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Expressing Yourself Through Circus: How To Convey Different Emotions Through Performance

By Maia Castro-Santos

“Artistic expression” is a term that is often heard and used in the worlds of both performing and visual art. Expression can mean portraying a certain thought or feeling to the viewer/audience, or it can be a more introspective method for an artist to explore their own emotions. Often times, these two definitions overlap, and the artist’s portrayal of their internal emotions is what captivates the audience. In both traditional and contemporary circus styles, the art of performance is enhanced by the performer’s ability to express or convey some type of emotion to the audience. Whether the act draws laughter, tears, anger, or any other emotional response from the audience, this emotional connection enhances the audience’s experience of the performance. But how do you create an act that effectively conveys a certain feeling to the viewers? The following techniques are a few that have helped me with this question:

1. Music Choice:

Music choice is one of the hardest parts of act creation for me. The song sets the tone of the act and carries through the entire performance. A piece of music that compliments the style and mood of an act can clarify the choreographer’s desired message or theme. You could choose a up-tempo, bright, jazzy song, or maybe a slow, violin based, instrumental piece of music; maybe you want the song accompanying your act to have a soaring melody, or maybe you want a steady down beat. When I am choreographing an act, the song that I choose greatly influences the quality of movement and the emotion that I try to channel through my act. The way that a song builds and rises and falls in intensity can also influence the order in which you decide to sequence tricks. If there is a large build up, towards the end of the song, maybe you would decide to save a particularly crowd pleasing trick for that moment.

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2. Color and Lighting:

In visual as well as performing arts, different colors often evoke specific emotions. The psychology of colors has a very influential role in an audience’s experience of a work of art. Generally, the warm half of the color wheel (red, orange, and yellow) evokes more energetic feelings, while the cool colors (blue, green, and purple) generate calmer emotions. Red is a very intense color. Some of the many emotions that it can represent include love, anger, and power. Yellow and orange are typically joyful and energetic. Blue can represent sadness or loneliness as well as tranquility. Purple is also a calm color and can signify mystery. Green often connects the audience with nature and the earth. All of these assumptions about the emotions associated with colors are generalizations, but they can be helpful guidelines when costuming and lighting an act. The two pictures (one above and one below) are from the performances at the end of two circus camps I was a part of last summer. The theme of the lyra act in the photo above was sunshine (our showcase was themed “weather”). My partner in the act is not shown, but we decided to both wear yellow shirts and each wear one yellow leg warmer. The song we chose was “Blue Skies” by Frank Sinatra. The bright sound of this song, combined with the positive lyrics and yellow costumes helped us to convey the joy of sunshine to the audience. The second picture (shown below) is from a latin themed solo lyra act. The song I chose was a jazz song with elements of tango, and I wore a red leotard with a red flower braided into my hair. The color red worked with the music to create the happy and sassy character that I was hoping to portray in this act.

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3. Movement Quality:

Movement quality is another technique that can be used to create the mood for an act. Sharp movements usually have a higher level of energy and intensity, while slower, smoother movements are often beautiful and calming. The Laban effort actions can be a useful tool for identifying what type of movement will have the desired effect in your act. The Laban effort actions categorize different types of movement based on different qualities of weight, space, and time. These qualities are:

heavy / light

direct / indirect

bound / free

sustained / sudden

Different combinations of these qualities create eight movement types: glide, flick, float, slash, wring, punch, press, and dab. The chart below is helpful for understanding how these movements are categorized.

Of course these movement types are just guidelines, and you can create your own versions and combinations of all of them. An exercise that I find helpful when creating an act is picking one of these movement types to practice my choreography to. Then I pick a completely different movement type and see how that one feels. This exercise helps me explore different “feels” for my act that I might not otherwise have pursued.

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4. Facial Expressions:

Facial expressions are probably the most obvious way to express emotion in an act… but this is often easier said than done. “Concentration face” is definitely something to be aware of. When you are tired, sweating, and nervous about hitting your next big trick, it can be really difficult to remember to smile! Your eyes are critical for expressing emotions and connecting with the audience. You don’t need to make eye contact with your audience, but if you choose to, be intentional about it! Choreograph moments into your act where you can open out your focus to include the audience. These moments of connection are just as important as performing really difficult skills.

There are many more tips and tricks to creating a more emotionally authentic act then I have listed here, but I have found these four techniques to be a good starting place.

