Me and my straps

The road to creation is never a straight line.

It’s December.  By now I’ve been training on straps consistently since August and it’s time, time for me to buy my own equipment so I can do the things I set out to do.

Traditionally aerial straps are used for conditioning and performing feats of strength.   The loops at the end of the 9 feet long cotton covered polyester straps are used for the circus artist’s wrists so that he/ she can hang, twist, and suspend in the air. But I my intentions are different.  My goal is to dance in the straps. I want to slip my legs and neck through the straps.  I want to translate my vocabulary on silks onto this new equipment.

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Straps Exploration at the National Circus School in Montreal

And so, before I head off for a tour, I decide to order my very own, custom made straps.  I want them to be long so I can perform dynamic drops, I want the loops to be wide so I can hang from different body parts and I want the fabric to be soft so that I don’t rip my skin to shreds.

As we know, buying things off the Internet can be risky.  A year and a half ago, when I was buying a new pair of silks I made the mistake of ordering the fabric too short (11 yards).  Then, because I placed the order in the USA, I had to go through a big ordeal with Canada Customs, who decide to charge me an exorbitant amount of money in customs fee (which I was later able to get refunded).    This time I was smart.  I did my research.  I made sure to order from a reputable company, which specialized in selling high quality aerial equipment.  I made sure to measure the length of the loop I wanted.  I ordered from a Canadian company, so I didn’t have to worry about customs, or the high US dollar.  But, as it is with the creative process, things went… differently than my perfectly laid out plan.

It was 2 weeks before I was scheduled to leave for my tour.  My straps arrived and I was SO excited!  I opened the package… But they were the wrong color, the wrong loop size and the wrong material.  How could this happen? I specifically asked for cotton covered straps and instead I received aramid fiber (must more abrasive).  I called the company.  The customer service representative didn’t speak “circus” and explained that the owner was out of town.  When I finally get a hold of the owner, he told me that if I mailed the straps back, and drove out to the factory to pick up the new pair, I could have my order fixed and ready before I left town.  GREAT!  I sent back the straps.  When I got the new straps (generously picked-up by my husband!) and open the package…  They’re too long, they were the wrong color, and they were too wide.  “I’ll never be able to work with these”, I cry out.

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More exploration on straps at the National Circus School in Montreal

I call my friend and ask her to come over, and through my tears, I show her the equipment.  She looks at them and shrugs: “You can make these work.  They’re not that bad.  And it’s good that their long.  We can make a temporary knot in them for when you’re training with lower ceilings.”  I sigh.  “Ok”, I say, “I’ll try them out.  Worst comes to worst I’ll sell them”.  So I bring them to the studio the next day.  My friend helps me tie the temporary knot, and… It’s not so bad.

In the end I did take the straps on tour with me, and I made an effort to train on the equipment whenever I could.

When I got back home, I went to the National Circus School to train, where I knew I could hang the straps without worrying about their length.  The first day I hung my straps in the new space, a fellow artist came up to me and commented: “Wow, those are so cool.  You have so many movement possibilities”, and another said: “I like your straps!  Their really unique.

Unique.  That’s exactly what I had wanted them to be.  Suddenly… I’m in love.

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My first “flag” on Staps at the National Circus School in Montreal

Now I’m going to the studio to train every night that I can.  I can’t get enough.  I have embraced the challenge, and accepted that these straps are different.  Just like me.

Sometimes you’ve got to go with what you’ve got.  Sometimes, trusting in the unknown is what makes the magic happen.

Up Coming…

We’ve launched our new studio!

The Screaming Goats Collective

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Here’s my husband Jed working hard on the new studio!

We produced our first workshop “Intro to Pochinko Clown”, taught by Jed Tomlinson at the beginning of May.

Goats Poster

Next, we are excited to present the “Get Off You A$$ Creation Lab

This 17.5 hour long workshop will provide you with a variety of tools on how to generate new material and create a unique performance.

Visit our facebook page for more details (https://www.facebook.com/screaminggoatscollective/)

Persephone Bound

I’m honored to announce that my project: “Persephone Bound”  has been accepted for a creation residency curated by the TOHU.  This creation residency will allow me to rehears for 33 hours with my director, choreographer and designer at the National Circus School. At the end of our creation period, there will be a work-in-progress presentation to an invited audience.  More dates and details to come…

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May 17, 2016 · 9:57 pm

And then I ran up a mountain…

It’s noon, on a drizzly Tuesday.  I go to the staff washroom, put on my leggings and lace up my runners. As I head down the elevator my co-worker smilesShoes_MTL at me “Going for a jog?”  “yup, I’m headed up the mountain”, I say with a sigh.  This has been my by weekly ritual for the past two months.

