One of the things that drew me into circus was the sheer variety of bodies and the incredible things they can do. Long and willowy, compact and powerful, generously sensual, tight and angular, and everything in between. Circus has room for every body, every age, every being who just doesn’t feel like being bound by gravity.

And as well as being full of uniquely wonderful people, there is also room for a limitless imagination. Yes when I discovered circus I felt I had landed into a world where anything was possible – it all depended on the scope of your imagination. My eyes were opened wide to the creatively agile endeavours and unending possibilities that the wonderful world of circus accommodates.

Granted I was incredibly lucky to be able to land myself in parts of the world where there were the most incredibly, stunning and awesome shows on display. Growing up in Manchester meant I was witness to 6 years of the Xtrax circus street festival. For 2 months of every year the best of the best international circus acts would descend to the streets and perform. And being funded by the Xtrax organisation, it was all for free! So needless to say I was out on the streets everyday catching every performance, every spectacle, every act, every walkabout. Oh boy was I spoiled! So much creativity, so much inventiveness, so much physicality. I was hooked. From then on there was no turning back. I knew that circus was my language, my calling, my home…

It was around about that time that I then met an actual circus who asked me to make all their costumes for them. I was making crazy creative club wear at the time and so it was a fairly obvious step to move into ‘circus couture’. But it didn’t stop there. I soon got to know all the performers and I remember the day so well seeing this act that this girl did on a cloud swing. It was instant love for me – I had this tremendous feeling that I simply had to do that act. It was like she was flying and in my childhood dreams I always wanted to fly. That was clearly the nearest thing to flying I had ever come across. And so from that moment on I made it my mission to learn that act. Kinda crazy notion really as I had absolutely no training in circus, dance or gymnastics or any type of sports for that matter. But when I decide to do something I just do it. I jump straight in and just go for it and make it happen. That’s the kinda gal I am. Sort of all or nothing and worry about the consequences later. Fortunately things do usually work out but I think that’s because I am simply following my true life path.

So anyway I chucked in my place at fashion school, moved to Bristol and got a place on the Foundation Circus course at Circomedia (circus degrees were non existent at this time so this was the closest thing to circus training I could find). And as luck would have it when I finished, the same circus (Swamp Circus) that I had made all the costumes for took me on to play a lead role in their show doing yep you guessed it a cloud swing act! So there I was living the dream and living the cliche of running away with the circus. Which was great by me as it meant I got to not only see but also perform in a whole ton of circus festivals – including Edinburgh Fringe, Stockton Arts Festival, Bath Fringe and Glastonbury which pretty much blew my mind all over again as to how awesomely wonderful the world of circus is and thus fuelling my desire to see more. I then set about to travel to far corners of the globe to find circus – including Australia and The Tasmanian Circus Festival. I was not left disappointed – to this day I will never forget how much I laughed and was so overwhelmed at how ingeniously clever, athletic and funny circus artistes could be.

On my return, life then took me to Costa Rica for a beautiful circus wedding where I got to meet The Invisible Circus crew. These guys are an incredibly talented and creative bunch of people currently making circus come alive in Bristol. I went on to perform with them in their hugely successful circus style party scene. Making costumes, making shows, making props, rehearsing acts – we lived circus, we breathed circus, circus became me.

It was then that I met a partner who was to become my double act. He was a juggler, I was an aerialist, together we combined forces to perform a duo doubles trapeze act and a ground juggling acro act. We toured with The Interstellar Circus around in the UK festival scene for about 5 years. I think I have been to every festival that exists at least three or four times over. Now don’t get me wrong I love festivals – but if I see another muddy field one more time… well believe me, me and mud don’t get along so well these days…

Fast track to more recently (over a decade of circus shows and costumes later) I decided it was time to call it a day with performing. Ending my career with the three-most-amazing-gigs EVER that will go down in my memory banks as simply ‘it doesn’t get better than this’. A gig in Abu Dhabi along with 100 other performers performing on a gi-normous stage in the middle of a stadium to an audience of thousands. We seriously had the best fun ever.

Then on to performing in the Para Olympic Games Closing Ceremony. My God what a finale that was. The most epic show ever parading around the stadium with an audience of well er the whole world since it was streamed out on TV all over the world. We danced on stage when the fireworks went off with huge water fountain jets drenching us to the core. I was so ecstatic that I think I was on a high for days afterwards.

Then my last gig to date which was at the Burning Man Festival. Another epic adventure this time to the desert (yes an actual desert with sand storms and everything) performing with fire for the finale ceremonial burn. Hundreds of fire performers, a ton of fire, art installations to die for and all round standards of utter epic creativity and awesomeness. In fact I have been to no other festival that is quite so epic in art and creativity. If you like going on adventures Burning Man is a must…

So anyway that was my life as a circus adventurer. I have enjoyed my life so much as a performer that it is my mission to make circus accessible to other people like me who think it’s an amazing and wonderful art form. You may not decide to run away with the circus but aerial is still the best way I have found to get fit, have fun and challenge your body to do things it may never have thought possible.

I hope to see you at Skylab Studio and I hope that I can inspire you start your own aerial adventure…