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Chinese Pole for Beginners: A Guide

By Julaine Hall

If you are reading this article, you probably have some circus background or you are interested in circus and/or acrobatics of some sort. My guess is that you probably know what a Chinese Pole is. In case you don’t know, the Chinese Pole is a tall rubberized (but sometimes powder coated) pole that is in the ground acrobatics family. It hurts, it gives you bruises, it eats your clothing, but in my opinion, it is one of the coolest disciplines circus has to offer.

As an example, here is my performance from the SANCA Annual Spring Showcase: https://youtu.be/PE1zssvuA1o

 

STEP 1: PROPER ATTIRE

So…. leotard, leggings, and/or a tank top, sweatpants, and I’m good, right? *BUZZER* WRONG! That will hurt a lot! In pole there is a lot of friction on your knee pits, inner thighs, arm pits, shoulders, and stomach. What I usually wear is a pair of leggings under a pair of super high-wasted shorts under a pair of Jeans that I am okay with ripping, A tank top that is long enough for me to tuck in, a thick sweater or long sleeve over top of that, then a pair of “Bushidos” with the soles sanded down until there is no traction on the bottom. Another accessory that is nice to have is shoulder pads. I have a shirt with some neoprene sheets sewn on the shoulders for a bit more protection for things like shoulder hops and Fungees. This is just what I wear. I’ve seen many people wear shorts, rain boots, crop-tops, but as a beginner, I think something along the lines of what I wear will cause you the least amount of pain.

STEP 2: GETTING UP THE POLE

To do anything cool we have to learn to get up the pole, so the very first thing you’ll learn is how to climb.

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Monkey Climb

 

The most common used climb is “Monkey Climb.” As you can see, it looks pretty natural in comparison to other kinds of climbs. It is reminiscent of a toe climb on the rope with a lot less pain in the toes.

Climbing is difficult when it is your first time or when you have bad form, however, as you get better and you climb with your shoulders back and core tight… you should be able to whiz right up the pole! Like any discipline, pole takes a lot of….. you guessed it! PRACTICE. *whispers: and conditioning but shhhhhhhhh*

STEP 3: NEW SKILLS

The three next skills are arguably the most important skills for a beginner to learn: Sit, Fish, and 1st Position

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Sit

 

This is sit. This is where things get pinchy. Sit is a very traditional trick and look nice when done in synchronicity with others on the pole. Here you are pressing both feet into the pole with toes pointed at the ground. You take your shoulder around to either side of the pole and present both arms straight out. After this, you may take off the same side foot as the shouler that is in front of the pole. Great job! You have your first trick!

 

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Fish

 

This is fish. I think this is sort of like your first test in strength and form. Without good form it is terribly hard to have enough strength, and without the strength, it is terribly hard to find good from. Quite a spiral! Start from sit. When you get there, put your foot back on the pole, put your same hand as shoulder that is in front of the pole under that same armpit. Now, with your free hand, brace the pole and put your feet straight behind you like superman. After this, you can take off your bracing arm and just hold with one hand.

 

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1st Position

 

This is 1st position. This is your home now. Your bottom foot should be pressing into the pole and the pole should be caressed in the arch of your foot. Your top leg should be squeezing the pole and pressing down so that you can stand more comfortably. Your legs should be straight, toes pointed, and mouth smiling! Look how far you’ve made it! 1st Position is a safe zone where you can gather yourself and take a bit of a break without looking like you’re taking a break. It is one skill you should do every single time you get on the pole. I haven’t seen every single pole act on the planet but, I have never seen an act where someone didn’t at least pass through 1st position.

STEP 4: CONDITIONING

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Handstand

 

This is a handstand. This will get you ripped arms. To get into the handstand, place one hand at forehead height in a cup shape with no thumb wrapping and place one hand at the bottom right below your belly button. Kick the same leg as hand on top and drive that heal back as you pull with your top arm and push with your bottom arm. This should be enough to get you up to handstand.

 

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Shoulder Hold

 

This is a shoulder hold. This will get you ripped abs. Lean back on the pole and place your shoulder on the pole. Your head should be to one side. Next place both hands on the pole with the same side hand that has shoulder lower. Now engage your abs and lift your legs to a tuck. You did it!

These are HIGH-KEY crucial to becoming strong in the correct places for pole. It’s conditioning day my dudes. Conditioning is the most important part.