Outside is chilly, and although it’s December winter hasn’t hit the city yet, and in a few strides down the sidewalk I’m already feeling warm.

The climb up the mountain starts on the corner of Sherbrooke Ouest and Peel.  It’s a straight climb until you reach the base of the park, and then after a short series of stairs you find yourself on a winding path in the forest.  The city disappimage4ears.  Only the sounds of the birds and your runners hitting the dirt road are present.

This is where I work through my thoughts.  This run is my chance to reconnect with my body and my breath.  To let go of pain, and to let inspiration in.

In the past few months I have faced  a series of injuries, health issues, and personal difficulties and my training has been sporadic.  I still make an effort to get on the circus equipment, and do my sit-ups, but my focus has been elsewhere.  On the path, my focus is living.

As I climb up the mountain I’m alone.  Once I’ve burned through my anger, and pushed past fear, all that’s left is love and breath.

At the top of the mountain is “Beaver Lake”.  The first time I saw it I couldn’t believe it existed.  “There’s a lake up there and I had no idea!”, I told my coworkers the first time I made it all the way up the hill.   This time of year the lake is almost always deserted.  The water is still, like glass.  I stop to look over the water, conjuring the calm surrounding to slow my heart beat which is still trying to catch up with my feet.  As I pause, I’m reminded that there is more to life than what’s inside my head.  There is more than my computer, or my cup of coffee, or my future.

Then, after a 60 sec rest, I start back down the way I came.

The way down is almost as thrilling as the way up.  My stride gets longer and longer as I give into the incline.  I pick up my pace with ease.  The climb up is a fight, but the way down is modestly satisfying.  On the way down, I don’t need to work as hard, and my breath is easy.  I can turn my attention to release.  Letting go of the pain in my rib, or hip, or heart.  I can turn my gaze up, instead of 2 inches in front of me.  It takes me almost half the time to go down the mountain than it did forimage5
me to climb up.  I leap over the curbs of the sidewalk and dodge the letter carriers.   I race out of the forest and back into the city.

Back in the elevator on my way back up to my desk I have no regrets.

I didn’t make it all the way up the mountain the first time.  I got half way and turned around.  There are still some days  I don’t make it all the way up.  But, that’s not the point.  The run is not about reaching the lake.  Sometimes I have the urge to dig deep and keep going, sometimes it’s calling out my name, and sometimes I pat myself on the back just for lacing up my shoes and g
etting outside.

Mount Royal is a far cry from the Rockies, but the air and the quiet remind me of home.

I have no idea what this next year has in store.  I have no concrete plans or destination.  There will be uphill climbs, and downhill sprints, and hopefully a few moments of stillness at the top.

 

Happy Holidays.Leda_Mountain

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“All or nothing” and other cliches

Go after you what you want.  Do whatever it takes. Never stop. Just do it.

 How far is too far.  Where do we draw the line?


For the past month and a half I have been going though some big transitions in my life.
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I completed my Precision Nutrition Certification, I moved apartments, and I went to the Manitoulin Conservatory for Creation and Performance (a.k.a. The Clown Farm) and New York.  I also completed a huge project called The Tale of a Town– Quebec.
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Although I’m still feeding the circus monster, I have also taken time-off, as well as started a temporary day job.

These changes were hard for me to accept at first. Old ways of thinking were playing on repeat in my brain. “Real art requires sacrifice” and “If you want it, you have to live and breath it”But the truth is that “real art”, whatever that is, needs a solid foundation in order to be able to grow.

“Like a bridge that needs to be anchored to the ocean floor and connected by great iron cables to the shore, creative people need multiple support structures so they don’t float away to some distant professional reef like like insurance or thumbtack distribution.  Your will alone cannot keep you in place. You need support systems to help you.”- Carol Lloyd, Creating A Life Worth Living

For me that support system included a job. The more I practice, the more I have realized that there must be a live/ work balance in everything that I do in order to create good art and be happy.  And happiness in life is kinda the whole point.

“Living and breathing your art”– As an artist I feel as though it is my job to reflect life.  If I’m not living my life ( i.e. going outside, hanging out with friends, trying new things) how can I effectively interpret and challenge what is happening in the world?

