When I tell people; “I work as a circus performer,” I always get: “So you’re a clown?” or “So you’ve run away and joined a circus now, have you?” For me, I haven’t physically “run away” (unless if you count Mississauga as far from North York, then I run away at least four times a week) but I have metaphorically run “into” a circus.
Through dance and school, circus came into my life and now I just can’t get enough. I have conducted these interviews to find out how some of the performers and artists of A2D2 ~ Aerial Dance Cirque Company, got started on their journey into the world of circus, why they do it, and what they recommend for new performers.
1. How did you get started?
Our circus journey began in our early teens when we were invited to a flying trapeze birthday party for our neighbor who was turning 50years old. Everyone at the birthday celebration had the opportunity to experience the feeling of flight! Julie, Samantha and I were all addicted from that point on!
2. How long have you been training/performing?
We have been training for 14 years and performing professionally for 8 years.
3. Do you perform/train on multiple apparatus’s and if so which is your favorite? (If you have one?)
Between the three of us we perform the following acts: aerial hoop, double hoop, silks, double silks, cirque-u-l’air, circus sphere, dance trapeze, dance, acro-balance and hammock. Our favourite acts to perform are most definitely our “sister acts” which include DOUBLE HOOP and Cirque-u-l’air (A2D2′s custom engineered apparatus)
4. Why do you love circus?
Circus is exciting, thrilling and artistically free! There is no better feeling then flying through the air in our opinions! In circus there is no pedagogy like there is in dance, gymnastics or any other type of disciplines which makes it not as much about the moves that we do but about the artistry we bring to our skills. We agree that it is a profession that allows athletes to bring their athleticism to life through artistic expression. Circus as a profession really draws together people from so many different training backgrounds Circus is a home to many dancers, gymnasts, martial artists, divers, equestrians, etc.
5. Did you have an athletic discipline prior to training circus arts? (What was it? Do you do it now? Why or why not?)
All three of us began in competitive dancing. We trained in tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, and acrobatics. We still use our dancing skills in our circus acts today and find that our training really aided us in many ways!
6. Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
As directors of A2D2~ Aerial Dance Cirque Company we see ourselves and our company growing as an entity. We see more touring production work in the future as well as full event design as we have had much success and accolades in the events we have produced thus far.
7. Any recommendations for new circus performers or trainers?
Be an open book. Never restrict yourselves to thinking you can only do one thing. Try as many circus apparatus’ as you can and never stop learning. Learning is your ticket to success. The more you are able to do the better your career will be in circus. Have fun and remember to always be safe!
Thanks so much to Julie, Elisa and Sam for taking the time to do this interview. Stay tuned for the next A2D2 performers interview.