Ever wander past the village green and stare in amazement at the jugglers? Felt like there’s an inner acrobat waiting to come out? Blitz sat down with Anna, the President of the Circus Society to learn more about circus life.
What does CircuSoc do?
We’re a student society on campus that runs a circus skill share service. We’re got people who initially had no circus skills, and people who started off with a lot of different skills from previous training. Made up of novices and experts, we all teach each other various circus skills. We also run workshops, go on trips to crazy circus shows, have loads of parties, and dress up like crazy people. It’s a lot of fun.
Would you describe CircuSoc as a sport, performing arts, or both? Why?
It’s definitely both. There are so many different circus skills that won’t make you fit if you just practice casually. However, if you practice regularly you’ll definitely gain muscles. Our ex-president juggles constantly and he has the most muscular arms you’ll ever see! Performance style skills, like aerial skills are more likely to make you’re fit, where as others don’t necessarily do anything for your fitness. When performing aerial skills, you have to be able to lift up your own body weight, for fifteen minutes, so training and practicing for those type of skills is intense!
How did you get involved in CircuSoc?
I started training as a circus performer when I was sixteen. I used to work at a rock climbing centre where they had some aerial silks set up, and I got involved. As soon as I got into this university I started looking for a circus society and well, here I am.
Do you think there’s a lot of misunderstanding about what CircuSoc does simply because when people think of circuses they think big tents, animals, and clowns?
I think many people aren’t quite sure what we do, and especially about the safety aspects we have to consider. Most people think that we just juggle, go to circus things, and just appreciate circus things. But we’re so much more than that!
Contrary to popular belief, you can’t just show up to one of our events and immediately learn how to backflip. Like with most things, everyone has to start off with the basics. We also do a lot of intensive training, especially if we have a performance coming up. Our training is so intense that sometimes we put our headphones in, get in the zone, and don’t talk to anyone while practicing for hours.
Why should people join CircuSoc?
We’re one big family! We have members from all different degrees, people who come over from UNSW Art and Design, people who work full time, and even some CircuSoc alumni who train regularly with us. It’s great because you meet a lot of cool people, try new things, and learn an array of new skills. Furthermore, the skills you learn with CircuSoc not only help with fitness but also things like hand-eye coordination.
Which circus act do you think would be the best Olympic sport?
Juggling. Definitely juggling. There’s some crazy things you can do with juggling, like combat juggling – where you have to maintain your own juggling while trying to make your opponent mess up their juggling. Juggling while racing is also pretty epic – people have to run with the clubs in the air the whole time, without stopping.
Clowns – yes or no?
Yes! We don’t have many clowns, to be fair, but clowning can be really great. Clowning can even occur without a costume – it’s more about the act, putting on a show for the audience, while doing acrobatics, juggling, and being silly.
Who would you most like to see try to make a balloon animal?
Header Image: PhotoClub