“All or nothing”– As I mentioned at the beginning, I did take some time off this summer and returning to training has been a bit jerky with various starts and stops. When I came back to training I was searching for the bottom line.  What is the least I could do to maximize my time, while still getting results.

If you are an athlete, or any human really, and you wake up sore every day, unmotivated to do what you used to make you happy, you may be doing too much.  Yes, there is such thing “as too much of a good thing” (even though that cliche doesn’t seem to be on our radar as much as the others).

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5 Things Contemporary Circus Has Taught Me

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A view from above #MTL

 

This is my two year blog-anniversary and the marker of when I moved to Montreal to pursue a professional career in Contemporary Circus!

I don’t know if I’ve “made it”, and my definition of success continues to evolve. However, I have learnt many things these past two years and circus has certainly challenged my “artist-self” in ways I had never imagined.

1-Strength is a skill.

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Weight, repetitions and sets are nothing but numbers. If you want to be “strong” you need to practice. You need to give you body time to catch up with what you’re asking it to do. Which often means doing something over and over again until new muscle pathways have been built. You need to be patient.

2- Be patient.

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Little ants working hard to make this flower come to life.

The reason the phrase “never give up” has impact is because getting to the finish line (if that even exists) takes a lot longer than an initial plan might suggest.   Although I like to prescribe the philosophy that almost anything is possible, sometimes what we want, and where we want to go takes longer than that what we might imagine. Therefore, it is important to remember to be patient, stay present and enjoy the ride.

3- Balance is Key.

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This is how I do business.

 

I’m an over achiever, and I used to think that in order for me to be good enough, and in order to succeed, I needed to be working hard, every minute of everyday. I’ll admit this has been a hard one for me to let go of. I still have a tendency to overload my schedule, and feel like I need to be doing a million things in order to prove my worth. But the truth is that we progress more when we focus on simple, step by step goals, and we leave room in our life for rest, relaxation and other pass times. This goes for diet too. An overly restricted diet only seems to make me want to binge more, and promotes an unhealthy relationship with food and my body image.

4- I am an artist, not just an athlete.

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Statue Animation with Move with the Beat in Ottawa, ON

I am proud of how I have managed to transform my body composition, and the skills and stamina I have gained. However, pull ups and fancy aerial drops are only part of the package. I enjoy the physical challenge that circus offers, but I also need to honour the fact that I am a creator, interpreter and leader. I want the stories I create to make my audience feel something, and I also want to feel something when I’m on stage. I’m excited by the potential contemporary circus has to not only inspire minds, but evoke emotion and thought.

5- Care enough not to care

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Goober, the cat, knows how to chill.

This is a clown rule that I learnt when I studied baby clown two summers ago at the Manitoulin Conservatory for creation and performance. This is how I interpret it: sometimes when we want something to happen we push hard, we think hard, we do as much as we can, all at the same time. When we do this, not only do we tend to feel stressed or anxious, also have a tendency to miss the magic. In theatre we use the term intention. In a scene an actor will use intentions to help drive their emotional journey. However, if the whole time that actor is trying exclusively to pursue his/her intention, they can forget to listen and react to what is happening in the moment. The result is that things feel forced and untruthful. It’s the same in circus. If we are constantly trying to impress, to get every move right, to remember every physical nuance, we miss out on the opportunity to express the movement. More often than not, when I’m thinking the whole time, instead of letting my body take over, I’m less likely to land my hard skill. You don’t have to turn off your brain completely, just care enough, not to care.

 

With that in mind, I’m excited to launch into a whole bunch of new projects and adventures this summer.

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Two weeks ago I participated in an incredible week of contemporary circus and creation called Circus Sessions.  It took place in Toronto and it was presented by Anandam Dance Theatre, A Girl in the Sky Productions, Femmes du Feu and AER Time. If you are interested in more information about contemporary circus in Canada these companies are a great place to start.

Next up, I will be traveling to Sorel, QC as a part of The Tale of a Town with FIXT Point Theater, and of course Montreal is about to launch into festival mode with Montréal Complètement Cirque, International Festival de Jazz, Just for Laughs and much more!

Stay tuned…

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March Madness: 5 Competition Tips with Coach Meaghan Wegg

It’s March which means competition and audition season is starting up again…

This year I’m starting off  with the Move With The Beat competition in Cornwall, ON. Where I will be presenting my Weggsphere number, as well as my acro-dance routine.

