Kate Ducey, an aerial silks performer from L.A., came to Circus Mojo recently to teach a series of workshops in silks and in circus performance techniques.
When I heard this news, I knew immediately that I wanted to take the Performance Techniques class in order to improve my skills with props, stage presence, story telling, and more. The silks, on the other hand, I wasn’t so sure about. So before Kate’s plane even landed at CVG, Sharon (our in-house aerialist) kindly showed me a couple of basic moves so that I’d be ready to climb my heart out during the workshop.
I walked up to the aerial silk rig, wrapped my delicate hands around the fabric, and proceeded to lift my (mumble, hmph)-pound body up. Once.
Later as I rubbed my sore arms, I realized that perhaps this isn’t something that I need to pursue at this point in my life, but with some encouraging words from Pauly, I decided to continue the challenge. The next day, I pulled myself up twice. Progress was made.
Day 3 of this week: It was time for Kate to teach the actual workshop. First things first…she led an amazing warm-up, including handstands (Me at the beginning: “I can’t do handstands.” Me at the end: “Woot! I just did a handstand!” That’s how Mojo works.) Kate went on to teach our class different ways to climb the silks, as well as some inversions and a couple of beautiful poses. By the end, each of us had learned new concepts in aerials. It was thrilling to be a part of such a supportive class, especially given that I hadn’t expected to accomplish so much.
As mentioned, Kate was also in the Queen City to teach Performance techniques. In this workshop, we learned some powerful ways to not only express emotions, but also to create audience awareness, use props in organic ways as opposed to simply doing tricks, perform with others while using peripheral vision, and more. I’m no newbie to the stage, and yet I learned an incredible amount from this class.
Stay tuned, as Circus Mojo brings in more performers from the United States and beyond to teach workshops for professionals, amateurs, and those who just want to explore a variety of circus arts in an authentic and supportive atmosphere.