Blog 9 It’s Starting To Come Together

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Friday night rolled around. I had eaten a good pole enabling dinner, I’d had my nanna nap. I was armed with a positive go to attitude, pole would be mine.

We got up to the dive part of the class and I actually slumped. I thought oh here we go let’s go and do this thing I cannot do. Now the funny thing is there is a girl in the class who loves dives and she’s great at them and just her sheer joy at doing them kind of motivated and inspired me a bit. It was like my mind, which had been saying oh no Trishy not the dive, was now saying, well she looks like she’s having a lot of fun there Tricia how about you give it a go?

So I gave it a go and I didn’t get it but I got further than I had previously and I thought hang on a minute. The first time I tried to dive I pulled a muscle in my calf just trying to get up there. After a couple of weeks I could get up and couldn’t figure out the feet part. A couple more weeks I got the feet now I was working on the knees. I got the knees and then I had to figure out how to get my body in front of the pole. I did that and last night I was working on how to get out of the dive without crumpling and hurting myself. All of a sudden when I was working my way to the front of the pole and when I was slowly coming down not just crashing I realised that I was thinking about what I was doing not just saying, “Sarah help me I can’t do it”, Sarah is our instructor who can do Iron X push ups. I want to be like Sarah when I grow up.

So last night showed me that I am progressing, I am getting stronger and I am able to think about the moves and work on them. Slowly for sure but that’s ok as long as I am moving forward. Going from the hang and pushing myself out with my arms I thought was very cool indeed. It made me see possibilities for my pole future.

Stretch on Saturday was brilliant. I come there straight from gym so I am all stiff and twisted up and it’s agony for the first ten minutes or so until I unkink, then it’s so relaxing I can hardly stay awake. I can see all sorts of possibilities for me stretch wise in this class and it’s going to be interesting to see how far my body can take me. Already I can see improvement in my splits and my back bends, it’s all kinds of cool.

I was all kinds of rubbish in the following inters class but I get so mellow and relaxed from the stretch class it’s hard to fire up for the next class. I got to see Giang do some seriously cool stuff and it was like, stick with me kids and one day you will be able to do this too. Every week I go to pole I see the instructors doing new things and I think oh I want to be able to do that and that and that. Giang was doing these kicks and it just looked fantastic. I don’t know if I will ever get to that stage but I aim to find out.

I’ve signed up for some new stuff at the studio with the idea of taking myself out of my comfort zone and seeing what I can do. I’ve never been very comfortable in my own skin and pole is very good for working on that. So I have signed up for an exotic dance class. Oh my gawd!!!!! There will be shoes and I am very excited. Step one – get the shoes, step two learn how to move in the shoes, step three don’t trip and do an ankle. Step four if I do trip and do an ankle don’t tell anyone how I did it. Can Pole make this Clydesdale into anything resembling a show pony? Just how magical can pole be? Stay tuned to this bat channel to find out. This week’s picture is courtesy of Pleasers.

Thank you Universe for providing this studio, these instructors and my fellow students who I love to bits.

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Blog 7 I’ve Fallen in Love with Pole

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I’m into my third week of Inters and I didn’t think anything could replace trapeze but I love Pole I truly, madly, love Pole.

I do two inter classes a week, two stretch classes, two beginner classes and a dance class. I’m still going to the beginner’s class because there’s some handy stuff in there that I haven’t mastered yet.

The inters class is a world away from beginners and in all honesty there’s not much I can do at the moment. I have a nice Chopper and that’s getting me a little class cred but for the most part I keep my mouth shut and try not to be seen. If the instructor’s eyes are not on you that means you can take a moment to get your breath or summon up courage or try to work out just how the hell you are going to do something.

High school taught me how to avoid eye contact with a teacher, I wish they had given a grade for that because I was a master of avoidance. I knew how to stay at the back of a class and how to keep quiet. Back to present day the pole instructors get to you eventually but a much needed ‘suck a breath’ time is obtained by these strategies.

