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Are You Risking Your Life for a Drop?

And kind of a lame drop, at that? This, Dear Danglers, is a video posted by Ms Rebekah Leach on how a drop called “The Kamikaze” could leave you paralysed, or worse. This is one of several drops I do not teach because I consider it TOO RISKY – it’s just not worth it. Rebekah writes,


“The Kamikaze Drop is one of the most dangerous drops there is on fabric. If you do a double crossing and you do the second crossing incorrectly, then it undoes the first one and you will come right out of the drop. This is what has paralyzed one aerialist (from the waist down), and injured several others. The reason I am talking about it today is that it is described in Kayla Dyches’ book “The Aerialist’s Companion,” which was initially published in 2011. In her book, there is no mention of what makes the drop safe/unsafe. She has mentioned that this is a formatting oversight and she is working to correct the issue in the book. But for anyone who purchased her book prior to January 2013, they will not be informed about the danger of this drop.- DO NOT attempt the Kamikaze Drop or do so with the utmost caution knowing exactly how to protect yourself from doing it incorrectly.”


Friends, remember – learning aerial skills from a book or a video is a recipe for injury. Please pass this on!!! Many thanks to Rebekah for making and posting this incredibly important video. Love and pull-ups, Laura





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7 comments on “Are You Risking Your Life for a Drop?”

  1. Macy Reply

    Laura, I think this is the first time I’ve actually been genuinely spooked of my upcoming career! The risk awareness has always been there but researching this story has me a bit jittery about experimentation and new moves now. What are some other moves you will not teach because of the danger? Also, are there any specific moves that you do teach, but that require more attention than others? Thank you for sharing this news!

    • Lewitwer Reply

      Hi Macy! Great question (in fact, I may feel another blog post coming on!). Generally speaking, there are moves that I can teach safely with minimal risk of failure – this includes a tremendous number of drops, hangs, etc. There are other moves, open drops (in which the aerialist makes a catch to arrest the drop) for example, which I reserve only for very high level students. When learning or creating new moves, you have to get really good at trouble shooting. Repeatedly ask yourself “what could go wrong here and is there a way to circumvent that risk?”. I love Rebekah’s method of using two mini silks to help her visualize outcomes, and you can also get really good at rolling things out on the floor. The kamikaze is the only drop in my repertory I absolutely will not teach – the design flaw is just too great. Hope that helps! Keep an eye out for a blog post on this! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Scully Reply

    I learned a seated drop today in class and I am trying to learn more about it. It looks like it could be inverted and essentially done as a butterfly or straddle drop. It looks very similar to the kamikaze drop except for there is no second cross on the back. In your opinion is this move equally dangerous? I like to do my due diligence when I am learning new moves on the silks.

    • Lewitwer Reply

      Hi Scully! Tough to tell without actually seeing it. Can you zap me a quick video? Or a detailed description. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Scully Reply

    Here is a video I found of the straddle drop

    The obvious differences I see between this and the Kamikaze are holding the slack and no second cross on the back.

    Right now we are doing the slack drop in a seated position with wrapped legs together. I could see how it would easily translate to the straddle drop but I would like to know I am not making a stupid decision to ask my instructor if I may try this.

    • Lewitwer Reply

      Hah – I call this drop the “Plummeting Whore” (this is one of the many reasons I don’t teach children). Go forth without fear – it’s a super safe drop! Have a great time with it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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