Meaghan Wegg on her invention the Weggsphere

Meaghan Wegg on her invention the Weggsphere

MWTB is a unique competition that combines dance, circus and aerial acrobatics. It also features an adult, and professional category for “professional dancers who are 18 years of age, currently studying at a superior level and wish to pursue a professional performance career.” (http://movewiththebeat.com/index.php/the-competition/classifications)

The competition was founded by my amazing coach and mentor Meaghan Wegg, who is all about “promoting new talent and career opportunities for the next generation in dance, circus and performance.”

My coach and mentor Meaghan Wegg

My coach and mentor Meaghan Wegg

Several months ago we got together in Montréal to talk a little bit about Meaghan’s circus story. Here’s a little bit of what she had to say…

Meaghan, you were born in small town Ontario, and you’ve spent many years touring and being on the road. What is special to you about Montreal?

““I moved to Montreal when I was 15. I’m a country girl, I had never taken a bus or metro or anything. I came here with nothing, knowing no one, and I grew to love the city because this is where I became an independent woman.”

However, it is important for Meaghan to stay connected to her roots. She often goes back to her sister’s studio in Ontario to teach, and of course she is the director of the MWTB competitions, which take place in Cornwall, Chatham and Grand Bend.

““I get to be a roll model for (people) back home which I love to be”

In addition to the MWTB competitions, Meaghan also is also a casting agent for special events with a new branch of her company “Move With The Beat Entertainment”, she is also a choreographer, teacher, world class aerialist and dancer.

Your background in dance inspires me, but do you ever wish you came from a gymnastics background?

“I’m very happy that I’m a dancer that became a circus artist. I was always at the ballet bar, hanging off like a monkey. I could not do a class without doing a cartwheel, or bending backwards. […] I did all my exams in dance. And I took my certification in Acrobatic dancing. When you’re at the circus school you only have 4 hours a week of dancing. So the first thing that I did when I graduated […] was to go back to the dance world. When I’m creating, it makes me different. I always think ‘how can I dance this?’ When I choreograph something on hoop, I always do dance choreography first and then put it in the air.”

How do you stay motivated? What keeps you going?

“Since I was little, there’s always been a fire, a drive inside in me, and if I really go back and think about it, […] the way that my mom and dad brought me up was super optimistic. […] I took all this advice from my parents […] if I wanted money I had to do 10 sets of push-ups, ever since I learned how to walk. They had a way of bringing me up that always made me want to work harder and be the best I can be.“

What’s your secret? How do you manage to do so many different things?

“My schedule is insane, and I’ve had to learn how to manage things. The word impossible means I’m Possible. That’s what it spells. Anything is possible, you just have to work, manage it.”

MWTB Competition also features a fierce line-up of adjudicators. You can find a complete listing, including bios HERE.

Personally, I’m super excited and honored to be participating in this event.

It’s been a long time since I’ve ventured into the competitive dance world, but I’m looking forward to performing as a professional, testing out my training and presenting my acts for such reputable judges.

If you are in the Cornwall area and you want to check it out the competition runs from March 20th-22nd, and I will be competing on March 22nd. Feel free to message me for more details.

 

Splits in the park in YYC

Splits in the park in YYC

 

 

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On the road…

Alberta Skies

From the Quest touring van… somewhere in Alberta

 

“We cannot cease desiring, and this is our glory, and our doom. Desire! It carries us and crucifies us, delivers us every new day to a battlefield where, on the eve, the battle was lost; but in sunlight does it not look like a territory ripe for conquest, a place where- even though tomorrow we will die- we can build empires doomed to fade to dust, as if the knowledge we have of their imminent fall had absolutely no effect on our eagerness to build them now?”

Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog

 

Desire. It’s what keeps us moving forward. Every new day presents us with promise, and even though the end things might not be what we planned, we may not have built the empire we had imagined, our desire keeps us coming back for more. The question is how strong is your desire?

Being on the road is tough, there’s no question. Nine show weeks, hotel beds and long days in a truck are grueling. How do you get the foods you need to eat to fuel you properly? How do you find the energy to workout on a two-show day?

This tour has tested my endurance, my strength and my patience, but one thing that has not faltered is my desire. My desire is what keeps me coming back to the battlefield for more day after day.

