Notes from Circus School – Week 4

Notes from Circus School – Week 4

I only had 3 days at school this week, trying to get my ribs sorted out. It’s hard to rest when there’s a class going on right in front of me. I get tempted to join in, and end up doing too much. Best just to stay away until I’m a little better. Unfortunately I came to this realisation after Monday’s flying trapeze class. The warm up had gone well and the pain was much diminished, so I thought I was safe to carry on with the day. It turned out that having a flying rig belt on right underneath my sore ribs was a bit too much.

I did return to training on Thursday, only doing as much as I felt was not a foolish idea. Luckily most of a Thursday morning is dance-based and requires little upper body exertion. It does, however, require grace and timing, neither of which I have in any significant quantity. We are working on a group choreography, urban and dynamic and quite difficult. We have a few dancers in the group and they were the ones that remembered the sequence from last week but we are extending it all the time. I hadn’t danced last week so not only was I a non-dancer but also learning the choreography for the first time. Disaster.

I was glad to be learning something new in the hoop class this week as well. So far this class hasn’t turned up anything I haven’t met before and it has been a good opportunity to practise existing skills and make them look a bit prettier. However today introduced a reverse belly roll, not difficult but new at least. Learning it in slow motion meant balancing on my forearms for quite a while and scraping round on my hip flexors so I have some lovely abrasions despite the several layers of clothes.

The scrapes made for a more complex rope class than usual. Wrapping into hiplock and closed back balance elicited a certain amount of squeaking that ordinarily they would not. I managed to catch up on the new things I’d missed from last week and add a salto to the closed back balance. This I rather unfortunately forgot to video, but is a small drop from vertical (and facing away from the rope) turning upside down and swinging back up to vertical this time facing the rope. On swinging back up to vertical the first time, there was a good deal of reaching blindly for the rope, surprise when it appeared suddenly in front of my face, and flailing of arms to try to avert collision. On second thoughts perhaps it is a good thing I didn’t video it.

The thing I most missed from training this week was handstands. These are strangely addictive and I haven’t had my fix for well over a week now. The rib injury won’t let me do any kind of work (either pushing or pulling) with my arms behind my ears. I don’t mind missing hoop beats or shoulder mounts in Chinese pole but not being able to do handstands is sad. Hopefully I will be able to participate more fully next week. Everything is crossed.

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