He is a self-taught gymnast, that's how my 8-year old son refers to himself. I didn't know what an aerial was until he starting talking about them constantly. When I discovered they were no-handed cartwheels, I thought no way. But he kept working on the little mats we bought him for Christmas and studying instructional videos on Youtube…a dive cartwheel, a pop cartwheel, a one-handed…
But a real ariel seemed way too dangerous, and, despite his urgings, I had no idea how to spot him, a fast-moving target plunging his head toward the ground.
One day I took him to "open gym" at a kids' gymnstics place and got a rad idea while looking around. I suggested he try an aerial over the ball pit. First, I moved all the white sponges to one side, on top of his section of balls. So he could land soft--er.
Was he game? He ran down the tumbletrack, pop-hopped and flipped. It was the first, most memorable aerial.
Since then he has been walking on air.