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October 01, 2022 / by Mark / In programmes

The lightest, thinnest winter training base layer: Factor 50

Hands up who remembers the greatest number of layers they’ve worn to circus training in winter? Under Armour, merino wool, polartech…this is the lingo of winter conversation. Oh, and collaborations with other circus companies in warm countries. Swopping your base layer from something fleecy to Factor 50 sometime in the deep midwinter is enough to raise your core temperature until the daffodils trumpet the arrival of spring. Not to mention your happiness quotient.

Aerial Edge has a long-standing affection for international relationships. It’s not really about the welcome warming of muscles, sinews and blood (it is); it’s the fact that there’s so much to learn from the unfamiliar ways of other places and cultures.

I’ve never met a big, curious monkey on a Scottish circus rig (let’s graciously not descend to the obvious punchlines), nor politely ushered a cow away from the crash mats, but it’s happened in India. Come to that, I’ve never enjoyed a caipirinha and barbecue at an outdoor pool as a cool-down routine after training in the UK, but I learned in Brazil that it works very well.

In between cultural experiences, you learn different perspectives from your international involvement. It exposes you to new approaches, ideas and ways of thinking that you can apply back home in different situations for improved outcomes.

It also leads to creative awakenings. When five artists from three different countries come up with a creepy puppet master act with fire, stilt walking, contemporary dance and body popping, you are never sure how that will turn out. But somehow, you’re more open to it when you’re away from the usual restrictions and responsibilities of your day-to-day life (it was one of the best acts in the show!).

You may be training all day every day but you’ve got your holiday head on, so you make breakthroughs as your brain and body are chilled out relaxed instead of being chilled to the bone tense. You’re inspired by top teachers (such as Aisling Ní Cheallaigh and Sarah Dawn as well as yours truly) and the diverse range of fellow students.

Let’s talk about the beach in Goa, where you could be training with us and Bliss Circus for a couple of weeks in January.

Bliss is at one end of the most famous beach on Palolem – it featured in one of the Bourne movies so y’know, when Hollywood deems it to be beautiful enough for the silver screen, that offers a level of reassurance above a travel agency website.

It’s a quieter, yoga sort of area than some of the more general tourist spots. It’s got good internet, or you can buy a 5G SIM no problem if you need to keep up with work (or family).

It’s literally just off the beach, just outside the jungle and the climate in January is lovely – hot and sunny, but not bake-your-ass hot, and not with the horrible humidity that comes later in the year.

The 11-day/10-night intermediate and advanced aerial training camp includes fantastic instructors from all over the world, beautiful accommodation just next to our stunning outdoor training space, support for developing an act, and performance opportunities.

The bars and restaurants have great food: hippy new age vegan vegetarian gluten dairy free. All bases covered. Breakfast, lunch and three group dinners are included with the accommodation plus two excursions, one into the jungle and one out to the sea.

The school founder April Bliss says: “The show at the end of the intensive is a culmination of all the work and the magic we have created together. It’s a really special experience, even if you don’t decide to get on stage, to create with a group of amazingly talented artists from around the world.

“We use the money from the show to throw a big thank you party for everyone who participated in the intensive, including adult beverages, a buffet dinner, and a DJ.”

Listen, the new venue is insulated and much more heatable than anywhere we’ve had before, and we have plans that mean you won’t need to gain 10lb with extra clothing. But we can’t do anything about the weather, and as much as we adore the space, it ain’t a beach.

Don’t be shy. We know that we haven’t been open long so you may feel hesitant about whether you’re up to full strength. If you’re interested, have a chat with me either in the space or on WhatsApp (+44 7360 546 232) and I’ll help you decide if it’s for you.

More about the course instructors here

More info/sign up here