When I first started rehearsing for this show the early mornings and the long physical rehearsals wore me out. I got very fatigued, and I my eating and physical well being started to spiral downward. How was I supposed to maintain my strength if I couldn’t train everyday? Was I going to loose all my hard work?

With some key changes I was able to shift my focus, and now I believe that I am headed in a better direction, with clearer focus, and a stronger foundation.

Things I have learned on the road…

  • Food is your friend not your enemy. That being said, having the right kind of food with you can make a big difference in terms of setting you up for success. My life savers have been: Instant Gluten Free Oatmeal packages, Vega One Protein powder and prepping lots of grilled chicken and boiled sweet potato for the road (you can eat it cold and it lasts 3-4 days in the fridge, which most hotels come equipped with).
  • Sometime you just have to slug through the workout. It hard, trust me I know. There are days I get back to the hotel and the last thing I want to do is get on a treadmill. It takes me about 4 minutes of struggling, and then I give in and I always leave feeling better.
  • SLEEP. I cannot stress this enough. I remember a day that I was making really poor eating choices, I was emotional and I felt very discouraged. It was the second day in a row I had only slept 6 hours. That day I went to bed and slept for 10 hours. Low and behold, the next day I felt great! Suddenly my cravings for processed food and sugar disappeared. Some people say that they can live off of 6 hours of sleep a night but science would strongly suggest otherwise.
  • Cut yourself some slack. There have been days where I just can’t get in the perfectly balanced meal 4 times a day. Days where I have given in to the feeling of being tired and overwhelmed, and I didn’t go to train that night. But little by little I’m adjusting, and I’m making progress. The truth is I find that I am the most successful when I’m not locked into the mentally of Good Vs Bad, or Success Vs. Fail. Take things one day at a time and listen to your body. I find that when I’ve taken the pressure off myself to be perfect, not only do I get everything done, I surpass my expectations and I have a lot more fun!

All that being said the touring life can also be pretty awesome. Last month we were in Philadelphia and I got to make a life long dream come true… I got to run up the 72 steps leading up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, also know as the “Rocky Stairs”.

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Me with Rocky Balboa himself in Philadelphia

 

I also got to meet a ton of new, innovative and exciting companies at the annual International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY) conference.

We are currently performing in Toronto, and I can’t wait to tap into the circus community here on my time off.

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At Spectacle Blue Studios in Okotoks, AB

 

There are lots of new projects on the horizon, including upcoming competitions, workshops and certifications. I can’t wait to share them with you as they progress.

 

Thanks for following.

 

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Seasons Greetings!

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It’s a snowy wonderland in Montreal… When it’s not raining.

Those of you who have been following my progress closely (I know… there are so many of you) might recall when I returned from New Orleans and I had committed to 6 affirmations to complete per week (“A look back on the summer”), in order to help me stay focused on my goals until the end of December.

With the help of these affirmations I have accomplished some big steps towards my circus goals.

Here’s what the last couple of months have looked like…

As promised I completed a new acro-dance number. It’s still a work-in-progress, but I’m proud of what I’ve put together so far.

Check it out:

Acro Dance_November Work-in-progress from Leda Davies on Vimeo.

I also submitted my audition tape to Cirque du Soleil! This is a big deal for me. Naturally, CDS has some pretty high standards and specific strength requirements and I’ve been working hard to meet those expectations.

Last week, as a way to unite and celebrate my recent achievements I performed in an intimate, and impromptu showcase at my training facility. What did I learn? Now’s the time for me to face those fears, trust myself and do what I do best… perform.


 

In the news…

There were a couple blurbs published about my circus journey. I’m flattered that people have found inspiration by my journey, and I humbly share what they had to say.

#1

“1000 women, 1000 stories” (www.onethousandwomen.ca.) is a campaign started by a company in Calgary called Urban Curvz Theatre to empower women, and female artists.

My stepmother, Christine Clements, was compelled by this initiative and chose to write a story about me.

You can read it here: http://www.onethousandwomen.ca/leda-davies/

By donating to the campaign and sharing my story Christine was able to support other female artists and empower Urban Curvz Theatre to continue sharing women’s stories.

If you feel inspired by a personal friend who has played an important role in your life, a relative who has inspired you with her courage or a hero from the past who paved the way for future generations of women you too can participate!

www.onethousandwomen.ca.