Taleah from Friday’s class moved to Honours in the Avoidance category. Sarah the instructor was doing the rounds of the room getting each student to demonstrate the move we had just covered. She stood in front of Taleah and said “Show me”. Taleah without batting an eye said “Pass”. “Pass?” I said, “I didn’t know there was a pass option” especially as I was on the pole next to Taleah which meant Sarah came to me next. We all knew the instructor was coming back for Taleah but that didn’t help me much as she was now staring me down. “Show me” She says. “Pass?” I try but it didn’t wash. I think I didn’t deliver it as confidently as Taleah did. Fortunately this was only beginners class so that when I mangled the move I didn’t die I just sort of crumpled.

We did have two other more experienced inters students in the class that night. They took up the back two poles and they were pretty much running a comedy routine for the entire class. I’m hoping they come back, they were fun. Sarah was then coming up with activities for brand new beginners, more experienced beginners and intermediate students, all in the one class. She certainly earns her money.

The Saturday inters class was brilliant. Giang takes this one and she showed us handstands. I couldn’t do them but I have the start of it and now I can work on them. A large part of the problem is that I seem to have lost my nerve. I’m confident that it will come back but it deserted me today.

We also did this very cool static pole stuff and that was brilliant. You got to really throw yourself around on the pole and while I didn’t get very far I know that I have moved forward even just a teeny tiny bit. Static is tricky because you grab the pole but you still need to release enough to spin round. My class mate was whizzing around her pole but not for trashy this week.

I heard today that Sky High is going to hold a showcase next year and friends and family can come. I am very excited by this. I would love to be able to do a routine but what routine is the question? I have wanted to do a routine since I saw Greta Pontarelli on You Tube. She’s a bit of a hero of mine and got me interested in Pole.

The photos from the pole shoot have been coming in and I love them. I may even be willing to up my game next year because the other class mates who also did the photo shoot came up with beautiful costumes and great poses. So I may step out of my comfort zone next year.

Thank you Universe for providing this studio, these instructors and my fellow students who I love to bits.

2016 Blog 11 What is the Purpose of Art? (Please be aware that some difficult potentially triggering subjects are raised)

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2016 Blog 11 What is the Purpose of Art?

I was so enthralled by the Circobats Mortal Sins show that I went to both sessions. The first session raised all of these questions in me and I was hoping to get some answers from the second session. I’m still considering the answers a day later.

So far my circus experience has been, look at the beautiful outfits, see the physical mastery, listen to the wonderful music and be entertained. The Mortal Sins show took that experience to a much deeper level and I finally realised that dance and music are mediums that are as powerful as words to convey emotion. Actually to convey emotion and to evoke emotion because I and several audience members were actively moved by two of the acts in this performance.

Two acts in the first part of the show were so affecting and they lost none of their power when I saw them for the second time. It made me wonder; Is this how art started? Did a cavemen or woman experience overwhelming joy or despair and want to be able to communicate it with the others in his group. Does art allow you to get these feelings out of your system before you are consumed by them. Does it enable you to communicate with others how you are feeling through dance, music, painting, writing or sculpture? Somebody once said to me that I was too sensitive and I thought at the time that he was too insensitive. I know that despite the pitfalls of being overly sensitive I would not want to become a person whose feelings were calloused over and were not able to appreciate what I saw Friday and Saturday.

The first piece concerned grief and it made me ask so many questions. Is this piece a mechanism for making sense of what happened? Is it a way to honour those who have gone or is it a way to simply get overwhelming emotions out of your body in a constructive way rather than the destructive use of self harm or drugs. Is it a way to communicate with others that your world has changed and this is what it looks like now. It was an amazing piece of work and I will never forget it.

Zoe then showed us her year 12 submission and that was another powerful performance. I put an interpretation on it from my own experiences and then I asked Zoe later what the piece was about. My interpretation was different to Zoe’s intention and so arose more questions. Is art a direct communication between the artist and the public or does art stand alone? Does art have a life of it’s own and the ability to teach you what you need to be taught. Regardless of the answers the piece was so strong and moving. What a night hey?

Ok that’s enough of the deep stuff let me tell you about the rest of the show. The Mortal Sins show had two segments. I would like to say it was a two act piece but then there were acts within those two acts and it’s just going to get too confusing.

