Hey, Hup Squad – What was your favorite circus related moment or experience of this year?

A Compilation of our 2019 Hup Squad Members

Maia Castro-Santos

My favorite circus-related experience from this year was definitely performing with Circus Smirkus. I am so fortunate to have been able to travel across New England, sharing my passion with an audience that extended beyond just family and local community members. The best part of Tour was meeting and befriending 29 other teenagers who shared my interests and weren’t afraid to embrace their eccentricities. Over the three months spent preparing and performing the show, I made friends that I know will last me a lifetime. As cliché as it sounds, Smirkus really is a family, and I am so honored to be involved with this organization.

Maia last post 2019

Maia Casto-Santos

 

Julaine Hall

This has been a crazy, fun, circus-opportunity-filled-year for me! I don’t think I could pick a favorite activity or moment so here is one of my many favorites! This autumn, I auditioned for Acrobatic Conundrum’s one weekend show, “Unraveling.” It is a show about rope and rope artists… It’s an all-rope opus! The creation process has been incredibly fun and I have already been working with several super talented rope artists. The show has pushed me to do more rope, gain more skills, and be more explorative in my skills and pathways. Working with others is always a special treat, especially when we’re all working together on one of my favorite apparatuses. If you are interested… You can click this link for more info on the show and tickets. http://www.acrobaticconundrum.com/unraveling

 

Carleigh Saberton

There have been so many amazing circus moments I’ve gotten to experience this year. From being a mermaid on aerial hammock to going to circus camp and taking classes and coaching at My Nose Turns Red to performing all over, my favorite has to be going to and performing at the American Youth Circus Festival in San Diego with my circus friends! I loved all of the workshops and the performances were amazing. A very close second would be when I went to Disney before the festival with one of my circus friends, David, and took the opportunity to get awesome partner acrobatic pictures! (Apologies to Disney because they told us we couldn’t do that after we did it, oops!) I’m very much looking forward to making many more circus memories with all of my great friends!

Carleigh last post 2019

Carleigh Saberton and David

 

Tessa Wallington

This year has been a circus rollercoaster ride! After recovering from a severe injury, I have achieved many goals. Beginning my professional career, I joined the Los Angeles-based troupe Le PeTiT CiRqUe while also continuing to grow as an artist at my home studio, Trapeze Las Vegas. Some highlights include performing with my acro group at the amazing Baobab Theater in a  gothic cabaret, doing ambiance at the Youth Artist Awards in Hollywood, and doing work at the Larger than Life gala held at the world famous Beverly Hilton. This year has taught me to never give up when things get challenging. Without my teammates, coaches, parents, and friends, I would never have been able to achieve what I did this year. I can’t wait to see where this ride takes me next. 

Tessa final post 2019

Tessa Wallington

 

Nathalie Morton

My favourite circus moment of 2019 was very recently at the November Regional AYCO festival at Circus Warehouse. I had never been to an AYCO event before and I had even more fun than I expected. It was an all day event where we took several different hour long classes and concluded with a showcase. I learned so many new skills and was really forced out of my comfort zone in the best way while trying out all sorts of different aparati, such as aerial cube and chinese pole. My favourite class of the day was called invisible transitions on silks where I was able to learn seamless ways to execute sequences that I’ve known for years. I would recommend trying out AYCO festivals to any young circus artist looking to advance their skills and to have a blast meeting new people just like them.

 

Chelsea McIntosh

One great circus experience I had this year was seeing the show A Magical Cirque Christmas at the Aronoff with my friend Carleigh. There were many entertaining acts including partner straps, lyra, partner acrobatics, diablo, and many more. The show really showed me what could come from my circus activities if I work hard and continue with my circus journey. It was encouraging to see that I had performed some of the tricks the performers in the show did. It was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had with circus.

Chelsea last post 2019

Chelsea McIntosh and Carleigh Saberton

 

Bronyn Mazlo

This summer I decided to challenge myself physically and mentally by applying for the San Diego Circus School’s Master Youth Intensive. It consisted of five grueling weeks of pain, sweat, and sore muscles, but I loved every second of it. It pushed me as both an artist and a person. The community at SDCC is so exceptional. From the moment you step through their door, you are welcomed into a family. The people I met at this intensive became my best friends, and not a day goes by when I don’t miss them all. To top it off, at the end of the intensive I was able to participate in the 2019 AYCO Festival in San Diego, which was a fantastic finale to an unforgettable summer. 

 

Nola Millet

This year I was lucky enough to have an abundance of wonderful circus experiences. I got to see a couple of really great shows, choreograph and perform many acts, and attend lots of interesting circus events. My favorite thing to do is go to workshops and learn new ways of executing tricks. I definitely learned a lot this year, especially in regards to strengthening and contortion techniques. One workshop that I really enjoyed was a stretching class taught by Micah Walters. 

I think my favorite experience overall was the AYCO Festival in San Diego. Fortunately I got to miss school so that I could attend, and it was a really great experience. I took some valuable workshops that taught new skills, and I got to try new apparatuses, which I really enjoyed. My favorite thing was working on straps, because we don’t do that much at our studio. I also really liked how there were student performances at the festival because it was amazing to see how impressive everybody was, especially in the acro field. I’m grateful that I got to see and be in the festival this year, because there were so many inspiring performers, and I hope that I can go next year too.

 

Ava Kapelczak

I have had many amazing moments as a circus performer but one of my favorite circus moments ever was when I performed for San Diego’s Feeding America. This was among my first paid gig for San Diego Circus Center and it was a great experience for me as an aerialist. I performed a duo Lyra routine to a very mysterious yet upbeat song. The place in which I performed was beautiful and full of vivid colors like pink, orange and purple. Backstage there were also a bunch of other performers that were extremely talented and they were very inspiring to watch. I performed with a girl named Linsey and we had such a great time creating the routine a few weeks before. Backstage we were both so nervous, especially when we had to get set on different sides for the routine. It was so cool that I was able to perform beside all of the seasoned professionals. A few moments later it was showtime. While I was backstage I was super nervous but as soon as I stepped out I felt right where I was meant to be. We performed our routine and got plenty of applause. After I walked off Linsey and I met up backstage and talked about how much fun we had. We were both so proud of each other and we were also so sad that it was all over so fast. This was a very memorable moment in my circus career that I will never forget.

Ava last post

Ava Kapelczak

 

Cora Williams

This summer I went to the Montréal Circus Festival and saw a show called Finale. Finale was an upbeat and energetic show by Analog. Analog is a circus company based in Germany. They were founded in 2013 and are all about telling real-life stories in their shows.  

Finale was so different than all the other shows I had ever seen. There was lots of live music like a drummer and a vocalist who added to the excitement of the show. It had me at the edge of my seat the whole time. Something about it was so fresh and different. All the acts were amazing, and they were all so unique and exciting. The clowning moments were hilarious and the drumming and singing was stunning. There was a variety of acts including Lyra, Handstands, and Hoop Diving. I think that the differences in all the acts made them so much better. They all told a different story, but they came together. 

I think that one of the reasons I liked the show so much was that I have always wanted to create a show that had that kind of energy to it. A show that got people excited and left them blown away. In the end, all the different elements fit together to make an amazing performance that I still love and remember to this day.

cora

Finale by Analog (photo via montrealcompletementcirque.com)

 

A note from the AYCO staff – Thank you SO MUCH to our incredible Hup Squad this year for all of your hard work and contributions to our blog! Interested in joining the Hup Squad in 2020? Click here to fill out the application (due January 1, 2020)!

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