Introducing our amazing teacher Jackie...
Jackie is our Level 3 and 4 Hoop & Silks, and Aerial Taster class teacher. She is like a ninja master when it comes to aerial and she blends an awesome amount of personality, high level skills as well as a great deal of clarity in her teaching methods. Why ninja? Because she has an extraordinary ability of meeting you exactly where you are at and knows exactly when to push you to new levels or when to ease off and give you tons of encouragement. Check out her showreel here - it's awesome!
And a bit of background info...
Jackie Le is an international circus artist who specialises in hoop, doubles hoop, silks, corde lisse, and walkabout contortion. Jackie trained at the National Centre for Circus Arts in the adult evening programmes. She progressed quickly and started performing after one year of training, whilst still maintaining her day job in a Global Investment Firm as an Executive Assistant. Realising her passion for and love for circus, she left soon after to become a full-time circus performer. Jackie then set up an amazing cabaret night at The Aeronaut, putting on weekly regular in-house circus shows (learn more about it here). In the meantime she enjoys performing internationally, and is also extremely passionate about teaching. Jackie started her teaching career at Gravity, and has now been at Skylab for quite a few years now. Here's what some of the critics have to say about Jackie:
‘The contortionist is sultry and mesmerising, creating unbelievable shapes with her body on a swinging hoop’ – A Younger Theatre
'Jackie Le the incredible (and incredibly beautiful) aerialist, making my excuses for a chin-up simply laughable' – DesignMyNight
‘Displaying seemingly unfeasible physical agility. Jackie is quietly mind-blowing’ – This Is Cabaret
Here is an interview I did with Jackie where she tells us all about her aerial journey, the ups the downs, the what's and the whys, the highlights and hopes and dreams for the future...
Have you always been into circus? For example did you do it as a kid? At what point did you decide circus was your thing? As a young child, I have always loved movement, especially dance and gymnastics. Coming from strict a Asian upbringing I was never allowed until a lot of begging annoyed my mother, I had one jazz dance lesson at the age of 11 and loved it! I wasn’t allowed to go again. I started circus at the age of 25 when my friend bought me the half-day induction at National Centre for Circus Arts. Since that day I was hooked. I spent all my day job earnings learning as much as I could. After a year of learning, I was invited to perform and have done so ever since thus quitting the office job and revolving my entire life around being an aerialist.
What is it about circus that you most like? I love the story any circus skill can tell with the human body.
What made you get into aerial? I saw a girl do a double curly whirly through the window at NCCA and said to myself, that will be me.
What made you get into aerial? I was asked to teach here and there at circus schools scattered around London and realised I really enjoyed sharing knowledge. Seeing people develop and have the same excitement I had when I first started, its nostalgic and I end up being proud of all my students and their hard work.
What's your favourite apparatus and why? I specialise in hoop although I also like silks and rope. If an aerial apparatus catches my eye on a certain day, you may see me trying tricks on it.
What's your fave move and why? My favourite move is half baby split, most people have done this variation from the top of the hoop making their split parallel with the floor, I like it from a lower angle as you can extend your back leg and make it look more of an overspilt. Although fave moves change often.
Do you have any advice for a newbie student starting out in aerial? Don’t let yourself get upset if you can’t do things the first time, that’s why we call it practise!
Any top tips for current students that you may have up your sleeve? Point your toes!
How would you describe your teaching style? Apparently I’m a drill sergeant with conditioning (but an adorable drill sergeant!). I hope I keep the lessons upbeat and make people come back wanting more. I try to make people as comfortable and to enjoy what they are learning every single time.
Why would you recommend doing aerial? Aerial is a great way getting into shape if you don’t want to go to the gym, you can get fit and fab with a lot more fun.
What’s been the highlight of your aerial career so far? I’ve had a few highlights performing, I would say performing in Barbados on NYE a couple of years ago is one of my favourites.
What’s on your bucket list of aerial things you would like to achieve? Switches, pirouettes, one wrap roll ups.
What’s been your best circus adventure so far? Barbados because of the destination.
What’s been your worst circus adventure so far? Having to dress up as a feral creature and do contortion while ripping deep fried chicken apart with my toes.
Do you have any favourite circus shows you would love to share with us or performers who you highly admire? I am the Circus Production Manager for The Aeronaut - At the moment they are rebuilding due to an unfortunate incident earlier in the year. Once we reopen, we will be back with the same sold-out award winning Circus Shows you must see! Can’t help but plug.
Can you tell us something surprising about yourself? I used to be a professional painter and sold commissions to people.
Do you have any performers / people in your life who you highly respect and look up to who you see as major influencers in your life? Of course! All my circus friends who have been and/or are within the circus industry influence me on a daily basis.
If you want to find out more about Jackie check these links here:
We hope you enjoyed hearing all about Jackie's aerial journey! If you want to experience some of Jackie's awesome teaching skills you are welcome to come to her classes which are every Thursday. Including Aerial Taster at 6pm / Level 3 Hoops 7pm and Level 3 Silks 8pm.