I want to talk about how far I've come with circus, because it's something I'm really proud of.
I started in March 2014 and was lucky enough to get onto the hoop on my first session. Learning to climb the silks took a bit longer - my flexibility (except in my hamstrings) has been an asset on the hoop but a hindrance on the silks until I developed sufficient strength to combat it. Once I got stronger, though, my confidence and enjoyment on the silks improved dramatically, taking me from this:
And now I can do work in single footlock without needing to strap my foot! The 'cross-legged release' is the bit I was most pleased with: it was omitted in the first video because every time I tried it my knee would bend sideways and I'd fall out. I still take it carefully, but I'm a lot safer now, and my stamina is much improved.
|sometimes I feel like I'm auditioning for a music video|
Even though I found hoop easier to begin with, I actually think hoop is where I've made the most improvement. Maybe it's because I've been aware of my strength building on silks week by week, whilst I hadn't noticed so much progress in hoop until I helped out at a beginners' class and was surprised to overhear one learner whisper to another that they'd never be as good as me. That surprised me and brought to mind how it had been to be a beginner, so later when I was undertaking a move I recalled the video of the first routine I ever learnt:
And when I had the chance, I asked if I could revisit that routine. Roughly 18 months had passed between the two. I knew I could do the moves more neatly and with greater commitment, but I was surprised by how much grace I've acquired. That's been the biggest delight for me: I've spent a long time being told I have no sense of rhythm, and feeling clumsy and ungainly, so to be able to achieve something like this was exciting.
Everyone should have something in their life that makes them feel as good as circus does me.