For about 5 years I tried hopelessly to be a trapeze artist. Despite the beastliest fear of falling (even from a trapeze the height of a chair) being constantly injured or ill and a terrible thing to teach, somewhere in it a I adored it.
I discovered aerial slings and bought my own aerial net. This is a great loop of black netting that hangs off the ground on a swivel. For most of the last few years it was rigged to a tiny hammock stand in a tiny rotten bedsit. Feeling too useless for the real circus I created my own little cathartic dances.
Now, after a year off from more dance related gammy legs I have got a pair of black pointe shoes, a new gold carabiner and most of all I have a theatre residency coming up. This will give me what I have always been begging for; a space to create.
I have been doing an hour a week of aerial training and trying to fathom together as many moves as my cake addicted body can manage. It has to be said most of these moves used to be easy and now only live in my head.
But it is quiet and experimental.
Today I tried running and flipping upside down to swing and spinning with only my neck and arm holding me on.
Inch by inch things are coming back.
My application was to be a creature, all dark and emerging, touching the ground for the first time.
Only now I am in love with a Birdy song and want to cross the stage with my cane (going blind, will explain more if you wish) and tell my story while I tie on my shoes and prepare the net.
I want to recount the somewhat horrid along with the touching things circus people have said to me: the girl that ran away from the circus but found her own dance.
I have never spoken on a stage before.