Aerial hoop

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Single tab hoop with handloop

The aerial hoop (also known as the lyra, aerial ring or cerceau/cerceaux) is a circular steel apparatus (resembling a hula hoop) suspended from the ceiling, on which circus artists may perform aerial acrobatics. It can be used static, spinning, or swinging. Tricks that can be performed include the Candlestick, Bird's Nest and Crescent Moon [1]


Tabs are the connection points where the aerial hoop attaches to the rigging. Most aerial hoops connect at either one point (single tab configuration) or two points (double tab configuration). The number of tabs an aerial hoop has will depend on how it will be used, the intended effect, and the performer's comfort level.

  • Double tab hoops hung from two points (at equal or wider spacing as the tabs on the hoop) will swing like a trapeze (or a child's swing) and do not spin.
  • Double tab hoops connected to a single aerial point, the hoop can spin and swing in a multi axis plane i.e. a pendulum swing or a circular flight pattern.
  • All double tab hoops have the ability to hinge from the tab points when the artist hangs from the top portion of the hoop making this style the very different in acrobatic capacity than a single tab hoop.
  • Single tabs hung from a single point can spin, and swing along more than one axis i.e. a pendulum swing or a circular flight pattern.


Aerial hoops can be hollow or solid. Lighter hoops will spin more easily; once a solid hoop gets momentum, it will stay spinning for much longer. Sometimes aerial hoops have crossbars or hand or foot loops to aid the performer.


  1. ^ "Circus Dictionary". National Institute of Circus Arts. Archived from the original on 13 October 2009. Retrieved October 1, 2009.


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