2016 Blog 12 A Clever Trapeze Class

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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.

 

 

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.

2016 Blog 10 Training is a Privilege

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Have you ever thought about the idea that training is a privilege? Any day, any moment or any second, things could happen and your training could be taken away. You could get injured, your trainer could get injured, you could have to go to hospital, your training venue could get shut down, maybe you have to move or your job changes. People with children, in my experience mostly women, have trouble getting to training because of the difficulty with finding someone to mind the kids.

Some people’s jobs get in the way, some people don’t have jobs and can’t afford the training. Some people have a physical or mental impairment that make training a very different proposition as compared to a person without those impairments. Some people don’t have transport or don’t have a class that interests them available to them.

My point is, that when I have training I move Heaven and Earth to get there. Sometimes I’m tired or grumpy or achy but I always think you don’t know how long this will last you need to make the most of every session. I just wanted to share that.

Another thought that occurred to me today was that why does an interesting training session finish in a nanosecond when I have been in other dull sessions that drag on forever!!!! Doesn’t seem fair somehow.

Doctor Who may as well have come and visited and stuffed around with the time lines today because I would have sworn on bibles that our lesson lasted for five minutes but I looked at the clock at the finish and poor Alex had gone fifteen minutes over .

It was such a great lesson today. I felt so strong. I stuffed up a move. I was trying to do a backward roll and I missed the bar, Alex said go back the other way and I didn’t even panic I knew I had enough strength to hold my own weight and just go back the other way and that my friends is one of the sweetest feelings in the world. To be able to hold your own weight and feel comfortable in it is cool, very very cool.

Chantelle did a move that we’re calling the Python. I really wished I had got it on video but I was so horrified by what she was doing that I couldn’t even move to help her. It was like she did it in slow motion. She did a drop and then kept going but slowly. So her legs were around the rope and then she released her arm and then her legs and kind of curled up on top of the mat below. It was amazing to watch. The freaky thing was that as she did it I was asking Alex what’s the escape clause in this move if you don’t catch your legs and she was saying as Chantelle was doing her Python no you’ll be fine because you’re hanging on with one arm.  It is very fortunate that Chantelle is as bendy as she is.

After witnessing the Python I went right off that particular move and then found any drops hard after that too. Chantelle got right back up and did it again so that was enough for me to suck it up and go otherwise I would have been regretting it on the drive home.

We did our routine on the triple trapeze and that was a lot of fun. Every now and again depending on the move Chantelle and I would meet on the trapeze and the first couple of times it scared the hell out of me. Normally when I do the routine I’m thinking about it so hard I forget everything else. So there I was concentrating hard on some move and then Chantelle’s face looms towards me as she does the same move on the other side of the trapeze. I nearly fell off my perch the first couple of times. It’s fun though doing the routine on the triple as opposed to two singles side by side.

In other news Circobats are having a fundraiser for their next fringe show. They will be doing their Mortal Sins Act and there will be a couple of other supporting acts. The tickets are ten dollars and that’s very cheap entertainment to see some extremely talented people. There are two sessions for this performance this Friday Night at 7.30 and Saturday at 5.30. You can get the details from their website or Facebook page and they also have raffle tickets with some speccy prizes.

Thank you for reading and I’ll catch you in the next blog.

2016 Blog 7 Let go of the person you think you are to become the person you want to be.

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That is possibly one of my longest blog titles ever but it really suits the subject matter.

Before I get into that though my adventures with a flying trapeze have continued this week with getting a ride in a cherry picker and my goodness was that fun. I got to twenty feet and that was as high as the trees we were trimming I was higher than Venus (that’s what we call our flying trapeze) and I could see the tops of my trees. I have always wondered what it would be like to be up there and now I know. How lovely were those tree trimmers that they let me have a go. It’s amazing what you get if you ask for it. May I have a go in your cherry picker, yes they say, you may.

I try to make an effort to go to Friday night open training at Circobats because things keep happening on the Friday night that I don’t see when I just go to the Saturday class. On Friday nights I quite often see people practising routines and a couple of times now I’ve had these really good conversations with people that have made me think about what they’ve said on the drive home.

