News from Three Circus Center Alums

Duo AmazonsDuo Anivia

Cameron McHenry just finished her engagement at Zirkus Nemo in Denmark, with the double trapeze act she performs with her partner, Iryna Bessonova, the Duo Amazons. After a few days back here in San Francisco, cruise ship audiences will be the next to thrill to their marvelous act, which you can see here!

Also, the Duo Anivia (Jordan Webb and Onna Dagerman, Professional Aerial Program), just appeared with their aerial bambou act on “Le Plus Grand Cabaret du Monde," Europe’s most popular TV variety show. It should air here on TV5 in the coming weeks. They will also be visiting in San Francisco at the end of the month.

Congrats to all, and we look forward to seeing you around soon!

From the ED: My First Conditioning Class

Last Tuesday marked my two-year anniversary here at Circus Center! I continue to be very happy with my job, this team, and all the good things we've already done for the organization and the even better things we're planning for its future.

But it's time for a little confession: with all that hard work — not to mention the arrival of my first child in January 2014, and breaking my ankle last December — I let a few things slip, including my personal health. Before I came to Circus Center, I wasn't circus fit, but I was reasonably fit and went to a gym regularly. Since arriving here, I've watched a lot of classes, studied curricula, and so on, but actually training myself? Well, I've taken a handful of classes here and there: a little Stretching with Phoenix, a little Flying Trapeze, even a few handstand sessions with Lu Yi. But nothing regular, and after two years, I figured it was high time to fix it. It's a privilege to work here, so it's a shame not to take advantage of it!

So, this fall, I've signed up for a session enrollment in Elena's Level 1 Aerial Conditioning class, and today was my first class. A few highlights from a really enjoyable 90 minutes:
  • We started with conditioning exercises, some of which were familiar and mostly doable: burpees, jumping jacks, superman something-or-others. In one exercise, we started from hollow-body position with legs together, then raised our legs over our heads until the toes touched the floor and back. Tough, but okay. But next we were supposed to put our legs in straddle and raise them the same way — yikes! My hands had to help my hips up.
  • Some great stretching, where I was reminded what I already had learned in Phoenix's class: upper-body, fine (my shoulders are naturally pretty open). Lower-body, meager. So, that's my starting place.
  • Several of us were new, so we all got introduced to the apparatus and did our first hanging positions and climbed the rope a bit at the end. This really put in perspective the importance of everything we had done up until that point.
Anyway, it was a good class. Because most of us were new, Elena's technical knowledge was tapped very little, but her kindness and encouragement were very much on display, and I loved that. Not only that, I needed it! I'll probably have some weird soreness tomorrow, but I'm already looking forward to next week.

Feel free to leave words of encouragement — or your own stories — in the comments. I'll report back from time to time about my progress. See you in class!