Are you intrigued by Chinese Pole? Does it sound more awesome than painful? Chinese pole has a very human element to it. It’s fascinating to watch and a joy to learn. I’m pretty sure my good life meter reading increased by 200% after I started Chinese Pole. I urge you to give it a try! I must thank my Coaches: Nick Lowery and Domitil Aillot for teaching me some of the coolest stuff ever and giving me some amazing opportunities!

What It’s Like To Start Circus Late and Why It Shouldn’t Hold You Back

By Bronyn Mazlo

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Have you ever wanted to try a sport or activity, then thought, “It’s too late. I should have started years ago”? It can be discouraging seeing your peers so advanced and talented. Unfortunately, this mentality causes many people to continue with what they are currently pursuing out of fear of trying something they are not sure they will succeed in.

When I first started circus, I was completely overwhelmed. I had very little dance background, and no gymnastics experience. I didn’t even know the disciplines of circus, only aerial silks and iconic skills like juggling and trapeze. I remember driving to the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts thinking, “Bronyn, what have you gotten yourself into?” I was super nervous, thinking that I was going to be the worst in the class and that I had no idea what I was doing.

Three years later, I still have no idea what I am doing or how this one-time class suddenly became my life. I honestly can’t imagine my life without it, and it’s crazy to think what my life would be like if I didn’t have the courage to announce that I wanted to give aerial silks a try. Starting circus later than most of my peers has had its challenges such as not having a background in either martial arts or gymnastics. I hope my story is an encouragement to someone who is either dealing with the same situation or is contemplating trying a new activity.  

The first feeling I had when I started circus was being so far behind others. Even in a Level 1 Aerials class, I remember talking to some girls who had been in that class for 2 years. At the time, I remembered thinking, “wow, they know all these tricks and they’re younger than me. I don’t know anything yet, and I’m 13. I’m so behind.” It can be really frustrating learning basic skills and tricks while an 8 year old does a masterful drop on fabric in front of you. First you had to gather the courage to try circus, now you have to be discouraged by how skilled everyone is?

I believe it was this feeling that really made me push myself and build the drive and burning fire to keep proving myself. The tough part about starting something later than others is that it always feels like a constant game of catch up. But what I think is important is that it puts in perspective that there will always be someone who is younger, stronger, more flexible, or more talented than you. Even though striving to achieve goals and be the best you can be is important, letting go of perfection is the first step towards self love, which is a huge must-have in the world of entertainment, where rejection is more common than acceptance.

Starting circus later has also made me more of an advocate for myself. It can be hard to come in to a sport, decide you want to pursue it, and make that clear to coaches. It can be hard to make it clear that you are just as committed as someone who started 8 years before you. Even though this is frustrating, i have found that it really makes yourself your best supporter and cheerleader.

Trying a new activity can be nerve wracking. Trying a new activity as a teenager can be absolutely mortifying. However, if you shy away from an opportunity out of fear, you could be missing out on discovering a hobby or passion. Even if you end up not enjoying yourself, you still tried something new. Starting an activity late has also been very positive on my personality and attitude. I feel like I am more prone to trying new things, which I am hoping will stay with me in my future.

If you ever consider trying a new activity, no matter what your age, it’s really important not to shy away from interacting with others, no matter how tempting it may be. When I first started my natural instinct was to keep a low profile. But having confidence, even if you have no idea what you are doing, is both positive on your mentality and also makes you seem approachable to other people. Talking to other people, instead of staying in your own bubble, has really helped me meet people who have become my friends and helped guide me along my circus journey.

Circus is my life, which makes the idea of my life without circus foreign and strange. I am incredibly fortunate that my 13 year old self was willing to take a chance and try something new and unpredictable. I hope this article encourages somebody to take a leap into the unknown and unlock hidden possibilities. You never know what may come out of it!

Creating a Performance Piece

By Nola Millet

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As a regular performer, I find myself having to create pieces pretty regularly, sometimes without any advance notice at all. Because I enjoy performing, I don’t so much mind this, but I find that having a process can really help with both getting a piece written quickly and having the piece’s movement make sense. I’m an aerialist, so some of these steps may not apply to all acts, but hopefully, in general, I can give a beneficial overview to building an interesting, performance-ready piece.

I always like to start with music. Music provides a basis for your sequence of movement as well as sets the tone and atmosphere for your performance. It can also dictate the story-line and costuming that you may want to use. Choosing a song can be frustrating, especially because it can’t be too short or long and has to be interesting enough that the audience stays engaged. I often choose an instrumental piece of music because it leaves more room for me to explore movement on my apparatus, but songs with words, if well-chosen, can be great too, because they can speak to the audience on a more emotional level, and take some of the pressures of acting off of the performer. They also demonstrate a clearer story-line so that you don’t have figure out as much for yourself.