So this Friday’s conversation was with Vashti and she just said quite casually you and Chantelle should do a routine in an upcoming show. Now Chantelle and I have already said yes please to doing a show case at Christmas but this was another type of thing all together. My first reaction was no way could I do that but then when Vashti had left I kept thinking about it. To perform is a natural extension to circus training. When you know that you will be performing it makes you work harder and really nail down your moves and think about what you’re doing. My long term goal was to perform occasionally so Vashti got me thinking. When I train I have fun and I get fit but I don’t think about how it would look if I had an audience so in a sense even though it’s my long term goal I’m not doing anything to get closer to it. So on my drive home I thought even if I don’t perform in this show I need to be ready for when an opportunity arises. It would be incredibly cool to get up there and show what I can do. So thanks Vashti that was a very nice piece of direction for me.

Saturday class heralded our first session with the triple trapeze and oh my goodness. I’ve done trapeze for a while now but hey there is still heaps I can learn. We went so far out of my comfort zone that I would need GPS to get back.

Our first job for the lesson was to show that we could do a pull up and I’m not a novice at this game. Don’t let your trainer walk away and if you’re going to do one do it early before you get tuckered out. Honestly I was like one of the kids I teach, “Alex! Are you watching? I’m going to do it now’ Chantelle and I did the pull up. Poor Alex, Chantelle and I are adults in name only.

Then the rest of the class was doing all of this amazing partner work that I had not done before. It was challenging, fun, magical and confronting. My mind and my courage got a workout at the same time. I do not understand how people can do fitness and not enjoy it, if you are not enjoying your exercise class take a circus class you’ll never look back.

One really cool thing about partner work on a triple trapeze was that for a couple of the moves because you are both on the trapeze you lock each other in so doing some of the moves I’ve never felt more secure. That was cool.

I did however have a couple of difficulties with the activities. The first difficulty was that up till now all of my partner work has been on a double trapeze and has pretty much been one person on top of another. With a triple trapeze we were doing side by side stuff and I was working overtime to get things straight in my head. This leg goes here and this arm goes here and then time what you do here and I thought Help! We figured it out but my goodness it was a mental workout.

The second difficulty was a difficulty I have had previously when working with others. We were doing this move and I can’t remember what it was called but Chantelle and I had to balance off of each other and I wasn’t comfortable with that at all. I am bigger and heavier than her and I thought I’m going to send her into orbit. She assured me that I wouldn’t and when we did the move she didn’t go into orbit so maybe next time we do it I’ll be able to relax and just enjoy what we’re doing.

So my outcomes from this weekend were. I have a renewed direction with my training. If I want to get to a certain point I need to let go of the person I think I am to become the person I want to be. If I perform and I stuff something up it’s not the end of the world. Hell they stuff up in the Olympics it would be worse to not have a go and what would be really cool is to perform and enjoy performing, hmmm that’s certainly worth thinking about.

This triple trapeze is obviously going to open up a whole new world for us and I am one happy camper about that. Trapeze never gets dull.

2016 Blog 4 Improv!

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The most amazing coincidences keep happening at Circobats. Now I am the most dyed in the wool hippy you’re ever going to meet so maybe these coincidences are nothing special to you but they are blowing my mind. They show me that whatever is going on at the moment I’m on the right track, I’m doing what the Universe wants me to do or maybe the Universe is happy to help me do what I want to do, I shall ponder that one on the next dog walk.

It started with the fact that I am a major bat fan, love bats of all shapes, sizes, kinds, you name it. Dracula – yes, vampires – yes, fruit bats ah ha. Little bitty tiny bats at twilight – yes please keep em coming. Bat Fink – complete legend my hero cannot get enough of Bat Fink. I’m looking for a trapeze class and Circobats have a giant upside down bat on their wall and it’s their logo, mm I thought Universe are you sending me a message?

Then on one of my trips in to class I say to the Universe I want to learn a routine how can we make this happen? I get to class, Tazi is taking the class, she says hey girls I want to teach you a routine. The very day I put the request out to the Universe. Unbloodybelievable.

Now it’s happened again. I’m on my way to class I say to the Universe, Universe I would like to learn drops and stagger me if Alex doesn’t give us a lesson today on drops. It’s freaky I tell you.