So the first part of the show had those two amazing pieces that I have spoken about already. We also saw some wonderful displays of acrobatics and juggling. A Circobat called Tara did the MC job for both nights and it occurred to me that her role was pivotal throughout the sessions.

To start with Tara was who we saw first, so she was our introduction to the show. It was like she opened the door to the show and said; “Come in, sit down and here we go”. Her manner and the way she was dressed was reassuring, like here you are, you are about to be experience something and I’ll be guiding you through the process. So an act would come on and you would be absorbed by that act and forget about reality and then the act was over and Tara was back and you would blink and then oh yes this is where I am and then on to the next performance. Now if you really got into an act, it was incredibly nice to have someone bring you back to reality and get you ready for the next performance. I don’t know if that was her intention but that was the effect she had on me. She kept things rolling and gave you the feeling that everything was running as it should. That girl is going to go places if she has a mind to.

They put little jokes throughout the performance. So for Tazi’s wonderful hat act you didn’t just have someone walk on stage and plonk the hat down you had a whole funny little tiny routine to go with it. I really enjoyed those little acts sprinkled throughout the evening.

The acrobatic act was ridiculously good. My goodness you did not know where to look. There were performers everywhere then they grouped themselves together and made human sculptures then they moved apart and made one big balancing thingy then they split up again and made little balancing thingies and I thought nobody is talking to each other but everyone in the act knows what pose is next, where your feet go, where your hands go and Voila! It was magical and joyous.

Tazi did her hat manipulation routine from Spaced Out and that is such a lovely happy quirky piece. She should be really proud of that act. Ryan did a juggling act on his own which was amazing. The way he got the rings to change colour was so cool. I’ve been following his work for a few years now and I’ve just seen him improve and improve. The blonde girl doing the juggling did a great job and was quite dazzling.

So now onto the second act which was The Mortal Sins show itself and yowza what a show. This was a clever show in so many ways. Take one couple, Alex and Sam, with maybe a few cracks in the relationship. Introduce a hoola hooping femme fatale played by Persia and all hell breaks loose. It’s a competition to win the heart of the man and it’s take no prisoners. Oh and you roll through a list of mortal sins as you go.

You could almost forgive Sam for being tempted with the hoola hooping scene, it was mesmerising. However Alex fought back with a trapeze routine that was not to be ignored. Her facial expression and her body language left you in no doubt what she thought of the hoola hooping intrusion. I kept thinking but that’s my Alex, funny, patient, lovely Alex. The look her character was giving Persia would have sent me scurrying away. I had to keep telling myself it’s acting Trish just acting. Words are my art form so I am fascinated that all three players exactly conveyed their emotions and intentions without a word being spoken. As an aside the way Alex made her trapeze appear and disappear at the end was genius. It was like she whistled for her horse and it appeared and then it left again when she was done with it. This is an example of all of these tiny little things that just made the show brilliant. Then Alex commenced to walk all over Persia in an acrobatic showdown that was amazing. Sam then comes in and shows how he’s been manipulating hearts all along and then proceeds to hypnotise the audience with his illuminated poi routine. Alex and Persia return with some music that will knock your socks off, honestly the music was another character of the show. Alex and Persia then biff it out on separate silks. Sam watches Persia at the start but he’s watching Alex at the end.

I cannot believe how talented these people are. They could be actors if they wanted to and I’ve barely mentioned the physical mastery they showed in the performance. My goodness I enjoyed this. If they do a DVD I would love a copy and Circobats need to think about having a You Tube channel. seriously guys think about this.

I am incredibly grateful for meeting the Circobats people. They are talented in their performances and they are kind by the way they are willing to share their skills in the classes they offer. I am dazzled by their performances. Well done Circobats you are awesome.

Bog 16 What a Week it Was!

Well what a week it was at Zig Zag circus. Monday night I got my elbow to toe stretch and Lily did a very nice one legged  squat and I can’t remember now if she did the dragon squat or the shrimp squat. Both are extremely difficult so it was pretty impressive whichever one she did.

I’m working on getting my shoulder to touch the ground from the squat position. I reckon if I could just get someone to sit on my back without breaking me I’d have it. Until then I shall whittle away at it each week.

We did our handstands and cartwheels from a tilting forward position and it gives you a lot more momentum in your handstand. It’s like it’s easier to get where you want to be.

I had a go at doing birds nest on the ropes for trapeze and I was really surprised that I can hold my own weight up there to do it. That was cool. I was shown my first drop and I managed to completely stuff it up but it was pretty cool to try and I’ll look forward to doing that again. It’s a funny mind shift because most of the time I’m hanging on to the trapeze as much as humanly possible. To deliberately let go and drop is a little freaky.

Thursday night I got to watch Kurt and Natalie practise their routine for the showcase and it was just beautiful. It was almost relaxing to watch them, they were graceful and strong and elegant. I also felt privileged that I could watch their practise. That shows the environment we have at ZigZag.  People are comfortable sharing knowledge, asking for help and showing people stuff before they’re a hundred percent finished with it. I think that is one of my favourite things about training with this group. I also got to do some work on the rings Thursday night and I love the rings.

On Saturday night a few of us did a workshop with Rosalie Decharme which was just brilliant. Rosalie has performed with Cirque Soleil and now helps them with training. That woman is so talented and such a good teacher and that’s the balance you want. The most talented person in the world is of a limited benefit if they can’t convey to you how they got there. It was also great fun and let me say that one more time, great fun, to see two of our trainers get trained. Rosalie was directing them to “kick more”, and to “stop that trapeze swinging quicker”. Mmm I thought do you guys remember the world of the student? Especially as she was heaps harder on the trainers  than the rest of us. I did this tiny little thing, great work Rosalie says just work on this bit a bit more. Our poor trainers get up there, they just about do a Cirque Soleil performance and Rosalie is all, is that the best you got?

I hope I don’t come across as too shallow here but Rosalie has the most beautiful lats I have ever seen, they were awesome. When her arms were down you would have no idea the moment she grabbed the trapeze wow!

We learned some cool things and some practical things in that workshop and I’m very glad I went. I plan to try them out in our next Monday training session. ZigZag put up two more trapezes for the workshop and they were higher than I am used to. I had to learn how to climb a silk to get up there the only other way was using a Nick elevator which was a bit of a rush as he propels you upward and you’re thinking whatever you do grab the bar. I had a lot of fun being so much higher than we normally are, it’s like perching up there and looking at the world down below. Maybe I was a bird in a previous life? Until trapeze if I compared myself to an animal I would pick the Clydesdale I don’t feel like that on the trapeze.

And now drum roll please as I present our photos for this week. You need to go onto the ZigZag page to see all of the videos they’re well worth a look.

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Chris being awesome at aerials.

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Beautiful acrobatics.

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Alli took my picture and Liam called me a beast, both of these things made me very happy.

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Elbow to toe – Woo Hoo

Allrighty that’s it for this week. Please come and join us if you’d like to. Zig Zag Circus has classes Monday Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday at Glenelg and in the city. They also run, from time to time, some very cool workshops.

Blog 11 Safety

We had a big turn out Monday night, the cold is definitely not putting people off from training. Silks, acrobats and general circus class all looked like they were out in full force.

We weren’t able to use our regular room for handstand practise so Alessandro was pretty quick about coming up with an alternative activity, I found that impressive. When one of my lessons gets stuffed up at school I find it a real ordeal coming up with an alternative activity on a moment’s notice. We ended up doing handstands in the middle of the floor and we did 15 seconds on then swap partners. We did that maybe four times each and I really enjoyed that.

We actually jumped through hoops for tumbling, I’ve never done that literally before. We started with a new thing that Alessandro called Monkey jumps. I had a go but I figured that must be for the more advanced folk and left it at that. Then Alessandro appears with a hoop and full grown adults are jumping through this hoop. I tell you if you ever don’t want to train there’s so much to see it’s like coming to a show. I could have watched them forever. Then Alessandro said come and have a go and I did not see how my body was going to fit through a hoop. However you put your hands in one spot and your feet in another and all of a sudden you’ve jumped through a hoop. It was pretty cool really. Maybe we should light it on fire for the next go?

