Why I Love ... Circus
‘It’s all about learning a new language, a language of the body’
Shane Holohan:“I am the owner and director of Taking Flight, where we focus on circus arts education and performance”
I used to be a secondary school English teacher, and during that time I was also coaching gymnastics and working as a psychotherapist. In 2010, I discovered aerial acrobatics and dance whilst on a Transition Year workshop with my students at the Backstage Theatre in Co Longford. In 2013 I decided to take a career break and literally ran away to join the circus (school) in Montreal, Canada.
Today, I am the owner and director of Taking Flight, where we focus on circus arts education and performance at our full-time studio in Phibsborough, Co Dublin. Most of our classes run for two hours, which includes between 45 to 60 minutes of warm-up, conditioning, mobility, and flexibility. This means you grow stronger in your body, but classes are about much more than that. There’s also about gaining the confidence and resilience that develops by learning to climb, go upside down and move around the apparatus.
I can use that language to perform and to say something about what it means to be human
Aerial and floor acrobatics is great as it’s open to men and women equally. The focus is on your own development and journey but you get to share the experience with people who are walking, climbing, and tumbling in the same direction. You can learn to master specialist apparatus like fabric, rope, hoop, trapeze, straps, double trapeze, harness wall-running, and acrobatics or choose to take one of our AERIALS classes which covers a bit of everything.
I love the fact that it’s not easy, but you know, it’s also achievable. For me, circus is all about learning a new language, a language of the body. And then I get to make a choice. I can stop at that and learn so much about myself or I can use that language to perform and to say something about what it means to be human. That choice is mine, and no matter what I choose, that choice is valid and worth celebrating.