 #2

The University of Calgary Alumni Magazine also caught up with me last month, and shared some of my progress in their recent edition. Check out the online version here:

http://www.umag.ca/issue/fall-2014/article/update-news


 

What’s up next?

As of January I will be back in Calgary rehearsing for a new show with Quest Theatre called Snow Angel. The show uses large masks, movement and an original soundscape to tell the story of a little girl (Me) who uses random acts of kindness to repair the relationship between her neighbor and her older brother.

Snow Angel Promo Photo- Quest Theatre

If you are in Calgary you can check out a free performance at City Hall @ noon on January 28th.  For more information visit: http://questtheatre.org/our-programs/community-outreach/

But I won’t be staying-put in Calgary… Snow Angel kicks off its performances in Philadelphia before touring throughout Canada until mid-March.

Following the Snow Angel tour I will be heading to Toronto for a week in May to participate in Circus Sessions produced by Femmes du Feu with artistic partners CCAFT.

 

Photo by Anandam Dance Theatre

Photo by Anandam Dance Theatre

Circus Sessions is part of NextSteps 2014/15. For one week myself and 14 other selected artists will work at the Harbourfront Center with internationally renowned mentors exploring Aerial, Acrobatics, Balancing, Object Manipulation and Clown. The goal is to “encourage artists to engage in a creative dialogue that examines their evolving form, cultivates experimentation in performance, as well as networking, advocacy and audience development and engagement strategies.” (http://femmesdufeu.com/wp/circus-sessions)

The sessions will end with a performance on May 16th and 17th.

For more information on Circus Sessions and a great description of Contemporary Circus check out this article written by Zita Nyarady: http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/blog/2014/12/contemporary-circus-can-be-_______/

 


 

Thank you for following my progress. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday, and I look forward to sharing with you all the magic the New Year has to bring.

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Don't eat too many cookies...

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Autumn Happenings: Rakin’ in the fun

Fall is always a busy time of year for me, especially October.

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This month was filled with wonderful moments training and performing, as well as with friends.  It was a month about balancing goals, gigs and socializing.

I had the pleasure of participating in 2 corporate events this month…

Corporate events are a great opportunity to show of our skills outside of the context of the theatre. Each gig involves developing a character and “roaming” through the space as this character and interacting with the audience/ clientele. I did a fair bit of this type of work with The Green Fools in Calgary, usually on stilts; however, the events that I participated in this month were a little different…

The client usually has a theme for the party or event (they could be anything from launching new software, to promoting a new chocolate flavor) and it’s up to the artists to come up with hair, makeup and a costume that will match the theme. For both gigs this month the hair and make up took approximately 2 hours. The costumes were handmade, borrowed or purchased specifically for the event. Then, I created a character with a unique physicality by gleaning from either my dance, acrobatic or contortion vocabulary.

 

With Kathy Maguire

With Kathy Maguire

The first gig (photo above) took place at one of Montréal’s swankiest hotels “Hotel W”. The theme was “lime”, and I was hired as a dancer. I got to dance around the space as a slinky, aquatic creature and interact with people.

 

Move with the Beat- Halloween Haunted Carnival, Ottawa

Move with the Beat- Halloween Haunted Carnival, Ottawa

The second gig (photo above) took place on Halloween night. It was a hug party in Ottawa called “Haunted Carnival”, which included celebrities such as host Scott Disick , and DJ Brody Jenner. The theme was, as the name would suggest, a haunted carnival and all the costumes had to be black and white. For the event I got to do character animation, contortion, and Weggsphere. It was a great opportunity to whip out my evolving contortion vocabulary, and review my skills on Weggsphere. It was super fun roaming around through the space creeping people out with over-splits and back bends.

This month was also my birthday month. I got to spend 3 glorious days celebrating with friends, skyping with family, and hanging out with my husband.   This past year I accomplished a lot of big goals, and so I decided to celebrate with cake and champagne!

 

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Now the celebration has subsided, and I’m hunkering down for the next month in order to crush my goals. In November, I’m looking forward to sharing my new acro-dance routine.

Stay tuned…

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A look back on the summer

Sometimes I look back on the summer and feel as though I have accomplished nothing at all.  After all weren’t the past couple of months just a bunch of “free style” training sessions? What about that week I took off in August when my family came to visit? And to top it all off I recently came back from a 10 day honeymoon, where I paid no attention to workouts, eating or drinking whatsoever.

