it. We wrap it low many, many times, and walk the drop down (if possible) many, many times before we ever take it high. We ask lots of questions as we review it, we figure out all the things that could go wrong, and we try to spot each other as much as possible.
If you decide to learn a skill from Instagram or Facebook or wherever, I strongly encourage you to schedule a private with your instructor. Show them the video and ask them if it is a skill that they think you are ready for. If they say yes, ask them to help you figure it out. If they say no, ask them what you need to do to work up to that skill. Your instructors know a lot about how progressions work in aerial arts training and will know some of the "hidden" skills you need to have in order to successfully complete a drop or a trick.
For example, successfully doing a star drop doesn't just require that you know how to wrap it. You need to understand how to control your speed in the initial salto. You need to have really strong body positioning throughout the drop, including good hollow body. You need to know what would happen if your legs don't stay straight or if your hand slips or if you forget that belly wrap. A good instructor will be able to break down an individual skill and help you understand all of the intricacies of it.
You can't get that from a video!
Happy Learning (hopefully in class!)