Anyhoo before I begin talking about the drops Circobats are doing a show in the school holidays so if you’re going to be in Adelaide in the second week of the school holidays I would recommend you give it a look, it’s called Spaced Out and you can get tickets through the Circobats web site. We’re also going to get the opportunity to see Alex and Persia’s show in Adelaide during November so stay tuned for news on that one.

I normally play Hit Ball on Saturday mornings before trapeze class and today it was cancelled. I decided well I’ve got all of this time I’m going to go for a run and walk the dogs and on the way home from walking the dogs I gave sanctuary to an evacuating race horse and his three carers, (we have floods in Adelaide right now). This was all fine and good but it meant that by the time I arrived for my trapeze class I was pooped and the class hadn’t even started. I decided that I would soldier on because I had already missed my Friday training because of these pesky floods.

We started with some strength work and while we were doing this Chantelle was doing crazy dancing and I said I was a fan of interpretive dance, I mean who isn’t? Chantelle mentioned how nice it was that some of my kids were willing to get up and make up a dance (I’m a school teacher and I had posted on facebook about a cool dance two students made up for Grace’s version of You Don’t Own Me) and she said she had students who hated improv and that was so sad. Improv was a chance to do what you wanted to do. Now file that conversation away for a moment because I’m pretty sure Alex wasn’t with us when Chantelle said it.

So Alex produced these cards which are very cool and show trapeze tricks and I looked at the ones she was looking at and I thought no Alex we’ve done them what are you looking at them for? Fortunately I have learned to hush up and listen up before I put my foot in my mouth which used to be and still is one of my best tricks. Alex says today I’m going to show you drops. Drops I thought, did I hear drops? I’m pretty sure I heard drops.

Alex ups and shows us a trick that she says is the first step to a drop but it’s a little ‘catchy’. Oh Chantelle and I chuckled at that one, ‘catchy’ in Alex speak means it’s probably excruciating, but she had me at drop. I did the move, it hurt like hell, I didn’t care we were doing drops. This move, I’ve totally forgotten what is was called, looks very cool so when we get the next bit I think it’s going to be quite specky.

Then we did a drop from Birds Nest and that was just lovely. You keep your hands on the bar so it’s just a soft drop but it still looks cool. We did drop to Mermaid and I was rubbish at that one, just need some practice I guess.

Have you ever wanted your trainer to get the hell off the bar because you wanted a shot? That’s how the drop to Birds Nest felt. Alex demonstrated it and I thought yep that’s for me I’ll have a little of that please.  One of my legs kept falling off during the drop to Mermaid and Alex said it’s cool turn it into drop to Angel and I thought Static Trapeze is AWESOME.

I could have done drops forever but we finally stopped and looked at transitioning from Rain Drop to Bat Split. That led us into a conversation about transitioning and putting moves together and how we should be looking at how to do that and then colour me freaked and cue the freaky music , Alex says it’s time to do some improv. Unbelievable!

So putting that freakiness to one side she says come up with at least five moves and put them together, on the spot people! (that was my words not hers). We were now totally out of my comfort zone. Chantelle leapt to it and I thought about my options, I could freak out and say I DON”T DO IMPROV!!!!! I could fake a stomach ache or I could do it. The clock ticked, I gave weight to each option, I thought about Mark Twain sailing away from his safe harbour. I thought about Chantelle and her saying how sad that some of her girls don’t like improv. I also thought about ‘move away from the person you are to become the person you want to be”. So I thought sod it, give it a burl. Alex and Chantelle have created a learning environment where you are willing to give things a go. If it doesn’t work the world won’t stop turning and I wanted to be Improv girl, I’ve never been Improv girl.

So today I improvved. I just put some moves together. Alex read them out to me as I did them, she tweaked the sequence and it was done. This means I am on the way to creating my own routine, whoa! That would be beyond cool.

It’s a great class have I mentioned that?

Thank you Alex and thank you Chantelle for magical Saturday afternoons.

2016 Blog 3 We’re gettin’ a Triple!

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There was a lot happening in our little world of static trapeze today. Firstly Chantelle brought in some swatches for fabric for our outfits for the Christmas show and my goodness the pattern we have picked is to die for. Think velvet and the galaxy and there’s sparkle in there too. Gorgeous simply gorgeous. Thank you Chantelle’s mum for making our costumes.

