Kristin joined Host of Sparrows in 2011. She is a company rigger, and performs as the company clown, Sammy the Sad Sparrow, solo and duo aerial silks, aerial lyra, solo and duo static trapeze, aerial rope, and as a living statue. She has teaching experience working with children, youth, high school, college, and adults, including special needs.
What circus arts mean to me.
I was never what one would call a “graceful” child…
I struggled with gymnastics (ended up on a backboard in the hospital with a sprained spine), struggled with dance (quit that after less than a year), struggled with the basics, like walking. Although I was somewhat athletic as a kid–I played and still play volleyball–I wasn’t terribly coordinated or strong. I tended to be low-risk; I didn’t like to run, didn’t like to play on the monkey bars, didn’t like do anything that might land me on the pavement or in the gravel. I was afraid of heights, to the point where I would actively avoid railings and large windows in high buildings.
Yet, somehow, at the age of 28, I ended up letting myself get talked into taking one class in flying trapeze and got hooked. It became a kind of mantra: “If I can do trapeze, I can do anything.” If I can willingly jump off a 25-foot platform and trust nothing by my arms to hold me onto a bar, I can do this (whatever this happened to be). And as I learned, I got stronger. And as I got stronger, I wanted to do more.
Add in static trapeze, lyra, silks, rope, Spanish Web, trampoline, acrobatics. I’m not good at all of them, and I still struggle sometimes, but I know that as I work, I will get stronger. And as I get stronger, I will do more.
And then I found Host of Sparrows, and I learned that the most important part of circus is that it isn’t about “I” at all. It’s about “We.” Circus, whether it’s your company or your class or the global tribe of people who all do crazy things for fun, is all about “we.” We rely on each other. We lean on each other. We trust each other. We learn from each other. We laugh with each other and cry with each other and celebrate with each other. Because whoever you are, wherever you come from, whatever you look like, if you do circus, you are a part of the circus family. Circus is “we.”
We can do this. We can get stronger. We can do more.