I know you still remember when we were dancing ballet. We thought we would be able to do it forever; we loved it so much. But, years ago, we fell and you were hurt and we had a really hard choice to make. They used words like “multiple stress fractures” and even scarier, “necrosis.” Cells in your bones were dying, but we were so driven, so hard-headed, that in the end, we soldiered on through two weekends of shows with you wrapped in duct tape and an ankle brace under my pointe shoes. I know… not my smartest moment. I’m so sorry for that.

After that, we hobbled around for a long time recovering. We still got to dance a bit, but you and I both knew it would never be quite the same.

And then we stumbled across the circus. Suddenly, nothing felt so out of reach anymore. We started off slow and kind of scared, but it quickly became apparent that if any place was the place to try to find something we loved as much as we loved ballet, this was going to be it.

In October of 2012, I put a very important word onto you in ink that would never wash off: Relentless.

"Relentless" photo (and foot) by Catherine Chambers

In January of 2013, we took our first aerial silks class.

Aerial silks are scary, especially to a ballerina. I spent fifteen years building up my lower body only to be told I had to pull myself up by my arms. I would go to class, come home, sleep for two hours, wake up to eat something, and go back to sleep. It was the most difficult thing I have ever had to do, to know there was something I wanted so badly to be good at but wasn’t yet. I was measuring time in Epsom salt soaks, sometimes limping a bit, and would wake up covered in bruises, but I wanted it so badly. We soldiered on.

On September 2nd, 2013, we debuted our first aerial silks routine as a full-fledged circus performer to a room full of wonderful friends at the Open Stage. We proved that we can do this because we wanted it badly enough. I hope that because we did that, other people know that they can do anything too. And we don’t care if that’s cheesy.

Gravity ain’t got nothing on us.

Love from your human host,
Catherine

P.S. Just to make sure it doesn’t feel left out, I would also like to thank my right foot for doing such a great job during my performance.


PRESS RELEASE: Dancing on silk: Circus Freaks introduce new aerialist

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Circus Freaks, Community News, The Open Stage 1 comment

One comment on “To My Left Foot

  1. Catherine,

    That is powerful stuff. Thank you for sharing it. I feel honored to have been at that first ariel performance at open stage. It was riveting.

    - <(")

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