We had Tazi teaching us today because Alex is off being wonderful interstate with Persia. They are doing a show called Mortal Sins if you are reading this and you live in Melbourne I would recommend getting down to see it. I watched them practice and like – Wow!

Tazi is an incredibly kind and patient person and she gave us a wonderful lesson today. It was pretty much a clean up of what you know. How can you make your tricks and your routine nicer, cleaner , where are the tweaks. I got so much out of the session and I took heaps of notes so I didn’t forget by the time I got home. Chantelle and I got to watch each other perform and watching Chantelle was an eye opener. The smallest moves are beautiful when done correctly. Watching her just going up to the ropes from a knee hang she made it look so graceful and elegant.

We did some tissu stuff. Chantelle treats it like fun, I treat it like I’m tackling a boa constrictor. How did this art form ever take off? I do want Chantelle to show me how to get down like a Bond girl though I do fancy that.

Now the big news. The bigger than Ben Hur news. The biggest bestest most fabulous news is that Circobats are moving their triple trapeze from Scotch College to Sir Donald Bradman Drive which is where we train now. To say I’m a little excited would be an understatement. OMG!!!!!!! The things we will be able to do on that baby. I have already googled triple trapeze images and I have plans for the next year of classes and I’m thinking Christmas Show!!!!!! Could we do something for that! Goodness I’m doing a lot of breathing exercises to stay calm and cool but I have to say this news has made Trishy a very happy camper.

Thank you Chantelle and thank you Tazi for making my Saturday afternoon fantastic.

2016 Blog 2 Flat Out Happy

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At the end of my class on Saturday when we were absolutely exhausted I said to my long suffering training partner Chantelle I’m pooped. She said so am I. I said you know what that means? She said ‘Home time?” I said it’s time to train more on tired muscles. She said it’s time like this I forget why I like you.

I jumped up on the trapeze and did some eccentric pull ups (that was a little eccentric of me dontcha think?) and Chantelle joined me and I realised that nothing made me happier than this. I have had an hour fifteen of great exercise, lots of laughs, I had trained until I was exhausted and then I had trained some more and that my friends makes me happy so so happy. I like strength, I like fitness, I love trapeze and I love jokes and I get it all in my Saturday afternoon class. I just remember thinking as I jumped up to do some more exercises it wasn’t oh yuck I don’t want to do anymore it was pure happiness and you know how sometimes you go through crap and you think you’ll never be happy again and then voila happiness comes back. It’s very cool.

It was another brilliant lesson but before the lesson was Friday night open training and we got to see Alex and Persia’s routine and wow it’s amazing. I’ve seen bits and pieces before but this was just about the whole thing and my goodness it’s a knock out. Persia does this amazing hoop routine, then Alex wows them on the trapeze, then they both do this amazing acro routine and then they do a tissu routine and it’s like the music takes you from one apparatus to the next. I would dearly love to go to Melbourne to see the whole thing but it was pretty cool seeing what we saw Friday night.

Now onto our lesson. I told you last week we are doing more ballsy moves well our Saturday class is becoming no place for the faint hearted. Fortunately a very smart chap once told me don’t go into any moves that you don’t know the way out of as long as I can get out of a move I’ll pretty much give most things a try. There’s been a few moves that I have run away and said oh that’s a bit dose of nope.

We looked at our pull overs, I’m working on an argyle design – yes? Turns out Chantelle and I may have been doing them a little bit the hard way and it may well be now that we’ve learnt an easier way to do them they may arrive a little sooner than I was expecting. So that’s nice.

Then it was on to the chips move and the star fish move. We pretty much ran a comedy skit working out what the chips move was and what the star fish was and it didn’t help with me thinking that the star fish was called sun flower and my goodness I thought we were going to have to start using sign language to get ourselves understood. Alex fixed the problem by saying there is no sunflower move so lets just do chips and star fish and then we’ll all know what we’re talking about.

