greenwich circus festival 2019

This week we caught up with Alex, who is one of our wonderful adult programme students. Alex has been learning circus for four years now, and performed for the first time as part of last years Greenwich Circus Festival. We talked all things performing, training, and circus, take a look at what we talked about below…

How long have you been doing circus?

4 years. And I've never looked back.

What do you do outside of circus?

I run an analytical investment team in the city, and I also train Fujian White Crane kung fu and tai chi (which is the main reason I don't do more aerial).

How often do you train circus?

1h45 a week formally. I do a little conditioning work outside of it though. Knowing you're strong and capable, and having a body which lets you enjoy movement, are all fantastic for your sense of self.

Why do you train circus?

Because it's a lot of fun, very rewarding, and good for me. Aside from the obvious physical benefits, it's excellent mentally. Simplistically, when you can take on something difficult or frightening and do it, it gives you a lot of pride. More personally, I have a fairly high pressure job, and plenty of distractions constantly competing for my attention. Aerial circus is binary, in that you can't half do it: when you train, it has your full attention. I've found focus priceless for my own mental health. 

Have you performed before?

Twice- at GCF last year and at the summer scratch. I would do this one but it's my brother's wedding the same weekend.

Do you have any good luck rituals you have to do before a show?

It's not about luck, it's about preparation.

What’s your favourite part of GCF?

The rush of a 150-odd crowd chanting your name, and the boost of extra energy and strength it gives you. As a viewer though, it's the combination of impressive skill and the obvious joy the performers take in it.

Best GCF memory?

I'm not a natural performer, but getting on stage last year I understood why people do it. It is like a drug.

Favourite piece of equipment to train/perform on?

Static trapeze. I like the nice, solid, reliable bar. My skill set is much more about symmetrical strength moves than flexibility or beautiful flowery dancey moves, and the trapeze suits me for that. 

Our adult programme is a huge part of what we do here at AirCraft Circus Academy, we see students who take part in adult circus classes for many different reasons; as a form of alternative fitness, community, or with the goal of performing. It is wonderful to see students progress during classes, and to be able to give students the opportunity to perform and showcase their skills should they decide they want to!