Trapeze Student Progress from Beginner to Advanced - Spotlight on Debbie

Many students that come to Circus Glory know Debbie, who is one of our the most advanced students. She definitely makes all tricks look effortless and quite impressive! For new students, this can be both inspirational as well as intimidating. For this reason, we decided to share Debbie’s story on how she grew from a completely trapeze beginner to a pro (while being a Mum of two!). We hope you will enjoy reading the following interview with her and that Debbie’s knowledge and journey will motivate you to make the most of your trapeze training.

- When did you start training on trapeze and what made you try it?

D: I started trapeze in November 2011. I decided to try it because my daughter has been coming to children trapeze lesson with Circus Glory and I remember watching her a lot. I knew there are adult trapeze classes too and I thought to myself ‘I must give it a go’. I didn’t actually have a courage to do it at first and it took me a while to come to the first class (over a year!). I'm really glad I made it happen and wish I would have started straight away!

- You now look amazing doing effortless straddles, inverts and routines but it all didn’t come over night, did it? Can you share how long did it take you to learn key moves as a beginner?

D: It took me 6 months to learn a clean tuck under a bar, a year to learn a front balance and a straddle. To do a nice one leg skinner it took me 4 years! It is all not as easy as it looks, that's for sure!

- Wow. What has helped you on your journey and becoming better at trapeze?

D: Consistency! I would come to trapeze classes with Circus Glory twice a week, every week, no matter what. Also, Genevieve as a teacher is excellent, her one-to-one attention during a class corrects wrong technique straight away, so you have good habits that speed up overall progress. I was also going to the gym to build an upper body strength outside of trapeze as women naturally don’t have much of that strength. It takes a while to build it.. it took me years to be able to do a pull up, even on a trapeze! Plus there is also a core strength! 

- Any advice you would give to beginners?

D: Being consistent in your training.. and listen to what Genevieve says! Also, don’t expect to be good at something straight away.. especially in trapeze as its quite technical and it does take time for brain and body to digest and learn the moves and make the flow nicely in between. Also accepting that you might not be good at some tricks because your body has limitations, for me I know I have strength but I’m not that flexible, so I know I can’t do a nice bendy back pose or a split. And that’s ok, know it is not a failure and accept this is the best you can do with your body.

- What kept you going in difficult times?

D: Well.. obviously Genevieve encourages you and progresses you by making you do things that are good for your training (even thought you might not like them!) and eventually it is about trusting it and trusting in what she is saying. We are all adults and we overthink things, when she just say ‘just do it’ and it does sometimes works better that way. When you consistently do it, your muscles have memory and one day it just clicks and it happens! And then it;’s just making sure it happens again and again!

- What trapeze classes gave you?

D: I think trapeze makes you happier. If you had a terrible day and you come and have to concentrate.. and leave whatever happened earlier outside the door. Also, fun! Trapeze gives you lots of endorphins so you feel better after you leave. Also, it is amazing for lower abs! 

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To show you Debbie’s progress, you can compare her progress in the videos below. Both of them show the same basic sequence we still practice: tuck to seating, mermaid and gazelle.

First video shows Debbie in spring 2013 (two years after starting trapeze classes), the second video is her today (after 7 years on trapeze, twice a week, every week!). What a difference!