So Chantelle goes first and does a beautiful chips and oh my goodness do you know what I’ve just realised we did star fish and chips, fish and chips and I didn’t pick it up at the time – argh! Ok so she did chips and it looked gorgeous. When I did mine I kind of felt like a half dead fish in a net. Alex said I looked ok I’m not sure I bought it. Then we did my sunflower, Chantelle’s chips and the actual star fish. Chantelle goes into this move so effortlessly and a big dose of nope was standing right next to me. Regardless me and nope got up to do the move and I have to say nope was yelling when I did it, man that move hurts. Yes it looks pretty but the pain factor is a little high. I couldn’t do it all the first time I tried it so it’s pretty cool I got it this time. Nope didn’t make an appearance for the next move though – dun dun duhhh!.

So I have a friend called Jessica who is a bit of a whiz at trapeze and because she doesn’t realise how good she is she thinks everyone can do what she does. So she has this move called the Carousel and for as long as I’ve known her she’s been saying Trish do the Carousel, you’ll love the Carousel. So I’ve watched her do it on video and pretty much put it in the nope category. I watched her do it in person and thought yeah like it but still nope but this Saturday for some scary psychic reason Alex says hey let’s learn the Carousel. If I find out that Jess has been chatting to Alex look out Missy.

So Alex demonstrates and I’m thinking no bloody way and Chantelle is looking like she’s thinking the same thing and Alex says you’ll be fine which is Alex speak for I’ll catch you if you fall. Anyhoo I found out the escape path, Alex demonstrated it a couple more times and then it was our turn. I did it and pretty much buggered it up, that my friends is my gift to the world. I make other people feel better by buggering things up first. Chantelle gets up and does the whole thing perfectly and I thought – right it’s on. Have I ever mentioned that I am almost pathologically competitive? Who am I kidding there is no almost in that description. So I get up and bugger it up only slightly less than previously but I’m a little happy that I’m still alive and I have to say it’s a really cool move so Jess is right.

We did our routine and now Alex has put something quite spesh in it. We’re going to change trapezes and do a cartwheel to get to each other’s trapeze and wow colour me impressed. I now have to practice on the trapeze Chantelle uses otherwise I’m going to be falling off the perch all over again. I had an option to the cartwheel I could have done a fan roll. I’ve never heard of them but Jeeze they’re pretty. I should probably learn them they would be handy to have in your repertoire.

I love these lessons I go back to my property afterwards and I muck animals out and slosh about in gumboots and think about being up in the air doing pretty stuff, it’s awesome. I didn’t have to run away to join the circus I just drive into the big smoke, get my fix and come home again.

2016 Blog 1 Circobats – An Amazing Class run by Amazing Teachers

I had such a wonderful time at trapeze class today and on my way home I gave thanks to the Universe for having this class and I planned my Face book post to say thank you for it. As I wrote the post in my head I realised that it was getting longer and longer and I thought go back to your blog Trishy you are obviously missing it.

So I’ve been going to this once a week aerial class in Mile End Adelaide. It’s run by a group called Circobats. It was supposed to be an aerial class where we also do tissu as well as trapeze and they have other aerial stuff there too but I am a trapeze girl through and through so even when my training partner goes off to do a little tissu I stay and play on the perch.

I’ve had a few trainers while I’ve been there and they have all been these talented females who are also great teachers. My training partner Chantelle is perfect, she’s funny and nice and we have a ball together. She also sometimes translates the moves so that I can get them quicker;

Her – “Trish aim your chest to the floor for this one”

Me “Oh cheers Chantelle”

Chantelle runs two dance schools and is a ball of energy.

Our first trainer was Alex and she was my introduction to Circobats. Then she took off for a tour to the USA and we got her sister Zoe, also lovely, also a great teacher. Than Zoe gave us to Tazi, another great teacher and she started to teach us a routine! There’s nothing routine about learning a routine! Boom Trishy’s still got it. I have wanted to learn a trapeze routine for a long long time and voila the Universe provided it. Alex eventually came back from her tour and took over from Tazi. We continued adding to our routine and Alex started to introduce us to some very cool trapeze tricks.

Each week we do conditioning and flexibility and then it’s time to play. Some things you need to be strong for, some things you need to be brave for. Some things are pretty but hurt, some things are easy but look hard, some things look easy but hurt like heck. Alex showed us a move that Chantelle and I call the Straddle of Doom and I kid you not it’s like a Royal Show ride, like people should pay to do it it’s that much fun.

