My aerial journey is 60% not knowing where to put my limbs and 40% hair flips. #aerialarts #aerialfitness #aerialsilks #circusarts #cirqueletics #eastcoastconditioning

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Stay weird 🙃🎪 #aerialarts #aerialfitness #aerialhammock #aerialsling #aerialsilks #aerialcosplay #circuscosplay #circusarts #cirqueletics #eastcoastconditioning #cosplay #batgirl #batgirl66 #barbaragordon #dccosplay #comics #dccomics #dccosplay #batgirlcosplay

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Playing with my new #carouselclimb on the #aerialsilks 🌟smoothing it out slowly at @_umbilico_ #aerialguys #aerial #aerialsilk #tissu #telas #aerialist #aerialfit #movement #climbing #fitness #fit #motivation (at Umbilico)

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Getting over fears 🙈 #trapeze #dancetrapeze #ankledrop #aerialarts #aerialfitness #circusarts #circus #cirqueletics #eastcoastconditioning #ecc

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Shreddy Does England

I’ve been meaning to write a blog about my recent 1 month real-life hiatus.

After being promoted in my career in early May, I went through a grueling few months of hard work preparing us for a series of audits. The official survival date was Aug 9, and on Aug 11 I took a month off of work to get my mental and physical self back up to snuff.

I flew to England that night with my circus fam (you may have noticed the steady increase of air-based activities I’ve been posting), to attend the European Aerial Dance Festival (EADF2017). This is an intensive training camp with some of the best and brightest instructors from around the globe. It was also my first time leaving North America so I was pretty pumped.

We took the red eye flight - wined, dined, and prayed for sleep. After arriving at London Gatwick Airport we took a train to Southhampton for the week. The sun was out and the temperatures were unseasonably high. The view from the train was beautiful like scenes from The Hobbit. (Yes…I’m aware that is New Zealand.)

As it turns out, the Premiere Football League had its opening game in Southhampton that day so I got to see first hand how rowdy UK soccer fans really are. Cliches ring true, it was terrying. :p

We went in seach of the classic hole in the wall pub, which isn’t hard to find. We settled on a lovely place called “The Lion” and taught some of the locals a few acro tricks while pounding back pints. My personal favorite was Orchard Pig cider. Please bring this to Canada!

Day two the group went to “Go Ape”, a tree-top obstacle and ziplining course. I didn’t realize my fear of heights until I found myself dangling from gymnastics rings 50 feet off the ground, only attached to a few cables. It was an amazing experience I can’t fully describe.

EADF2017 started the following Monday and ran until Friday. Each day consisted of about 5 hours of aerial activities per day. I’ve never had something challenge me so hard physically and mentally in my life.

I started each day doing Aerial Yoga with a lovely hippy-dippy instructor who fixed years of back problems and regularly doused me with patchouli.

Then it was Vertical Dance, where we learned to perform a dance routine on the wall at height using rock climbing equipment. It was pretty wild, I felt like Spider-man every morning.

Immediately following was Dance Trapeze. This class was a mix of technical and artistic skill. We would alternate between learning “tricks” and how to flow and enhance our movements to be “pretty”. I am not good at the artistic part. I’ve never been delicate or intuitive, so I found this really challenging. We practiced interpretative and partner sequences which I found tough as well because I’m not particularly touchy-feely. BUT I do admit, being forced out of my comfort zone definitely aided in my improvement and enhanced my confidence.

The third class of the day was Counterweight Harness, which I can only describe as “Peter Pan Flying Class”. Shockingly, I found this to be the most difficult class. The movements in combination with the snug harness quickly became incredibly painful, leaving severe bruising all around my hips. I powered through each day and developed my skills despite the pain. The cherry on the cake was getting to do that wicked little ball spin show above.

Before I move on, I also have to mention that EADF2017 held a social dinner mid-week where I had THE most incredible (and sweatingly spicy) curry of my life. Hot damn. I always heard the UK did curry well. Bravo.

Upon conclusion of EADF2017 we all drank our pain away with what I call the true MVP of the trip, “budget cider”. You can buy a 2L of hard cider in almost every convenience store for about $4 CAD. That’s basically free to all you American folks. That’s insane.

On Saturday we headed into London to be tacky tourists for 3 days. We rented a house in Wimbledon via AirBnB, and took the train into central London each day.

We went to Alice’s Underground Adventure, which was a fabulous interactive play in a indie theatre that appears to be converted from an old underground bunker. It was done in the style of a choose your own adventure book. You choose to “eat me” or “drink me” and your decision prompts a cast member to separate you from your group. From there out, each choice you make has different impacts on where your story ends up. There were great performances such as the Cheshire Cat on trapeze, and flying counterweight act.

We also visited the London Dungeon, which being a horror fan I loooove. There was also the London Eye, London Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Camden Market, Pickadilly Circus. I even got to see Big Ben’s final ring before being muted for 4 years for construction.

It was truly a unique and amazing trip, but by the time Tuesday morning (day 11) rolled around I was more than ready to go home and get back to my boy, cats, and my bed.

I don’t have it in me to spell check this, so some parts may be non-sensicle. I have no idea if anyone reads this or cares, but it solidifies the memories for me.

An update of my remaining time off to come. I still had until after Labour Day to enjoy blazing hot sun (we don’t generally get that where I live), swimming, hikes, berry -picking, Avalon Expo, and a small baycation. :)