Once I have my song, I choose a few main movements, or tricks, that I want to incorporate into my piece. Depending on the length of the music, this can be anywhere from three to six or seven central tricks, but be careful not to start with too many if you’re not okay with the idea of letting go of some of them, because then you might end up with an eleven minute solo, which at some point becomes tedious for the audience. If you have more people in the act, it can sometimes stand to be slightly longer (to an extent), but if it gets to the point where it’s no longer engaging that’s a sign that it’s too long.

The next thing I work on is transitions. Transitions are so so so important, especially for aerial pieces. They need to smoothly connect your main ideas in a way that looks pleasing, but also give you a chance to catch your breath and prepare for the next trick. Your transitions also don’t always have to be complicated and impressive either, they can be simple! So long as they make it so that your piece is closer to one sequence of continual movement. When constructing something to perform, I also think about changes in my piece. It can’t be all static and still be interesting, but it shouldn’t be all drops either. I believe that at least some element of dynamism is required for the piece to be entertaining. This is where really working on those transitions can be helpful. If I find that my sequence contains too many drops, I try to make my transitions more of a combination of static poses, but if most of my sequence is made up of balances or tricks of a more still nature, I try to include beats or releases into my pathways between tricks.

The next step for me, after I’ve practiced enough to feel semi-confident with my sequence, is to develop character. I personally struggle a lot with facial expression, so I always try to work on that in rehearsals. Having a character vs not having one makes all the difference to the audience. A piece can be completely amazing but it just won’t be as impressive if you’re not connecting with a character. Having a character can also be helpful if your sequence is starting to bore you, or if you find it easy. Character adds another dimension to the piece, and can really turn it around. Part of character is costuming. Elaborate costumes are super fun but can be difficult to work with, especially if you’re an aerialist. Fringe and glitter and wings look amazing but can get stuck and end up tearing. Always make sure to practice with your costume beforehand, because you never know how a certain fabric may interact with your apparatus. I’ve definitely been in a position where I had to scrap a costume at the last minute because I didn’t have enough time to practice with it. It’s disappointing when you have an amazing costume idea and have to let it go, but I think that it’s better to be on the more cautious side because it can be really stressful worrying about your costume while you’re performing. It’s also best to wear something that you don’t need to adjust constantly, because that disrupts the flow of your performance greatly.

After that, it’s all about practice! It’s always ideal to practice as much as possible but sometimes it just doesn’t work out, and that’s okay. Know your setting! I’ve had pieces that I practiced for more than six months, and ones that I’ve written and memorized in the car on the way to the venue. There’s no telling how much you should practice because that’s personal, but in my opinion, it really depends on how formal the event is and how much time you’re given before it takes place. That said, sometimes you run your piece over and over, and something still goes wrong when you perform it. Just remember the most of the time the audience has no idea what you’re doing, so as long as you make it look purposeful they shouldn’t know the difference. If you get stuck in a wrap just try to turn it into a pose and make it look pretty. The audience will only know you got something wrong if you tell them.

Thank you for reading my article! I know that everyone has their own way of constructing a performance piece, but I just wanted to share my creative process in hopes that it might be beneficial to anyone who’s lost or bored of what they’ve been developing.

The Making and Performing of Thalassa: A Dive Into the Deep

By Cora Williams

In this article, I will be introducing you to the making and performing of the show Thalassa: A Dive Into the Deep… Showing our process of creating this show.

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What is Thalassa?

Thalassa, which means “sea” in Greek, was Troupes 1st full-length show. Thalassa was performed and created by the Circus Culture Troupe over the course of 5 months. In that time we worked hard creating the show piece by piece. We did everything from scratch, including costumes, lighting, marketing and advertising, set, props and even introduced some brand new apparatuses to Circus Culture. Showcasing everything from clowning to dancing to aerial acts. There was a total of 7 aerial acts as well as contortion, clowning, and dancing.

What is the “Circus Culture Troupe” and what do we do?

The troupe is a group of dedicated teens that perform around Ithaca, NY.  We are very devoted to what we do, spending hours working on each and every act/show. We perform an average of 2-3 times, two-weekend shows per year. We are a range of ages from the oldest being 20 and the youngest (me, by two hours) being 13. We are all like a family to each other.