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Okay, so I didn’t climb Kilimanjaro this summer. But I did a lot of other important things…

 

I finished my new website (which you can view here): www.ledadavies.com

 

I learnt a new apparatus and filmed a music video (viewable here):

And I am closer to my acro, and strength goals than ever.

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Besides getting stronger, learning lots of cool new things, and getting my promotional material up to snuff, the ramping down I did this summer allowed me the time and space to do the following things:

 

  • ReBoot:

May and June were pretty intense months and I accomplished many of the goals I had set out in September of last year. But once July rolled around I was burnt out, and I didn’t know what chapter I wanted to write next. It takes time to slow down. I had to change gears one step at a time, before I could really let myself go and relax. Now I can’t wait to  train. I want to eat well, and it’s not a punishment. I want to accomplish my goals, and I’m not anxious about it.

 

  • The chance to define my direction and passion towards my training.  What is my reason for training?

After I had finished my demo and photoshoot, once I was done my contracts, I hit a bit of a slump. I didn’t know what was coming next; what was I training for? To answer this question I explored new skills, I mixed up my schedule and how I trained. And I did a lot of stuff! In fact, the less I stressed about future projects the more I accomplished. But, I missed performing. I missed creating. And that’s when it hit me. I train to be an athlete, so that I can perform. I want to create amazing things, and share that with an audience.

  • What do I want to accomplish and more importantly what is my motivation to accomplish that goal?

I want to be confident and strong.

I want to be strong so that I can have artistic freedom to create new movement vocabularies (dances) with my body on a variety of aerial apparatuses and on the floor.  I want to awe.  I want to be in control.  I want to learn new skills, and move in new and interesting ways.  I want to be able to do anything a choreographer throws at me.
What is my motivation?

I want to work with a world-class circus company (think Cirque du Soleil, 7 Fingers, and Cirque Eloize to name a few).  I want to have that experience of working with the best, performing and touring around the globe.

Affirmations

To help me accomplished my goals my awesome trainer Sean Guevremont helped me come up with 6 affirmations. The idea is to focus on the behavior and not the outcome. I.E.: What behavior can I adopt to help me attain X outcome? The trick is not to over load yourself, and try to adopt too many new behaviors all at once. Ask yourself: “Is this helping me get closer to my goal?” And only add things to your plate if the answer is “absolutely yes, without a doubt”.

Here’s what we came up with:

  • I will perform 10 pull-ups per day (not necessarily consecutively), 6 days per week, adding 2 pull-ups every 2 weeks.
  • I will climb the silks without legs a total of twice (not necessarily consecutively), 2 times per week. Followed by as many push-ups as I can, and 5 pistols per leg.

**Twice a month I will challenge myself to go all the way up to the top without rest.

  • I will perform 10 min of “core” or “midline” training 5 days a week
  • I will practice my center splits and back bridges 10 minutes each per day, 6 days a week.
  • I will run my aerial act a minimum of 3 times per week.
  • I will eat 4 meals per day. Each meal will include:
    1. A type of protein
    2. A fruit or vegetable
    3. A healthy fat

 

It’s only Day 3. But I’m slowly getting my grove back. I’m super excited for this next year, and all the challenges it has to offer.

 

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Summer Nights

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A new month and the pursuit of new things are on the horizon.  With only a handful of weeks left of summer I’m kicking things into high gear.  My two weeks of “free training” have re-energized me, and now I am more motivated than ever.  Despite having to take a couple days off  to recover from a hectic work schedule, and a mystery flu (that was rather unpleasant) things are off to a pretty good start.

I’m learning a new apparatus called the Weggsphere created by my contortion/ acro coach Meaghan Wegg (check out her website HERE).

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What I love about this apparatus is that it a ground mechanism, meaning that it doesn’t require a rigging point.  Although I still love to be up high

in the air, the Weggsphere gives me more opportunities for corporate events, and venues where I cannot hang my equipment from the ceiling.  Also it spins!  A LOT.  Which is a fun new challenge for me.  I’m looking forward to gleaning more from my dance background as I create my new number.  Since I don’t need to rely on as much strength as I do in the tissu, I have more artistic freedom to play.

I’m also continuing to pursue my acro and gymnastics goals.  I’ve added new acro contortion classes to my program and so far things are going really well… Who knows I may even be performing walkovers by the end of the month…

Here’s a little video of what I’ve been working on.

That’s all for now.  Remember: Anything is possible.  Dream Big.

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