Introducing Sam - our new Kickstart teacher
Huge big ups for Sam who is joining Team Skylab. She is first and foremost a professional yoga / aerial yoga teacher and pole dancer extraordinaire so will be an awesome addition to the team. Samantha's background is a combination of mat yoga and pole. Beginning almost 12 years ago, she performs at pole shows all over Europe and returns to London to find a balance between yoga and being upside down by teaching Aerial Yoga.
Currently teaching Pop Fit drop-ins and the Kickstart Program, and training aerial at the same time. So watch this space as I'm sure they'll be more from her in the future! She is super fun and upbeat with a really, friendly vibe and her flexibility is much to be admired. So go check out her stretch classes if you wanna be flexibly inspired!
Here is an interview I did with Samantha where she gives us the low down of her aerial journey and some of her 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? I was always doing gymnastics and ballet as a kid. But it was actually my mum who got me into circus. She worked a lot with Circus Space and was always saying 'oh you would really like it - why don't you try it'. So I went and did Chinese Pole at Aircraft Circus and then started classes at Circus Space. Somehow though the pole dancing took over and yoga stole my heart so I ended up being a yoga teacher. I did my yoga teacher training and then the aerial yoga teacher training because I love being in the air. Anyway now here I am back onto aerial!
What is it about circus that you most like? I've always been a little bit of an exhibitionist - I like to perform, I like to be on stage. I think that everyone is a bit of a performer inside. I always used to go to see Cirque du Soleil and see all the girls do all the beautiful acts and I remember thinking one day that will be me. It was a bit of defining moment - I just knew I wanted to be on stage.
What made you get into teaching? I was in a bit of a dead end with my life. I felt like I was going to yoga and going to aerial classes as a bit of an escape from my day to day life. And then it was my boyfriend who said 'well if you hate your job why don't you go and learn how to teach yoga?' - so that's what I did!
What is your teaching style? Bubbly and approachable. I like to be on a level with my students - like we are all in this together. People then feel like they are part of a little party rather than it be like an exercise class.
What's your favourite apparatus and why? To look at I love hoop - whenever I see girls on a hoop it makes me want to do it. I always find it a bit easier than silks as well.
What's your fave move and why? Oooh tricky - it would probably be a back bend - with a walkover. In pole it would probably be human flag (although I do cheat it a little bit with my shoulder).
Do you have any advice for a newbie student starting out in aerial? Just dive right in - it's literally the only way you can do it is to dive right in. Don't think oh maybe I'll do something first to get me in the mood - just go into class thinking today I'm going to go upside down and just do it.
Any top tips for current students that you may have up your sleeve? Just go for it!
Why would you recommend doing aerial? It's exciting and euphoric even. You feel so happy with yourself after class knowing you rocked it. You go away from class thinking I did really cool stuff today, whereas if you go to an aerobics class it's like yeah I worked out - who cares. Aerial makes you feel amazing. It's exciting...
What’s been the highlight of your aerial career so far? I headlined a convention in the Norway which was a total sell out - I went not expecting many people to be there and it was huge! My first massive pole show.
What’s on your bucket list of aerial things you would like to achieve? I would love to perform outside the Royal Festival Hall in the summer - they always put on all sorts of cool shows and I would love to be in one there.
What’s been your most embarrassing moment so far? I was filming like a promo video for something and I had to walk back over into a wheel and I totally fell over, with all this film crew watching. It was so embarrassing as it was the simplest move ever and I totally fell flat on my ass.
What’s been your best / worst circus adventure so far? Injuring myself on the first night of a six show run - dropped into splits and pulled a muscle but still had to carry on performing (which kind of ruined all the fun of it). But it was also my best moment as well as we were doing such an amazing show.
Do you have any favourite circus shows you would love to share with us or performers who you highly admire? Yes... Zumanity from Cirque du Soleil - omg it's like the best thing I've ever seen.
Can you tell us something surprising about yourself? I've played classical piano since I was age three!
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? Yeah - there's a girl called Felicity (I think her stage name is Bambi) that I used to train with, and now she is like world champion and runs her own pole school, and yes well she totally rocked it and I think she is amazing.
If you want to experience some of Sam's awesome classes you'll find her doing Pop Fit every Monday and Friday at 6pm plus she teaches the Kickstart Program.