So what happened today that can’t be contained in one itsy bitsy Face Book post? Well truth be told some of it happened last night at open training. Now a little preamble if I may. I never went to a circus as a kid at least not after the age of ten. When I was ten and my family went to the circus I sat in that audience and watched a man hit a lion in the face with a stick over and over again and I thought at aged ten this is wrong. From that day forward I never gave a cent to a circus that had exotic animals in it. I think you could make a good life for dogs or horses in a circus but that would be about it. Anyhoo along come Cirque Soleil with it’s animal freeness and Trishy got to go back and see circuses as an adult. This means that I have not seen much live circus and when I do I appreciate it perhaps more than someone who has seen it since a child. I don’t know but I was blown away by what I saw last night.

Alex and Persia are working on this routine. It’s an acrobatic routine which to me looks like a magician’s trick. I’ve seen people throw moves that work or don’t but are over in the blink of an eye. This routine is slow and strong and beautiful. I tell you it’s mesmerising. The moves are perfect to the music and one minute they are being strong the next moment there’s a dance move, then Persia does the splits while Alex is on her shoulders and I think bloody hell. Alex gets onto Persia’s shoulders and like balances and Alex is upside down and even after Alex and someone else has explained how they do it, I think WTF? How do they do that? It’s magical and it’s beautiful and it’s worth more than a face book post. I’ve also seen Alex and Zoe do some lovely stuff during open training it’s been very cool to watch them.

The second reason I’ve gone back to blogging about circus is because of what happened today. I got a one on one session with Alex and Zoe was there too and that gives you another person to bounce ideas off of. I’ve had lessons from Alex that have been funny or exciting or a bit of both. This lesson was very interesting for several reasons.

Firstly Alex kept giving me these tweaks on some of the moves. Little variations that cleaned up the move beautifully or made it rock solid when before it had been a little  wobbly. You would hardly know I was doing them but they made all the difference in the world. It made me wonder what little tricks and tips do these performers have that the public don’t notice that polishes their routine. I found it fascinating. A way to make my gazelle more stable, a way to make the splits prettier and more stretched out. Look at the bar, lower that leg, little things that made such a difference.

The next thing that I thought was very interesting is that I am becoming as deaf as a post. This is providing me with a whole new trapeze experience. Alex will say things, I will mishear her and then go on regardless. She’s figured this out now and when I write things down she checks and corrects.

Me – What music did you use Alex?”

Her “Dramatic”

I write, she checks and changes it to Gramatik without making a fuss about it.

There is a move maybe it’s a drill and I would have passed a lie detector test if you had asked me what it was called. I heard it called as Bird’s Feet and when Alex demonstrated it I thought well that’s a stupid name it’s nothing like bird’s feet. Apparently it’s something Beat maybe Back Beat but I still haven’t figured that one out.  Anyhoo, no birds. no feet.

Then we had faulty catches and I thought that sounds dodgy. Is this how not to be faulty? Is Alex going to pretend to spot and then run away? Is that the fault? Alex thought this was pretty funny and thinks we should now call “Fall to Catcher’s” Faulty Catchers. See being partially deaf gives you a whole new take on the situation.

But wait there’s still more and this would have been a bloody long face book post. The last thing that I realized about today’s lesson is that I feel like we have moved into new territory with what we cover in class. Chantelle and I have the strength we need to do most of the moves and now Alex is showing us some stuff that we just need to be brave to do. It reminds me of the Mark Twain quote;

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.                   – Mark Twain

There are very few things I like more than being afraid of something and then doing it anyway. It’s a complete rush so hello static trapeze you are the perfect activity for me.

So Alex did this really cool move and I thought yeah right mate I can’t see me doing that. Then she gave me the tweak as to how to make the first move more rock solid and all of a sudden piece by piece I was doing this super speccy move and I thought how the hell did that happen? It was all just put a foot there and a hand there then let that leg go and shazzam – move be mine. The fear factor was strong though because you have to let go of your anchors and sail forth but the reward is a beautiful trapeze move that you did not believe that you would ever be able to do.

It’s an amazing class run by amazing teachers and I am incredibly grateful for it.