Meet the cast and crew

Amy – producer

Emily – dance choreographer

Holly – clown coach

Kiera – light and sound technician.

Jesse – Lighting design

Jenny Leigh – costume design

Cora (Me) – sea snake/fish

Izzy – Force of Nature/fish

Alex – eel/fish

Nuala H. – Mystery of the Deep/fish

Nuala U. – Clownfish/fish

Alice – Dolphin/clown

Anya – octopus/fish

Nevada – Angler fish/clown

Kayla – Dolphin/clown

Luna – Dolphin/fish

Simone – eel/fish

What the show was about

In the beginning, we all brainstormed on what the show was going to be about. We had lots of ideas ranging from it being about trees to technology and phones. After much discussion and random off-topic questions, we finally decided that it was going to be about the ocean and the animals within it. We also wanted to add the not so happy elements like overpopulation, bycatch (What is “Bycatch”), and pollution.

Week intensive!!!

To prepare for our show we had a week intensive during winter break. We were there for 9am-3pm on Monday-Wednesday, Thursday 9am-7pm and on Friday we stayed the night. That was the week where we got the show together and all the group acts. We worked on all the nitty gritty parts of the acts, got Indian food and we sweat A LOT. On the last day (Friday), we had a company sleepover to celebrate our hard work. This week intensive brought us closer together and cleaned up the show quite a bit.

Before show dash?

When the show rolls around there are some traditions we always do. We always play the song, “Level Up” by Ciara to get hyped. And there’s the “mad eyeliner dash”. The mad eye liner dash is when we all race to get to one of the 3 working eyeliners . But mostly we all just get into costume and makeup, do our hair, practice our acro, and just hang. At this point most of us are feeling lots of adrenaline. We all express it a different ways. Someone might get sleepy. Some might get nervous and some might just feel normal.

Opening night

Opening night of the show was sold out. We were all high on adrenaline and getting ready for the show of our lives. We all got there at call and got dressed started with our makeup and hair. An hour later we were ready and getting into our starting positions. As people started to trickle into their seats. I couldn’t believe that this was happening.  As the lights rose, I could hear someone opening a seltzer in the front row. As we lifted into our shape all I could think of is OMG this is really happening. All the hard work we put in has paid off. Opening night went almost perfect.

Thank you, Amy

I want to take a moment to thank everyone who put this show together but especially Amy Cohen. I can’t express all my love I have for her. Amy is our Director. She made this show happen and gave us the amazing opportunity. She spent so much time with us working for hours on this show. She was there with us through thick and thin. She really is like a superhero not just in the show, but in all the classes. She supports us with everything we do.  Amy if you are reading this THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Circus is Hard on the Body: Ways to Take Care of Your Body as a Circus Artist

By Chelsea McIntosh and Nathalie Morton

For circus artists, staying healthy can sometimes come as an afterthought or feel like too much of a hassle to stay on top of. Staying healthy, however, is critical to your overall performance in any sport. To protect your body, it is important to make sure to warm up and stretch daily, to eat a healthy and balanced diet, and to exercise and condition enough to keep your body strong enough to handle the intensity of aerial arts.

In order to protect your body from difficult skills that might overuse some muscles or parts of your body, it is important to always make sure to warm up all of your muscles with effective stretches and exercises to prevent pulling muscles during training. Your body won’t be able to handle jumping straight into strenuous activities without something to prepare it first. An effective warm up can consist of simple exercises, such as jumping jacks or a mountain climbers, followed by thorough stretching of all your muscles. It is very important to stretch and warm up areas such as your back, neck, wrists, shoulders, hamstrings, and hips so you can use those areas safely in training.

For aerial arts, a key part of taking care of your body is stretching before and after training. Stretching after you finish a day of training is just as important as stretching and warming up your muscles before training because it can reduce the soreness felt after a really hard workout, increase your flexibility (something every circus artist is after), help to elevate your most likely pretty low energy levels after a workout, and prevent injuries. All muscles are important and used when doing aerial arts, so make sure to cover all muscle groups when stretching in warm ups and in cool downs. For instance, when stretching your arms, be sure to cover all the muscle groups, such as your wrists, biceps, triceps and shoulders because neglecting any of them increases your chance of injury. Stretching well after a workout can eliminate lactic acid that builds up in your muscles during a workout, reducing the pain you feel after a long, hard training session. In addition, cooling down with stretching increases your energy levels because when your body finally cools down, your brain releases endorphins which make you feel energized and happy.

