Post Brazil Holiday: The Interviews
At the end of our three weeks of Circus Holidays in Brazil, I managed to catch up with some the participants and get their thoughts on their experiences here. If you’re thinking about joining the trip in future years, these interviews are a must read!
Part 1: Holly and Joanna Interview
What have you thought about the experience?
Holly: It’s just blown my mind how amazing it is. I’ve never been on a fitness holiday before so I didn’t know what to expect, but I go home every night and feel amazing.
It’s just an amazing place, the villa is lovely and everything is situated in such close proximity. The supermarket, the beach the gym, and they’re nice scenic bike rides. Or you can just jump in an Uber to other parts of the island and go and visit stuff.
Joanna: Everything about this experience has made it the ideal place for intense training. I’ve been eating much healthier and it is a relaxing environment. It’s just been the perfect place to get back into training hard.
What was your first impression when you came here?
J: It was so exciting, I didn’t really know what to expect at all, and just drifted into this whole thing after my friend sent me the leaflet I signed up for it and didn’t really know what I was going to do. And then as soon as you picked me up and brought me straight here for fitness and flexibility, it was like, instantly being immersed in the whole thing was so exciting and meeting everyone and seeing the way that they train was really motivating to work really hard for the next 3 weeks.
Did it meet your expectations?
H: Completely superseded them! This has been the best thing I’ve ever done. One of the best holidays I’ve ever been on. And also with lovely people as well.
J: It’s a lot harder than I expected! I thought it would be like ‘oh you can do a bit of silks or a bit of flying trapeze if you want…’ But it’s ended up being much more what I wanted really which is actual intense training. It’s nice that you can make it what you want and if you want a day off it’s not like someone’s going to be there shouting at you because you missed a day.
Amy: Yeh, no-one’s forcing you.
H: And we have done that, individually we’ve all had our quieter days.
Do you think your experience here has changed your outlook to circus training or given you new ideas?
H: It’s made me think about other aspects of my body like the fitness part of it and my body positioning like the hollow, and all the stuff around where I should have my hands in a handstand etc. So when I have gone on the aerial equipment, it’s helped my positioning, even when I’m doing beats on the trapeze, it’s helped me think about my shoulders, my chest, putting my bum in and all that sort of stuff. So yeh, it’s made me think about everything differently and I can’t wait to get home and continue thinking that way.
J: It’s definitely changed my approach to training and what I think is beneficial training. I never really thought of fitness as such a key thing. I’ve been amazed at how much better and stronger I feel in just 3 weeks, the progress is ridiculous how much fitter and stronger I feel and that’s made everything else easier, it’s made acro easier, trampolining easier, flying trapeze easier. So I think I’m really going to focus on fitness as a huge aspect of my training from this.
It’s also made me realise I want to focus on my own training more and now I feel like I want to push myself as much as I can as a performer. Because of the way that Nikki and Pedro work and the way that I feel I’ve improved in the three weeks here has made really want to start training hard as soon as possible! I really just love their approach and fine both of them so inspiring and great to work with. I would come back just to work with them.
Has it built your confidence?
H: Yeh! I feel like they give you a can-do attitude. Because they’re so encouraging. Nikki and Pedro are just amazing, they really encourage you so much but let you push yourself.
A: They know exactly how much to push you.
H: Exactly, and that’s quite a key skill they’ve got. Because you don’t even realise you’re doing it until afterwards!
J: Yeh, they’re so uplifting.
H: And not in a patronising way, they seem genuinely proud when you’ve pulled off a move they’re teaching you. It’s absolutely improved my confidence. Because the staff here are so knowledgeable, you completely trust them. They are the experts and you see that and trust whatever they’re telling you you can do. And that in itself improves your confidence.
Is it going to be a shock to the system going home again then?
H: At home where I do the aerial stuff and gymnastics they don’t offer a circo fitness class, so I’d have to go to a separate personal trainer or a different gym to work on fitness. What I love about here is that it’s all in the same place, they’ve got so many skilled people in one really great setup with all the different equipment and you know where you are. And the instructors just tell you so much about your body positioning, you know they’re looking out for you. That’s what I’ll miss, the structure of it and knowing there’s a good solid place to go all the time.
Is there anything you would change about this holiday?
J: Not at all.
J: All of us I think would say it’s better than we expected.
And are you thinking about coming back?
H: Yes, definitely.
Part 2: Stephen Interview
So have you enjoyed yourself here at Circocan?
S: I have, yes, I’ve had an absolutely amazing time and I don’t want to go home!
Was it what you expected?
S: It was more varied than I expected it to be. In my head I though it was going to be fitness, flex and flying and not so much ground based, aerials or trampoline, so yeh it was really good, and it was really good as well that we had some time to do extra classes as well. We’ve also been exploring, we’ve been to nice beaches, we’ve been to lunch and used the opportunity to do private lessons, so we’ve really done as much as we could have done and been able to see a lot of different parts of the island.
What do you think are the main things you’ve learned and taken away from the experience?
S: That language isn’t really a barrier. In classes, even if you don’t understand what the instructor is saying in Portuguese you can follow everyone else and they’ll come over and correct you. And also how dedicated everyone is. They’re very focussed here, which is something I want to bring to my classes back home. We’re a bit more relaxed in our classes and I want to make it a bit more like this, a bit stricter and a bit more focussed.
A: And what do you think are the benefits of that way of working?
S: Well I have definitely found that I’m a lot stronger now, I’m able to hold things longer as well, and I was just saying to Holly today that I went up into a handstand (or tried to!) and I haven’t done one since my first day here and the amount of momentum I had was so much more than I thought I was giving. So I’ve obviously improved a lot without even realising.
A: So you’ve improved a lot quite quickly then?
Are there any other things that you’re going to take back to your own practice and your school?
S: The discipline again, and I’ve taken quite a lot of videos and notes and I’m going to use their way of thinking to develop my own fitness and flexibility classes, because I do like the way that they focus a lot of their conditioning and flexibility here.
Would you recommend the experience to other people?
S: Oh definitely! I’m probably going to be forcing people on to next year’s trip!
So what would you say to someone who was thinking about coming on this trip?
S: I would say that it’s very welcoming, you don’t need to be an expert aerialist or an expert gymnast to come and do it, you just work to your own level and you notice your own improvements. And it’s a beautiful place to come to, the only thing that is bad about it is the mosquitos!
A: Yes, I can definitely agree with that!
Any other thoughts to add?
S: Personally I would just like it to be longer. Three weeks is a good amount of time but I’m greedy so I would have loved to have stayed her a bit longer.
A: I think everyone does!–
Fancy joining the Brazil Circus Holiday in 2018? Get in touch with our office team at firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest!