Blog 17 The Circus is in Town!

Bog 17 The Circus is in Town!

Monday night at circus was the night of the Queen’s birthday public holiday and I for one was completely stuffed after a very big weekend.

Pete decided that I should work on my acrobatic phobia which I thought might be nice if it was a voluntary thing. However after absolutely no support from my colleagues I completed one exercise that kept him happy for the time being.

Alessandro and Nick kept us entertained during our horse stances with a variety of dance moves they knew. Laura and I found this bordering on the educational.

Rosalie Decharme finished off her three days of workshops and people deservedly raved about her teaching.

Our static trapeze is now so high we have to climb up to get to it and I spent every day since the Saturday workshop looking forward to using it for trapeze practise. Like a kid who has not paced herself by the time I got to the trapeze part of the night I was stuffed and couldn’t do anything. I was so disappointed and I thought suck it up, the trapeze is permanent it will be here next week and then that trapeze and I have a date with the forceout move, some tempo work and some no arm stuff that Rosalie showed us that I really wanted to try.

A rather nice side benefit of belonging to a local circus is that the big circuses sometimes give us tickets to go and watch them. So I rocked up to training last Thursday night and was told Trishy you can go to the ball or in this case the circus. A big group of Zigzaggers got to go and see Totem and it was brilliant.

I loved everything about Totem. Tiny women on ridiculously tall unicycles balancing and catching metal bowls on their heads. One of these woman threw the bowls without even looking where she was throwing them and the catchers were just in the right spot it was amazing. There were men throwing themselves around this climbing frame at a breath taking speed. A roller skating sequence that I couldn’t believe. A beautiful trapeze act and don’t forget the juggler oh and of course the ring girl. There were heaps of other brilliant acts too it’s a great show. I keep trying to practise a handstand with my legs in a stag position because it’s just so darn pretty.

It was great to sit with circus people at Totem and listen to them comment about the acts. I got an insight into the performances that I wouldn’t have had without them. The performances themselves were just so spectacular. I was like where are the mats? Where are the spotters? I wanted to get up and do the spotting myself. I also now need a mirror suit all because of Totem.

Thursday night training was a heap of fun. I was keen to bust out some moves from Totem and I got to harangue Alessandro with questions like, “how did they do that?” That question specifically was because of the juggler they had and I was given a physics lesson and learned about centrifugal force. If that is how he did it then so be it but it looked like magic to me. It’s a great act.

Alli gave Amanda and I a lesson on the bars which was very kind of her. Alli is fantastic on the bars and just a little bit fearless which is Trish speak for  completely fearless. It was really interesting to see someone you think you know in a whole new element and you see them totally differently. I watched her as she did this amazing one bar to the next move and I thought wow! If I could do that I would have the fattest head in the world and you meet Alli and she’s lovely and unassuming, it was a revelationary night.

I learned something new on the rings too Thursday night. The Totem ring girl was made of muscle. Some people didn’t like it but I really did so when I was getting a little tired on the rings I kept thinking about the amazing things that girl was doing in the show and I kept going. I want to grow up to be just like her.

Anyhoo she did this skin the cat where she went all the way round. Now when I do the skin the cat exercise I always go around as far as I can and then get back again. Alessandro or Nick are always saying go further go further and I think if I do my arms will twist off. The Totem girl did it so I thought mm. I asked Alessandro Thursday night can I see how far I can go and what happens. Sure he says. So I do it and I go further than normal and then I just drop at the end and my arms don’t snap off and I’ve had this uber uber stretch and I can work on coming back from that far. I felt like I’d made a major jump ahead on my rings work. Thanks Totem girl. I looked her up by the way her name is Alevtyna Titarenko and she’s amazing.

Allrighty that’s it for this week I’ll finish off with the pictures and please come and join us if you’d like to. Zig Zag Circus has classes Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday at Glenelg and in the city.



Rosalie’s workshop, Rosalie is a brilliant teacher and a very funny person.


Air Mermaid


Our circus going to the circus.


Beautiful Bianca


Nick doing the Crucifix.


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.


Chris being awesome at aerials.


Beautiful acrobatics.


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


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.




Blog 8 Picture Time Again

Thanks to our wonderful photographer we have enough pictures to run another picture blog so here goes.

Zigzag Circus run classes at Glengowrie YMCA and Point A in Adelaide. Here’s some Point A shots of the acrobats.




And when they’re not at Point A they’re doing this craziness at Glengowrie.



So there are people doing crazy stuff on the ground and there are people doing crazy stuff in the sky, bring on the aerialists.





At ZigZag Circus we don’t turn anyone away. If you have the drive we will train you.



And last but not least here’s a pic of our general class doing some stretches.


All righty thank you for viewing, see you next week.

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!

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.


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.


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.


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.