I felt like I was moving forward in trapeze which was lovely so I’m now working on holding Nick for ten seconds but I mucked something up which was not good when you’re working with a partner. I confused the difference between getting down from a move and getting off the trapeze all together and poor Nick had to rely on his reflexes not to fall off. That’s the kind of mistake I’m only going to make once but it’s an awful feeling to think you may have caused your training partner to get hurt.

Alessandro, Lily, Grant, Peter and I did some work on the rings and I really enjoyed that.

On Thursday night we did animal walks instead of stretches and they were murder. I’ve decided that I am co-ordinationally challenged. There should be a support group for my condition, I may even start that support group. We had to do a bear walk with opposite arms and legs and there was no way I could do it. It just wouldn’t work I felt like I was trying to retrain my brain and it was fighting me. Even when I went as slow as possible and was chanting this hand this foot now repeat I still couldn’t get it. I’m practising that one with the kids at school.

Do you know the only problem with circus training is that it does not go on for long enough. There is so much to do and so little time to do everything in. You never get bored but you do run out of time every night.

Only a few photos this week  and please come and join us if you’d like to. Zig Zag circus has classes Monday Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday at Glenelg and in the city.

 

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Blog 6 Juggling Can Be hypnotising

Blog 6 Juggling can be hypnotising!.

I was going to make this a blog with videos this week but I’m too much of a dinosaur  to figure out how to do it.

I can suggest you go and visit our instagram page or iconsquare thingy, site or whatever  the heck it is. Here’s the link and let’s all say well done Trishy for figuring out how to put a link in!

http://iconosquare.com/zigzag_circus

I wanted to show you Amanda and Bianca’s aerial stuff and the Remarkable Ryan juggling clubs on top of a globe it was all pretty cool. Ah well the life of a dinosaur is not an easy one.

Monday night training was an exercise in ‘do you train when your motivation has gone on holiday for the night and doesn’t look like it’s coming back anytime soon?’ It was an interesting exercise because long distance running teaches you that you train regardless of mood, weather, motivation etc but running doesn’t involve being off the ground or working with other people. I like to train unless I am incapable of getting to training but after Monday’s performance I may be more mindful of how I am feeling and try and compensate for it more.

Thursday night training was really useful this week. I got a couple of tips on my juggling with clubs which has moved me up to the next stage of learning how to do it. I also really enjoyed watching Alessandro and Ryan juggle together, it’s entertaining and I guess that’s a lot of what it’s all about. They were stealing each other’s juggling balls and I could have watched them for hours. Alessandro then juggled with these big contact juggling balls and that bordered on the hypnotising. All up it was a great juggling session.

You would think that learning how to do circus stuff would lessen the impact of other people doing circus tricks, a bit like knowing how a magician does his tricks, but it doesn’t. Training in circus gives you an appreciation of the difficulty of what the performers are doing. I watched Alessandro and Ryan and I knew how tricky I find juggling and it made the show more impressive.

Ryan and I have this quiet little competitive thing going. When we do handstands against the wall or push up holds neither of us wants to finish before the other, so Alessandro is calling time and we are just staying up for a few more seconds each just seeing how far we can go. It’s a lot of fun.

I should call one part of Thursday night training,”What has Trish seen on You Tube and can we do it?”  Thursday night’s episode was these really cool push up things I’d seen. You lay flat with your arms stretched out in front of you and then you push up from that position. I couldn’t do it but Alessandro could, it was great to watch.  He’s shown me a way I can work up to it so I can add that to the homework I guess.

OK thank you for reading please come and join us if you’d like to,you’ll have a lot of fun.

The picture below gives you an idea of what a training session looks like.

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Blog 4 OMG Zigzag Circus are going to hold another showcase!!!!!

Blog 4 OMG ZigZag Circus are going to hold another Showcase

I came home humming the tune to the Sugar Plum Fairies in Fantasia after Monday nights’ training. I found out Monday night that ZigZag are going to hold another showcase and if I can screw up enough courage to participate in the showcase I can use that as my music. It would be awesome. I’ve already talked to Renee at circus about my costume, just in case I do it I want to be ready. By the way if you need a costume maker Renee is a very talented person and I recommend her.  My costume is going to be gorgeous and let’s face it everyone needs some gorgeous!

