Rock the Cradle

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Brought to you by AXIS Flight School Instructors Niklas Daniel and Brianne Thompson at SkyVenture Arizona in Eloy. Photos by Vince Arnone. For more information visit or search “Axis Flight School” on Facebook.


The performers begin this move head up and facing each other. Flyer A performs a half back-loop by flying feet first below Flyer B, who simultaneously performs a half front-loop. Both performers, now facing one another head down, pause momentarily. Flyer A then moves below Flyer B again, now traveling head first, while Flyer B performs a half back-loop. The performers finish the move facing each other in the original head-up position.


Both flyers need to be proficient in performing:

  • a half-loop from the head-up to head-down orientation
  • a half-loop from the head-down to head-up orientation


Flyer A: Initiate a half back-loop while driving feet first under Flyer B, maintaining eye contact throughout. Pull your legs in, raise your arms and collapse your chest slightly to produce forward drive. Maintain your torso at a 45-degree angle to the relative wind. Once you see Flyer B directly above you, squeeze your seat and allow your legs to get lift to transition to the head-down position. Once there, pause in the neutral, head-down shelf position and allow your momentum to cease. When you and your partner agree to move to the next step, drive head first (perform a half front-loop on your back) under Flyer B toward where you just came from. Straighten your legs and cave in your chest to promote sinking underneath Flyer B. You can use your legs and arms to assist in initiating a slight forward drive.

Flyer B: Initiate a half front-loop while driving head first over Flyer A, maintaining eye contact throughout. Drive forward in a sit with your arms wide, and prepare to enter your partner’s burble. The target for your hips is the spot where your partner’s hips just were. Keep your torso parallel with your partner’s throughout the move. Stop in a solid, neutral, head-down shelf position with your arms in front of your torso. Allow your momentum to cease. When you and your partner agree to move to the next step, perform a half back-loop on your belly, driving feet first toward where you just came from. Drive forward in the shelf position until you see your partner’s level drop. At this point, pull your knees toward your torso and continue looking at your partner. You will now be in a sit. Maintain a consistent proximity with your partner through the entire move.

Helpful Hint

During your first attempts at this move, offset from one another slightly (as in an open accordion) so you won’t need to contend with each other’s burbles. This will help build your communication and confidence while you’re learning the move.


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