Into your shoes (from a student experience)

Student Sarah Hess- Intermediate Acro-Yoga Online

Sarah Hess could be one of the most fun bundles of energy ever to walk into a circus classroom! She is a long time SANCA student and adventurer of skills. In her four years at SANCA she was enrolled in Flying Trapeze, Partner Aerial, and Therapeutic Strength and Conditioning. She’d even drop into the TWC Alumni performance group from time to time. Her devotion to her circus skills, and the community that surrounds SANCA made joining online classes a no-brainer when it was time to quarantine. She has been taking partner aerial for years with coaches Nick and Amanda, so it was obvious that it was time to take her partner work to the floor and give partner acro a try. Sarah had only ever done acro once before back when it was legal to have hands on spotting, so this felt like new territory for Sarah and she had to summon her bravery to give this new style of circus a try. “One of my favorite parts about Circus is engaging my body and brain in challenges to learn totally new skills, as it forces me to stay humble, playful, and in a growth mindset.” Sarah says. She has found that she took naturally to L-basing acro because there were so many circus shapes that were familiar to her body. She has also really enjoyed having a physically challenging class to help her stay motivated and active between her weekly classes, especially when she can take this skill outside and in the fresh air. Since she’s been spending time inside without much physical activity having the tool that is acro to get out of her head, and help her body feel less stiff and more connected to the outdoors, and her partner Mike, has been important for her physical and mental well-being.

“When my boss asked me if I would be willing to work in a clinic serving COVID-19 positive patients, my only ask was that I be able to leave on time to make it to the Wednesday partner acro class, as moving and connecting with my circus community is a very important stress release for me. Although I have all the proper PPE and take precautions not to ‘bring the virus home,’ it’s also a relief for me to know that I can continue to ‘see’ my classmates and coaches onscreen without the uncomfortable question of whether I am putting them at risk.”

Aside from acro with Nick and Amanda she has enjoyed dropping into makeup tutorials with Billy Boy, hand balancing, and she even got creative at work when she had a free hour to attend Emma’s TWC Somatic Movement class using an exam table in lieu of a yoga mat. Sarah is a devoted student and truly a gem among our circus family at SANCA. It’s always a pleasure to see her and her partner Mike in class on Wednesdays as she is such a valued member of our acro family. Watching her continue to grow into her fun, circus self over the airways has been a pleasure!

article by Amanda Thornton