Although it is one of the most important things to do to keep your body healthy, stretching is not the only thing circus artists must do to stay healthy and in shape. Eating a healthy and balanced diet is paramount to being able to withstand the intensity of circus and allows you to advance in aerial arts. Eating healthy, however, does not necessarily mean that you must eliminate every single sweet thing you love or that you must go on restrictive and dangerous diets. Circus takes up a lot of energy so eating complete and hearty meals is necessary. Try to balance out your meals as evenly as possible with each of the three key macronutrients: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Many diets these days will tell you that eliminating fats or carbs is eating “healthy”, but your body needs all three. Getting your fats from healthy and unprocessed foods, like avocados or nuts, is better for you than depriving yourself from these needed nutrients. Good sources of protein include white meat, tofu, eggs, quinoa and more. Red meat is a good source of protein, but can become unhealthy if overeaten, so try to stay to lean white meats, such as chicken and turkey. As for getting a balanced portion of healthy carbohydrates, whole wheat options are always a great choice. Eating healthy is all about balance and natural foods, not restriction and dieting. You will quickly see that eating full, fresh, and natural foods leaves you feeling more refreshed and energized than when eating fried and processed foods. While cutting back on most classic junk foods is part of eating a balanced diet, you don’t have to swear off them completely, as eating these foods in moderation doesn’t hurt. If you’re looking for a replacement for your favorite sweets and candy, try eating more berries and fruits, as they are nature’s candy!

The last component of keeping your body healthy for circus is exercise outside of what you do in the air. Although circus is a tough workout on its own, it is not a good source of cardio. Running is a great way to make up for this and can keep your heart healthy for all physically demanding events in your life, in addition to circus training. If running isn’t your thing, you can also get good cardio training in by doing a half hour or more on a stationary bike or jumping rope for twenty minutes. It is important to know your limits to avoid overworking your body or exhausting yourself too much, so spread out your workouts and give your body enough time to recover in between. Intensity levels of these workouts should not be as high as circus workouts. Calm and easy cardio training is an excellent complement to high intensity circus training because it takes some strain of your body while still keeping you in shape.

Circus is amazing when performed, but it can take a toll on the body when we don’t take the appropriate steps to protect ourselves. Warming up, stretching, exercising and eating healthy are just a few of the many ways you can protect your body. When done correctly, they can ensure that you are safe from preventable injuries and can perform to the best of your abilities.

How Performing Affects Other People

How does your act make a difference in other people’s lives?

By Tessa Wallington

The makeup. The hairspray. The lights. The cheering. The audience. The adrenaline.

Performing is something so many people love. It may increase confidence or act as a fun activity, but what does performing do for the audience? Art is often sold at auctions to be viewed in homes, music is sold to be listened to, and performing is done for the audience to feel emotion while watching a different kind of art. Circus arts can be used as more than a career, or a sport, but also as a gift. Youth troupes such as the Aerial Angels in Las Vegas, Nevada, are using their talent and craft to help make a difference in other people’s lives. Many people have never seen a circus show, and bringing the show to charitable events such as Run Away with Cirque du Soleil, Opportunity Village’s Magical Forest, and Construction Vs. Cancer can help change someone’s life — for a moment or forever.

Just over the past two years the Aerial Angels have performed for intellectually challenged adults at Opportunity Village, performed at a Trunk or Treat to benefit United Way, performed for families that are battling cancer, and helped at a major fundraiser that helps promote clean water all over the world.

Performing for charities can also make a difference in the performer’s life as well. There is no better satisfaction than seeing someone’s facial expression when you get off your apparatus and see people who are struggling with something personal have a huge smile on their face. It is an amazing feeling. It proves that circus can be used for more than entertainment. It can be used to help someone in need, introduce someone struggling to the amazing art of circus, or just let someone having a bad day feel pure joy.

Combining circus arts and charity work into one amazing thing is something the Aerial Angels have accomplished. The angels have achieved their goal of getting involved in their community by showing their talents, and assisting local charities like Opportunity Village. Overall, the feeling of knowing you have helped someone makes performing that much better.   

Aerial Angels showing off their Construction Vs. Cancer shirts after performing at the event.


Aerial Angel, Tally getting ready to perform at  Cirque du Soleil’s Run Away with Cirque du Soleil.