I read a book once about the art of trapeze and the author said trapeze is designed to be beautiful. Don’t just huff and puff your way through the tricks, every move every look every gesture is supposed to beautiful, graceful and strong. That is one of the things that I love about trapeze. It is a chance to learn how to do something with grace. I’ve been trying for graceful since I was six and doing ballet class but I’ve never thought graceful could be taught I always thought you either had it or you didn’t. I have discovered though that learning circus skills opens up whole new worlds.
Head up look at your audience. What are your hands doing? Are your legs straight? What expression do you have on your face? It’s not a stressful thing running through these elements it’s more like a mental check list. It’s part of the process and I love it. When I first learned to juggle Alessandro the trainer said stand up straight, look forward, shoulders relaxed, be gorgeous. I had laughed when he first said this but why not, why can’t gorgeous be an attitude rather than a physical attribute? It’s worth a thought. When Alex reminded me during class to look up at the audience she took me right back to that first juggling lesson. So if you are a person who does not like to make eye contact, who does not have good posture or is continually tense, this is a way to develop the habit of stand tall and easy and now I almost never have to be reminded to do it.
The clever part of today’s title was a new trick Alex showed us. She showed us a way to go from Back Star to Gazelle and it was so simple but looked so good and we had got there because she had built up the moves over the weeks. You start in Back Star a little closer to one side rather than just in the middle. Then you bend one leg and twist and voila you are in Gazelle and after a bit of practice we didn’t need our hands to help so it looked really cool to be hanging in Back Star with your hands down and then you just move your leg and twist and suddenly, smoothly, apparently effortlessly you are in Gazelle. I thought it was really clever and I thought it was beautiful. Every time I think are we getting to the point of knowing most of the moves Alex pulls another trick out of her hat. She’s a magician!
Chantelle and I did a run through of our routine and I had asked Alex to video it so I had a record of where I was at in trapeze at this point in time. I think it must have been close to the end when I hit the bar with my heel. Chantelle said she heard it and I love her because she kept going. It’s the dancer in her I think, if you’re performing you keep going. Alex was videoing us and asked if I was ok and I nodded and I kept going. Now I can tell you it hurt like a Mother but I really really wanted our routine on video unbroken so I thought I don’t care if I can’t feel my foot I’m finishing the bloody routine. I finished I smiled at the end and then as soon as I was off the mat I allowed myself to feel the equisite pain that was radiating up from my foot. Now I describe this because; 1) I was so impressed that Chantelle kept going she could have buggered up the video by stopping and I wouldn’t have blamed her but she didn’t. 2) Alex either saw it or heard it and asked if I was ok and I liked that. Alex doesn’t say harden up keep going she asks if you are ok it’s a really nice trait she has.3) I had further proof that if I want something nothing gets in my way, I did not care that I couldn’t feel my foot I wanted a complete video and by cripes that’s what I got. It was a reminder of my nature and I like this about myself.
I know (‘ve said this before but I have worked with difficult people in the past and so I am grateful when I have good people to work with. Chantelle is flat out funny she is a hoot to work with. She has this bird call she does just when she feels like it and I love it. Alex is tricky with what she slips into the lesson and she’s funny too. Universe thank you for bringing me to the Circobats crew you did me a very good turn there. These Saturday afternoons are magical. It doesn’t matter if someone is sick or has an injury or if everyone is full of beans and ready to take on Everest, it’s a lovely, funny, kind class and I love it.