However the showcase is not the only news so I think I should use this blog as a bit of a newsletter because there’s quite a lot going on.

On the 28th of March, Earth Hour Day, stilt walkers, acrobats and people willing to help are meeting at the Glengowrie YMCA at 3.00pm for a stilt and acrobat walkabout to promote the ZigZag circus. Wear the TShirts, give out flyers, that sort of thing. Anybody coming should check the weather, this will be an outside activity so if it’s wet or windy I would suggest we cancel.

There’s a unicycle workshop coming up we’re just waiting for dates and costs and then I can say more about that.

There’s a stilt workshop trying to get off the ground, (did you see what I did there?) off the ground? Stilts? OK at the moment we’re looking at Point A,  March 22nd and 29th Sundays at 5.00. Should be an uplifting experience.

Showcase is coming!!!!!!!! July 25th. I’m a little excited. I’m dreaming of a stilt dance number. I just need stilt walkers, a song (I’m hoping for Freaks) and a choreographer, but I have ideas I’m just not sure if they would work or not. So if anyone is interested please let me know.

I also haven’t given up on the idea of a fire spinning workshop but that one is not quite taking shape yet.

So at Monday night training with no Pete we had Julie doing Pete jokes I’d like to thank her for filling in there.

I was struggling with a cold and was having major trouble doing anything speccy with trapeze. However have a look at this picture of me and Nick doing a trapeze thing.

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Apart from the fact that I want to show off my back muscles, yes I am that shallow! I want to show you this because we are doing this exercise because I wasn’t able to do what Nick had originally thought of, I didn’t have the physical capability, So he didn’t say wrack off I’ll find a student who can, he came up with an alternative activity that I could do and would build up my strength for the first activity later on. All the ZigZag trainers do this. They make the most of what they have and they tailor the training to your needs, that’s pretty cool.

Right at the end of the night Nick did something super scary for the first time that he had seen in a fringe show and while I was watching him I was mentally thinking where are my car keys and where is the nearest hospital? It makes you realise that the trainers are challenging themselves too with new things. I like seeing tricks for the first time it makes me feel like I’m there at the start of something.

Amanda was showing some great trapeze work, she’s already booked her spot for trapeze class.

Julie had a go at trapeze and continued to do more on the slack line.

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This picture should be captioned, “Look ma no hands”

Julie and Alessandro were doing a very speccy lie down and then jump up thing while she was on the slack line. She also had a go at teaching me how to ‘steal’ in juggling. Julie is not afraid of a challenge.

The acrobats were doing ridiculous stuff and honestly I’ll need a photo to prove what they did. I mean honestly.

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I don’t know how the acrobats do what they do I just like being in the audience.

Thursday night we had all the usual gang, Alli, Amanda, Ryan, Andrew and Liam all faithfully guided by Alessandro. We did our juggling, then warm up chasey, stretches, handstand practice, more stretches and tumbling.

For free choice, Amanda and I did trapeze tusseling with that tricky gazelle move as well as front balance. Amanda has been my circus buddy for some time now and she has a lovely patient energy about her. I can think about the gazelle and what leg goes where and how the arms work and not feel rushed. It’s a great quality in a circus buddy.

Liam had some fun on the handstand canes he’s also the current holder of the “I can do a 1000 push ups in a day” title, it’s very cool. I did some handspring practice and a little bit of back flip practice.

One last thing to share. One of my youngest students who is 5 years old and is very serious and I rarely see her smile has a habit of getting kids from the playground, bringing them to me, says to me, “Miss Morton can you breathe fire?” (Her Mum found out in the staff room) I say yes (put in a name here for the student) I can breathe fire. She smiles, hisses to the student behind her, See I told you so!, and off she goes. I think the kids are waiting for the day that fire is going to come out of my mouth at school. Circus can do a lot for your cred in the playground.

 

OK thank you for reading please come and join us if you’d like to.

you’ll have a lot of fun.