Last week I had the pleasure of going to the cinema to see the latest blockbuster ‘The Greatest Showman?’ I found it thoroughly entertaining and the story had a familiar ring to it…
It took me back to the very early days when I started Flair nearly 20 years ago. I remember painstakingly printing out my own first flyers and when during the film I saw Barnum and his family handing out their first flyers only to find them dropped in the mud it touched my heart. Although the film is not entirely true to the real life story of Barnum a lot of the plot was pretty accurate. It is somewhat true to say that Barnum was nearly broke when he opened his first museum which he reinvented and renamed Barnum’s American Museum and was full of oddities and unusual performances. I started Flair from humble beginnings – I hired a school hall and had a few mats and vaults. My mum was even one of the first gymnastics coaches!
CIRCUS THEMED TUMBLE CAMP
Barnum was a creative visionary and a master of reinvention. It’s amazing to think that he didn’t have his first circus until he was 60 years old! When his museum burned down to the ground Barnum was forced to reinvent himself again as a showman. He partnered with circus owners and created what was later to be known as ‘Barnum and Bailey Brothers Greatest Show on Earth.’ Barnum and Bailey’s Circus ran for 146 years! Pretty impressive!
At Tumble Camp every camp day has a different theme. One of the children’s favourite themes is the ‘Circus.’
Don’t forget to secure your place at Half Term Tumble Camp during the school holidays.
Half Term Tumble Camp is taking place at Club Spectrum in Guildford on the 14th, 15th and 16th February from 9am – 1pm and a Trampolining Masterclass is also being held at Club Spectrum on Thursday 15th February from 2pm – 3.30pm.
BOOK HERE >> www.GymnasticsCamp.co.uk
The connections keep on coming as I actually trained at a circus school called ‘Circus Space’ for 2 years which has now gained the status of being renamed as ‘The National Centre for Circus Arts’ in London. It is highly competitive to get a place there and it is an accredited school which teaches you all the circus skills including trapeze, tight rope walking, juggling, clowning, unicycling, stilt walking as well as dance and drama. I studied there from the age of 17 and although I learnt a lot and became an expert in the flying trapeze I don’t think I ever felt like running away and joining the circus permanently! It was a stepping stone, helping to get me from being a gymnast and child actor to an accomplished stunt man.
Before I won my place at ‘Circus Space’ I was already a multi-skilled gymnast having been training for 20-25 hours a week during my school years and competing nationally from the age of 8 to 18 years. My gymnastics ability got me through the audition process and nailed me a place on the coveted course.
During my time at ‘Circus Space’ I had the opportunity to audition for theatrical productions. I was cast in ‘Barnum’ (The Circus Musical) starring Peter Duncan as the lead character ‘P.T.Barnum’ (You may remember him from ‘Blue Peter’ and he took part in the BBC 1 gymnastics reality show ‘Tumble’ in which he did very well) and I appeared in many pantomimes up and down the country as part of a group of acrobats called ‘The Acromaniacs.’ We had a great act which centred around vaulting, somersaults, tumbling, balancing and slapstick. I have very fond memories of spending Christmases in the theatre with a close knit cast.
RICHARD IN THE ACROMANIACS
It was at this time that I also got into high diving and used to practise at Crystal Palace. I then got cast in a James Bond stunt show at a theme park in Belgium called ‘Wallaby.’ This was my very first stunt job whilst I was still at ‘Circus Space.’ It had a James Bond theme and I had to high dive into the water from the cliff tops. As it was a theme park we had to do 5 performances a day. Hard work! Just as well we were all young and had the stamina! I was now 19 years old and at a physical peak.
At your gymnastics clubs in Surrey we have holiday camps during every school holiday and each camp day has a different theme. This makes things a lot of FUN for your child and one of the children’s favourite themes that we use is ‘Circus.’ The children love trying out new balances and acrobatic skills!
LEARNING CIRCUS TRICKS
Half Term Tumble Camp is taking place at Club Spectrum in Guildford on the 14th, 15th and 16th February from 9am – 1pm and the Trampolining Masterclass is also being held at Club Spectrum on Thursday 15th February from 2pm – 3.30pm.
If you’d like to build your child’s confidence through gymnastics and make sure your child stays active through the school holidays
BOOK HERE > www.GymnasticsCamp.co.uk
We can’t wait to meet you!
Flair Founder & CEO
P.S. BOOK ONLINE HERE > www.GymnasticsCamp.co.uk