- Experience and Rigging Knowledge – A minimum of one year of consistent training with instruction is required to be considered for MCS Aerial Membership. Demonstrate sufficient rigging knowledge acquired through attendance of rigging workshops, which are offered at MCS throughout the year, or from prior rigging training.
- Application: Submit completed background form and application (available on MCS website here). If you are applying as a duo, each member of the duo must submit a separate application.
- Submit two letters of recommendation from references that will be able to speak to your aerial experience and abilities, rigging and safety competency, and general ability to make sound decisions and exemplify good leadership. References should use the reference form available on MCS website here. Your reference letters must arrive before we can consider your video. (“MCS Aerial Membership Reference Questionnaire”)
- Test-in process* (see below for details). Submit a video (to firstname.lastname@example.org) of your physical test-in. The purpose of the test-in is to assess your problem-solving abilities and physical strength required to stay safe in unexpected situations.
- Submit a video (either separate video or after the skills video) that includes your demonstration of rigging knowledge and that clearly shows you going through all the steps of rigging your apparatus (i.e. attaching a silk to the rescue 8, tying dance trapeze rope knots and/or webbing water knots, etc.), orienting your applicable hardware (if any), and inspecting your apparatus.
*Submit a continuous skills video (no edits or cuts) that you feel accurately and completely summarizes your aerial skill level and the types of skills you will pursue in practice. Speak the name of each skill loudly and clearly before or while you perform the skill. This video should be an honest reflection of where you are now in your practice. Please show a mixture of skills at which you are proficient, skills that you can execute but not well, and skills that are not yet solid for you. Your video (of skills only, not counting discussion or rigging demonstration) should be minimum one minute and maximum 12 minutes and must include a minimum of eight total skills (which can include the skills listed below under apparatus requirements).
- See below for specific apparatus requirements.** Please also include a variety of moves beyond these requirements that accurately represent your current level and interests.
- You are encouraged to perform all moves in a row (without getting off the apparatus) if possible, but if you need to come down and rest between moves, that is fine and should not be edited out of the video. There is no need to choreograph fancy transitions; just go naturally as you would in training from one move to the next.
- Your coach may be present but may not cue or spot you during your video.
- Your video may also include talking through an apparatus inspection, rigging concerns, and mat choices (see below). It’s fine to cut this section in separately. If you prefer to write out these items, you may submit them in an email (to email@example.com).
Specific apparatus requirements:**
For silks, sling, and rope:
Your continuous video must show:
- at least one full climb
- a 20-second dead hang OR getting out of a tangle
Your continuous video must also show at least four of the following skills:
- figure 8 and dancer wrap footlocks
- any entry into hip key and balancing the hip key
- an inversion (can be from the ground or from a knot)
- crochet/knee hangs, any skill from a wrap
- belay exit/entry
- a low-flying skill from around the back or a hitch wrap
- a drop
- a dynamic skill
For trapeze and lyra:
Your continuous video must show:
- a mount
- an inversion (can be from the ground)
- a knee beat
- a move in the ropes (or span set/webbing/top of hoop for lyra)
Your continuous video must also show at least one of the following skills:
- Front balance
- Back balance
- Long hang beat
- A dynamic skill
For other apparatus:
Use your best judgment as to what to include in your video, focusing on fundamental movements that would be your apparatus’s equivalent of what is listed above for silks, rope, trapeze, and lyra.
*There may be cases when an individual cannot show all of the above moves or needs more time than the 12 minutes allotted but can still demonstrate safe aerial practices, strong background knowledge, and an ability to assess risk. Your test video can be modified to meet individual needs and accommodate disabilities of all types. Please work with your coach(es) and the aerial board rep to modify your video submission when needed.
Rigging, Inspection, Matting, and Independent Practice
In a separate video or as a continuation of your skills test video, talk through how you would inspect a rig point and your apparatus in a detailed annual inspection. Clearly show yourself rigging your apparatus. If you are applying as a duo, each member of the duo must submit a separate application. Answer all of the following questions if this is your first application (if you are already approved on one aerial apparatus, you can skip these questions):
- What do you look for during inspection?
- What are examples of things you could “keep an eye on” but that don’t warrant retiring the rigging or equipment?
- What are examples of things you might find that would warrant retiring the rigging or equipment?
- What are some signs that a rig point or rigging situation is not safe to fly on?
- What are some signs that a rig point or rigging situation IS safe to fly on?
- What would you do if you came across something that seemed questionable or that you weren’t sure about in a rigging set-up (i.e. “crunchy”-sounding swivel, jerky motion from swivel, small fray in pulley rope, strange noises from the rigging, etc.)?
- Briefly explain approximately how much weight each component of a safe rigging situation should be able to support and why. How do you know that each component can support at least that much weight?
- Briefly talk through how you choose a mat. Name at least two different situations that may require different mat choices, and discuss why you would choose the mat you did for each situation.
- Talk through how you would approach trying a move you see on Instagram that you want to learn.
- Explain how you would know if a move you see online is safe to try on your own or not. If possible, give an example or describe a move that would be safe to try and a move that would not be safe to try.
- Explain how you would approach trying out a new apparatus that you have never been on before.
Applicants must go through the testing process for each class of apparatus on which they want to be approved to fly. A description of apparatus classifications can be found on the MCS website here. (“Apparatus Classifications and Approvals”)
If testing process is successful, the complete application will be reviewed by the MCS Board aerial representative(s), and the new member will be invited to schedule an orientation (or, during pandemic, will watch a video orientation and complete a trial on-site rigging over Zoom).
To begin the process, please contact the MCS Aerial Board Representative(s).
*An MCS aerial board rep will contact you once we have received and reviewed all of your application materials, including both references. If you haven’t been contacted, that means that your application is still incomplete or under review, and you should contact your references to make sure they have submitted their questionnaire. If your application and both references are in and you still haven’t heard from back, send a quick reminder email to firstname.lastname@example.org