Hasn't everyone, at some point, dreamed of flying through the air on a trapeze, walking a tightrope, or performing some other dazzling circus act? In September, wanna-be circus performers can take a shot at aerial silks at Quantum Gymnastics Centre.
June Booth, owner and head coach at Quantum, thought the relatively new form of performance combined with gymnastics would be of interest to those in Maple Ridge.
"We're just starting it [in September]," said Booth. "Then we'll see what the interest is. It seems to be quite popular with the adults as well."
Planned for those age 10 and up, five of the certified Quantum coaches attended two two-hour training sessions with professional performer Tanya Burka.
Burka loved gymnastics from a young age and naturally fell in love with circus performance when she attended a camp for a month in 1999.
"After a month, I said, 'wow, I really love this', but here was all this other path charted out for me," Burka said of her early exposure to circus.
She decided to continue with her post-secondary education and if she still had that same love of circus upon graduation, she would return to it.
The love lasted, and still does.
A performer in Cirque du Soleil, Quidam, Burka works with the show three months on and three months off.
During off months, she spends her time training or doing other smaller performances.
Booth's son works for Cirque du Soleil and connected his mom with Burka when the interest in aerial silks began to grow.
"I always had coaches who encouraged me because I was passionate," said Burka. "I always wanted to be able to give that experience to other people."
"For me, absolutely [training others is] an extension of what I do as a performer, to pass it along."
With circus performances like those of Cirque du Soleil now common, the attraction to learning skills like aerial silks has grown.
"I think it went super well," said Burka of the coach training at Quantum. "They are already certified as gymnastics
coaches... they are in really amazing shape as coaches already."
Those interested can register for aerial silk classes on the Quantum website: www.quantumgym.com.
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