Finding Inspiration, Challenge & Greater Confidence Through Flying Trapeze
Dyani first learned about SANCA from a friend who was taking classes. She thought that circus looked like a fun and way to get stronger and learn new skills. Watching other people perform circus skills was really inspiring to Dyani, and she wanted to learn it all. It wasn’t long before she started taking multiple classes – including Unicycle, Teen Aerial, and Flying Trapeze.
It’s hard to pick a favorite circus activity; Dyani says she likes it all, but one thing that stood out for her was the idea of wanting to be on the Junior Fly Team. She saw a flying trapeze performance at SANCA and that inspired her to give it a try. Dyani joined the team in the summer of 2014. It was awkward at first, she recalls, because she was new, and an outsider, but getting to know the team as friends and being able to talk with them made it comfortable and welcoming, and she realized that everyone there was working on their own skills and challenges and that they all wanted to get really good at flying.
Her mother, Liliana points out that SANCA has been a great environment for Dyani because it is diverse and there are many good role models to look to for inspiration. Liliana says that she is impressed with the quality of coaching. “The instructors are patient and understanding,” She says. “They give constant encouragement and positive support, and they are really good at helping students face their fears. They pay attention to all the kids they are teaching – not just the ones who stand out as better athletes.”
Dyani’s first performance with the Junior Fly Team was in the fall of 2014. She recalls being very nervous and excited about the show, but she felt really good about herself when she heard the audience applauding. One of her most memorable moments, Dyani notes, was her first time flying without spotting lines. She says it was scary at first, but great adrenaline and a huge achievement for her.
“Conditioning was a big surprise,” says Dyani, “It’s really difficult but purposeful and helps you gain strength.” She notes that she also studies martial arts, and that conditioning at SANCA has helped her get better at Taekwondo. Although conditioning is hard, Dyani says her flying trapeze coach, Katie Wagman, really helps out with that aspect of circus training because “She makes it fun and keeps you going on the ground and in the air, and she helps you get better at what you do.”
In turn, Katie points out that “There’s been a huge improvement in Dyani’s skill and attitude since she first started flying with us – she’s very willing to work hard and apply herself, and she’s excited to learn new skills.”
Dyani’s mother, Liliana, thinks that Dyani benefits from circus arts by more than just physical ability. “She believes more in herself now. She has more confidence, and that shows up in all her activities. She got straight A’s in school these past two semesters.”
Dyani likes to tell her friends how much fun circus is – but she doesn’t mention the conditioning because she doesn’t want to scare them off, noting that once you realize the benefit of putting in the hard work, it’s not so bad.