So, in my latest circus trysts, I took an introduction to circus class during spring break. It was a basic run in silks, trampoline, and juggling. Somehow, I managed to sprain my thumb within the first ten minutes, but other then that, it was a GREAT class. My teacher was a girl called Holiday, and she was a great teacher. I really enjoyed the silks class, and they gave a really detailed instruction on how to juggle, not just with balls, with with batons and plate spinning and everything. Unfortunately, the sprain meant I couldn’t take my week-long circus camp later during spring break, but to make up for it. I am now signed up for a month-long silks class, and a swinging trapeze class. My silks class runs every monday, and the swinging trapeze every tuesday.

I’ve already had my first swinging trapeze class, and it was AMAZING!. My instructor is called Scott, and he has a very brusk, but efficient attitude to teaching. For the class, we did a ten-minute warm-up, then Scott got me started on the static trapeze and taught me eight basic positions to do in sequence. I ran through them once, then he pretty much told me that we were going to start in the air. There are two other people in my class, one who has being doing trapeze for about 6 months, and the other for a year. He got me to stand to the side and watch for the first time, and I was amazed. The trapeze is about twenty-five feet in the air, and they get it swinging until you are nearly horizontal. They have you harnessed, but it’s still pretty terrifying. I was very hesitant my first try, but Scott was really nice. You have to climb up a rope to the trapeze bar using only your arms and wrapping it around your feet. He harnessed em in and I climbed up the rope, and using it one of the other students pulled me until I got swinging. Then he taught me how to use my body to create momentum, then we ran through the routine, which involved hanging upside down, balancing on one foot, and lying down using only one foot to support yourself.

I ended up totally sore, exhausted, wishing I had worn leggings instead of  shorts, and now I understand why the other students were wearing bandages around their feet, because after climbing it twice, I had huge rope burn and I could barely put on shoes when we left. I can’t wait to try my silks class and continue my trapeze. I’ve got videos that I’ll post later, of trapeze and some old trampoline ones.

1. What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?

He’s been recommending what other classes, even single ones, I could take to improve my physicality or just to get more involved in circus. He was teaching me and my mom what kinds of clothing and equipment I should wear/bring to class. For instance, he told us that the best thing to wrap your feet in, if you want to protecting but still get a good grip in the bar, is poly-flex adhesive wrap, and the best place to find that is in tack shops, but in a pinch medical tape with do. He told me what kind of exercises I should to, such as pushups to work on my core and arm strength.

 

5. What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?

We really focus on the skills. Scott treats me the same way he treats his adult students, I really have to learn on the spot and pay attention, but focusing on the skills means I learn a lot more a lot faster. We cover a lot of material quickly, but he knows I have to practice before I’ll be able to perform it properly. He pushes me harder then I’m used to, but I appreciate it.

6. What are you learning about one another?

With Scott, he’s really about the teaching. He doesn’t stop so much to strike a conversation, or ask about your day, or even say “great job!” when you get the position right. With him, he basically teaches the position, corrects my form, and then we move on.  He’s learned that I need time to adjust to how hard the work is, and that I need to build up the muscle and get my body adjusted.

I will have the videos and pictures up within a week!