My interview with A2D2 Hoop student Sabrina McGrath ~
Q: If someone had asked you two years ago if you would ever take an aerial class, what would have been your reaction?
A: I would love to….where do I sign up? I’m always open to trying something new so I definitely would have been open to it. That’s how I ended up here in the first place! Actually, a couple of years ago, as ambassadors for Lululemon, A2D2 hosted some in-store events, one of which they demonstrated the hoop and gave staff and the public a chance to try it out. Interested in giving the hoop a shot, I showed up both to have a go at it and show my support for A2D2.
Q: How did you hear about A2D2?
A: I was privileged enough to dance with Samantha DeAngelis (A2D2 Studio Director and Co-Founder) on the Toronto Rock Lacrosse Dance team a number of years ago. As I got to know Sam better I learned not only that she was a circus performer/aerial artist, but that her and her sisters had their own company.
Q: What apparatus/’s do you train on? (If multiple, what is your opinion on them, which is your favorite?)
A: I am currently only training on aerial hoop and I love it! I’m not sure why I chose the hoop in particular, but you have to start somewhere I suppose. Although in hind sight, maybe it wasn’t the best apparatus for me to train on considering I feel motion sick when I spin I still love it though and I suppose my body will have to get used to some spinning…although I am pretty good at trying to avoid it in classes! Eventually I think I’d like to expand and try some of the other apparatuses…maybe silks.
Q: Did you have an athletic discipline prior to training circus arts? (What was it? Do you do it now? Why or why not?)
A: I grew up dancing, which I started when I was about 8 years old. I gradually started training more seriously and was a competitive dancer until I was about 18 years old. I trained mostly in jazz, tap, ballet, and acrobatics. I danced professionally with the Toronto Rock Dance Team for several years in addition to dancing professionally as a Production Dancer on cruise ships for Celebrity Cruises. Right now I still take open dance classes and perform at any opportunity I can get. I’m not dancing nearly as much as I used though, as I work full-time in a career that is not performance related so it’s a bit harder to find time to fit everything in that I want to do.
Q: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
A: That’s a big/broad question! I suppose if you’re talking circus related then I would love to continue training for as long as I can. I don’t plan on making a second career out of being a circus performer, however I’d love to be able to reach a level where I can perform one day because I love performing in general and it would be a great goal for me!
Q: As a circus student, do you have any advice for people who are interested in taking a class?
A: If you’re thinking about it, just do it…sign yourself up! Also, once you start, don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t come easily. Keep working hard and you will definitely make progress. Trust me…my first couple of weeks were tough and at one point I thought I might not ever actually make it up onto the hoop by myself!
Q: Why do you love circus?
A: I love watching circus because it’s fun, entertaining, and literally at times takes my breath away. I am always impressed by the skills demonstrated by all the performers, regardless of their discipline/apparatus. I particularly love the high flying aerial acts though, which make my palms sweat! I love training in circus because it’s fun, it challenges me in new ways, and keeps me in shape (and sore for days after each class)!