I have another love - aerial circus. Obviously I have an obsession for animals but I am circus crazy too. My aerial circus love started out as a hobby six years ago but has since become an obsession.
My Childhood Dream
When I was younger, I was always fascinated by the circus. I wanted to fly through the air and do amazing gymnastics. This was quite a dream as I was a clumsy with two left feet and hadn't done any sports or dance lessons.
About six years ago at the Bold Street Festival in Liverpool, one of the displays was a circus school - Freefall Aerial Circus. While my children were having a go, I found out that they taught adult lessons. I attended the lessons and found it was so much harder than it looked. It took me three months to learn a basic climb whereas most people only take a couple of weeks to master this skill.
I initially started learning the silks and hoop but this has expanded to rope, trapeze, cloudswing and various other equipment. My main focus is silks, rope and hoop. Along the way, I started with ground based circus as well and am particularly interested in poi, juggling and hula hoop.
The Reality of my Circus Obsession
I have so much fun learning new skills, keeping fit and having a natter with friends. There is a hashtag #circuseveryday and I find even if I'm not doing it everyday, I am thinking about it and having dream goals. My coordination, balance, strength, flexibility and circus skills have improved dramatically over time. However, starting as an older untrained person, I will never be Cirque du Soleil standard. That is such a long way off!
I have been fortunate enough to have some freelance work with three different local circus teachers. Sometimes this is for aerial teaching and other times this is ground based circus sessions.
I call myself a Teletubby potato aerialist but this puts me in a good position to help and teach others. I know the theory, and if I was flexible enough I would be able to do lots more. It means that I can support and encourage children to reach their expectations, and then go beyond. I know what it is like to be the child that couldn't do sports but through my own experience, I've found ways round to safely achieve my goal. With the more flexible and brave children, I can help them by showing them, supporting them and guiding them to do amazing things I can only dream of.
Every child has made me proud by trying. Some find it hard to get onto the hoop and I am pleased that I can help them to overcome their fear so that they are proud of themselves.
I've also written a previous job which I had as an elf for weekends in December. Not just an elf, but a juggling and entertaining mischievous elf!
Circus in Merseyside
There are two circus schools in Birkenhead and lots over the water in Liverpool. I'm not going to run off and join the circus anytime soon but this is such a fun thing to do. I hope that the circus schools/places will continue to ask me for help!