circus girl

circus time
So here is something you may not know about me…I used to be in a circus.

It’s sort of hard to explain. I spent most of my childhood summers at a camp that, amongst other crazy activities, had a circus. The kids would rehearse every day and then perform every few weeks.

When I first started, at 10, I was part of the simpler performances: globe (walking on a giant ball), trick bike, double dutch jump rope. Every time I auditioned, my dream was always to be in the aerial acts. I wanted to be on of the performers who would hang from ropes and fly on trapezes just like in Cirque du Soleil.

Once I finally made it, I did everything, from single trapeze, to rope, to cloud swing, to flying trapeze. I was fearless and I loved it. I hung upside down, tied knots around myself and swung from the rafters.

At the end of every summer I would go home wishing I could continue. I tried to convince my mom that we should hang a trapeze in our back yard. Circus fun was always relegated to the summertime. And over time my circus dreams faded. Until now…

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Just a few weeks ago, I was browsing some blogs when I came across Silly Grrl and some beautiful photos of her practicing aerial tricks. All of a sudden a fire ignited inside of me and I realized I had to find a way to get back in to circus.

So I found a workshop here in Los Angeles and I’m now taking a beginning aerial class every week for the rest of the summer. To say that I love it would be an understatement. It is unbelievably hard. I remember practicing and performing being difficult and painful, but nothing like this. I seriously have zero upper body strength and am mainly battling my own ability to hold myself in the air. After the first class I was sore for days. Despite the pain, I still love it. I can’t wait to be stronger and more flexible.

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These photos are a little flashback from one of the first aerial performances I did when I was 13. Of course, there aren’t any tricks photographed and this is the only performance I even have any photos from.

circus time

There’s more to the story though. Despite loving the aerial performances, I also fell in love with fire. I learned how to fire twirl at 15 in the circus and would twirl whenever I had an opportunity after that (which was rare). The thing is though, a great deal of the excitement of twirling was doing it with friends. I remember gathering our friends together to light up and all spin together. It was exhilarating. On my own though, twirling lost some of it’s spark.

circus time

Here are some photos from one of my last times twirling with friends. I’m almost invisible engulfed in flames.

Oddly enough, when we moved in to our new apartment, we came home one night to find a group of people twirling fire behind our place. In the midst of moving boxes, we were welcomed in to the group to enjoy the performance of some very talented fire twirlers. It was inspiring to see and to be entranced by the fire once again.

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I feel like I’m connecting my past with my future and it’s a weird and wonderful feeling. To return to the things that I loved in a new way. It brings me so much happiness and excitement. Now I just need to practice.

8 Responses to “circus girl”
  1. Stacy says:

    That’s pretty freakin’ cool. I hope you reignite the spark (so to speak), because that seems like such a unique and special interest!

  2. Vegyogini says:

    I love getting this peek into your past (and your present!); what an amazing gift to be able to link them together.

  3. Brittany says:

    how did you get to be so awesome!!!!!???? haha that is really cool and I’m really happy you found yet another thing to be passionate about again!

  4. Sarah says:

    It’s so cool to see your old photos! I wish I had that opportunity when I was a kid because I’m betting it would have been a lot easier. All the kids in my classes are like little monkeys! I go to circus practice with the Detroit Fire Guild every once in a while, but fire still scares me! Can’t wait to see some new pictures of you flyin’!

  5. Carol Elaine says:

    That’s awesome!

    I’m feeling the same way about my new apartment and it connecting my past creative loves to my future. For far too long I felt disconnected from my writing and art, but now I’m feeling creatively reinvigorated. It’s a wonderful turn of events.

  6. Sara says:

    Best. post. EVER!

    These old photos are great and so is the story behind them. =)

  7. Shiri says:

    Oh, Alix. I miss that feeling, up in the field, all of us twirling, more than most things that are gone. I miss the smell of the fuel, of spotting each other, of being so deeply in love with the place and the people and the action of twirling. I’m so glad you found this. And jealous.

  8. Dani says:

    This is fantastic! I never dreamed of being in the circus, but I did have small dreams of the trapeze. On our swing set at home, I had what I called a “trick swing,” which was basically a mini trapeze with 2 handles on the bottom. It was always MY swing and I loved it.

    These photos are fantastic. Good luck in your training! Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

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