Tell us about The Circus Studio and how you got started? I’m Tasmanian by birth but left the state just before my 18th birthday to pursue a career in circus. I was coming home every couple of years to see my family, then around 2013 I put up some aerial equipment in the local gymnastics centre, did an intensive teacher training with a couple of people who held the fort until I came back in 2015 to run the program. That’s when it officially became The Circus Studio. This year my sister came on board to help me rally the community, form a board and become a not-for-profit. It’s a wonderful feeling to be supported by the people who attend our classes and want to be more involved.
What types of classes do you offer? We have a range of classes. Adults can come to regular aerial classes (trapeze, silks, hoop and rope) or we run occasional classes in handstands and hula hooping, as well as corporate team building sessions. For kids we have Circus Steps, which is a curriculum I started developing, first in Europe, then here in Tasmania.
It’s progressive and loads of fun. Kids play games, learn aerial, acrobatics, juggling, tightwire walking and loads more. These classes feed into our Youth Circus stream, which is for teenagers who may be considering a career as a performing artist. They specialise in their chosen skills, perform and attend shows, and like all our classes, have loads of fun! They are a really great group of young people and are out in the community performing quite regularly now. We’ve also had a lot of demand recently for a class for younger kids and are looking at starting one very soon.
Who would enjoy the classes at The Circus Studio? All the aforementioned! The oldest student I’ve taught was 82, and we have kids who are only just walking participating in open days.
There’s a rise in popularity of activities like antigravity yoga, circus skills for kids and trampolining – why do you think this is? I think people are realising that fitness can be enjoyable and doesn’t have to be a chore. They’re seeking out activities that are fun and have those added benefits of exercise, strength, flexibility, all the good endorphins and health perks. I also think people are sticking with these activities more than the gym because there is the community aspect. There’s a bonding experience that happens with these kinds of things, especially with circus where trust, teamwork and creativity are such big parts of what we do.
Tell me a little bit about your background? Why circus? I was drawn to circus as soon as I knew it was a ‘thing’! As a child I was obsessed with gymnastics (although not very skilled), and very much the opposite with school. My Mum found out about NICA (the circus university in Melbourne) when I was 16 and from then on I had a one track mind, there was no plan B! I think that determination got me a lot of places, not least of all through that first audition.
And where are your favourite local places for a meal, coffee or drink? Well I live in the Huon Valley, so my local is actually ‘The Local’! I also tend to chase ‘From Scratch’ around the market scene. But if we’re talking about Hobart I can’t go past Sweet Sassafras on Elizabeth St. It’s such a chilled out comfy vibe, the food is amazing and their whole ethos leaves you feeling the same.
Check out the classes on offer at The Circus Studio at www.circusstudio.net.au