Spotlight on Suzie

Introducing the awesomely talented Suzie Smith…

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Suzie is our very awesome Level 1 & 2 Hoop and Extreme Stretch teacher. She specialises in hoop but her other circus disciplines include silks, contortion, fire dance and burlesque. So she’s an awesomely multi-talented circus artiste who dances, teaches, choreographs and does circus tricks! Her teaching style is very friendly and encouraging, so she will get you doing things you never thought possible in the nicest possible way. She also teaches the Extreme Stretch class so if you come to that then she’ll be gently encouraging you to open into those deep stretches that will make your tricks look oh so beautiful! Suzie has a definite knack for that! She has been teaching at Skylab since it started (and also at My Aerial Home and with Aircraft Circus) and performs throughout the UK and beyond. Currently performing in the Secret Cinema Moulin Rouge Show (for more info on that click here.)

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And here is an interview I did with Suzie 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? I was always into dance – I started dance when I was three. Then I was a dancer professionally for four years until I saw someone do an act on the hoop and I just knew I had to do that. So I guess I was in my early twenties when I decided circus was my thing. Any money I earned on a dance job I would then use on circus training – I started out dancing on cruise ships and then went and did the Aircraft full time circus course and it carried on from there until I started performing aerial.

What is it about circus that you most like? I like the fact that it is dangerous and exciting. I like how it is sort of away from the real world – like you are up there in the air and no-one can get to you. I like the fact that it is a challenge and how hard it is – I enjoy that, and how creative it is. I love that.

What made you get into teaching? I just sort of fell into it I suppose, people asked me to teach and then I realised I really enjoyed teaching so I carried on. I never really planned to do it. But I find it really satisfying when a student finally gets a move and I see their face light up when they realise that they can do it.

What’s your favourite apparatus and why? Aerial Hoop because I enjoy spinning and jumping around on it!

What’s your fave move and why? My favourite aerial move would have to be Bendy Wendy on the Silks as I enjoy bending my back and legs – I love bendy moves. And I don’t mind a double Curly Wurly every now and then!

Do you have any advice for a newbie student starting out in aerial? Do some pull ups! Or any exercises that involve lifting your full body weight off the floor.

Any top tips for current more advanced students that you may have up your sleeve? Same thing – keep working on the pull ups! And train your flexibility because it opens up a whole new set of moves each time you get more flexible.

How would you describe your teaching style? Very friendly with an emphasis on students helping and encouraging each other.Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 10.13.04

Why would you recommend doing aerial? I would recommend aerial to everyone ! I believe you should do something everyday that scares and challenges you (I think that’s a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt) and I believe aerial can be both those things!

What’s been the highlight of your aerial career so far? Probably the job I’m currently doing performing in the Secret Cinema Moulin Rouge show. Also I did a Christmas contract where I had to perform as a fairy and say lines whilst performing aerial. That was a challenge but really fun at the same time.

Do you have any hopes and dreams for the future? To carry on performing and doing more challenging and creative stuff in the aerial world.

What’s on your bucket list of aerial things you would like to achieve? I’d really love to be involved in a show that involved dance and aerial skills to a really high level, as those are the two things I’m really passionate about. At the moment I only really get work as one or the other but I would really love to combine the two.

What’s been your best circus adventure so far? At the moment I’m working on a fire / aerial duet which is pretty awesome.

Do you have any favourite circus shows you would love to share with us or performers who you highly rate? I really love Bianco and the No Fit State shows – they are amazing. I also loved Briefs – I really enjoyed their use of drag and burlesque combined with circus.

Can you tell us something surprising about yourself? Once on a dance job, I had to twerk on Channel 4!

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? I have had some great teachers who have taught me a lot including Will Davis – I did a lot of silks with him. And Ben Brown – really love Ben Brown. I just think he’s incredible. He’s really creative – in a lesson he would suddenly think of an idea for a new move and then figure it out and teach it to you there and then. He is brilliant.

If you want to find out more about Suzie check these links here:

Website  .  Facebook  .  Instagram

We hope you enjoyed hearing all about Suzie’s aerial journey! Please like, share and comment and if you want to come and experience Suzie in person why not come to one of her classes at Skylab!

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