Hey guys! So, a lot of news this time, I apologize of this gets a bit lengthy.
First order or business: I went to my first circus class last week! It was a juggling and unicycle class, and I focused more on juggling. I also met a teacher called Nigel, and he helped me more in our twenty-minute talk then the rest of my previous research combined. Nigel heard about me from Travis Johnson, and he basically slapped me in the face with reality- in a good way. He was really down-to-earth but funny and cool and he was really nice to talk to be, and treated my like an adult. He basically told me that “Circus is an umbrella term for a bunch of weird physical acts”. He said that unicycling is hard, the hardest circus trick to master. If I wanted something to show for my in-depth, then it would be much more logical to do something that gives quicker results, such as silks or trampoline or trapeze. They are a lot more physical, a lot harder work, but with quicker results. Juggling is, I was surprised to learn, the second hardest skill. He said I could learn it, seeing as it requires little space or equipment, but a LOT of practice. We decided that Aerial Silks would be the best choice for me right now. He deserves the biggest thank-you ever for being such a help to me.
I will be uploading a couple videos of my- well, interesting attempts at unicycling later. I actually improved a surprising amount over the one-hour workshop.
Next up was my flexibility project of the week: backbends and the bridge.
The bridge was easy for me, simple because I had done it before in dance classes. It’s pretty basic but requires a lot of stretching.
A backbend is going into a bridge from a standing position. Normally, you lie on the floor and push up to create a bridge, but for a backbend you, well, bend backwards. It requires a lot of flexibility and balance and you have to be really careful not to hurt your wrists when you land.
(you have to open it in a new tab sorry)
Now, for the questions. I’ll be writing these about both Travis and Nigel,
1. What has been my most difficult mentoring challenge so far? Why?
Meeting. Travis runs the school in West Van while also teaching classes and Nigel teaches classes there daily.
2. What is working well? Why?
Well, both of them have been really supportive and encouraging of me, and they both showed a lot of interest in the project. Nigel really helped me think about what kind of presentation I want to do and what would work for me.
3. What could be working better? How can you make sure this happens?
What could be working better would be more contact with my mentors. I know that when I start my camp over spring break, I’m going to talk to the people running it and see if they could help at all. Same with the teachers of my silks class.
As I’m really getting into this project, I’m realising it’s less about the skills and tricks but more about how the’re done, the skills i’m learning about training and people and careers and it’s actually really fascinating. I may not be able to ride a unicycle more then a foot without holding onto a railing, but I met some amazing people and learned some amazing lessons. And it’s not over yet!