by Mary Jo Gruber March 15, 2021 2 min read

One of the very first skills that new aerialists learn is a basic single foot lock. This feat alone can feel like a huge win, since single foot locks are the foundation for so many gorgeous poses that you can use in flows and routines. For more advanced aerialists, single foot lock moves can even serve as simple yet stunning resting positions for a piece of choreography. These 5 beautiful poses are perfect for the newbie who is just beginning to build on their aerial skills as well as the seasoned performer looking to add some old favorites back into their aerial tool kit. 


Aerial silks arabesque

Mary Jo doing an Arabesque in our Red Aerial Silks

This classic pose creates a gorgeous silhouette that you can use as a transitional movement in routines. Begin by standing in your basic single foot lock. You can either hold on to both poles with each hand or hold on to one pole with both hands. Extend your free leg behind you, pointed towards the ground. Push away from the silks with straight arms.


Girl doing a Candy Cane in our Red Aerial Silks

You may hear this pose referred to as maidenhead, ship’s lady or any variation of that phrase! This pose is perfect for creating a dramatic shape with little effort. While holding on to one pole in each hand, switch the grip of your hands so that your thumbs are facing down towards the ground. Lean out to the front while arching your back and keeping your wrapped leg straight. You can extend your free leg towards the ground or bend it at the knee.

Lean Back

Girl doing a Lean Back in our Red Aerial Silks


This move is a fantastic resting position that provides a perfect opportunity to create a spin while catching your breath. While standing in your single foot lock, slowly sit down until your knees are fully bent. Cross your free leg over your wrapped leg in a figure four position. You can completely let go of your silk and lean back towards the ground. 

Candy Cane

Girl doing a Single Knee Hang in our Red Aerial Silks

This is perhaps the most dynamic beginner foot lock move and will require a bit more grip strength (Check out this blog for easy at-home exercises that you can do to strengthen your grip) than the previous poses. Begin in your single foot lock and grab with both hands onto the pole opposite to your wrapped foot leg. Rotate your body through the center of the fabrics and push the silk down your leg as you go. You can roll up once, twice or even three times.

Single Knee Hang

Girl doing a MaidenHead in our Red Aerial Silks


You can think of this pose as an extension of your candy cane and it provides multiple options for creative silhouettes. First, perform your candy cane, rolling up twice. Next, bring your free leg through the middle and hook it onto the same pole as your wrapped foot. You can fully release your hands and lay back or hold on with one hand and release your hooked foot to create beautiful shapes. 

No matter what your aerial skill level may be, keep these poses in mind for inspiration the next time you need to create a dynamic single foot lock sequence. 

Photos by Mary Jo Gruber

Mary Jo Gruber
Mary Jo Gruber

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