Guestblog: working and training in a youth circus in Sweden

Guestblog: working and training in a youth circus in Sweden

In March, we had the brilliant Alma visit us from the Swedish Norrköpings Ungdomscirkus to undertake two weeks of work experience at Mimbre, as part of her studies. We asked her to tell us a little about herself and what it’s like to train in a Swedish Youth Circus. Read on to find out and to see some pictures of Alma in action!

Mimbre: Hello, can you tell us a little about yourself and when you started training?
Alma: My name is Alma Hjelmqvist, I am 18 years old. I have trained at a youth circus in Sweden since autumn of 2010 and I mostly do aerial hoop, group acrobatics and contortion.

M: Can you tell us more about your school?
A: The youth circus I go to is called Norrköpings youth circus in Norrköping located in the south of Sweden. We do a lot of different things and more and more are at a very high level. This circus has been around since 1979. When it started there were only a few teenagers who wanted to train acrobatics together and today we are around 150 youths between 6 and 20 years of age.

M: How often do you train?
A: We have training from about 4pm – 8pm or 9pm Monday – Thursday and on Sundays 9am – 9pm. I train at least 3 days a week and during these days I have at least 4 different training sessions.
A typical week for me usually consists of: Sunday total 3,5 h of being a trainer and then 1 h 45 min group acrobatics, Tuesday – 1 h 45 min contortion and 1 h 15 min aerial hoop, Wednesday – total 2,5 h trainer and then 1,5 h group acrobatics and sometimes Friday free training.

M: What inspires you?
A: When I was younger I had someone that I secretly admired at the youth circus who I wanted to be like when I was older which might be the reason I’ve ended up doing the disciplines that I’m doing today. Now my inspiration is to see what others do on instagram and to be able to do what they do.

M: What sort of shows do you do? And what is the most exciting part of your training?
A: The most exciting part is getting to show what you learn during shows.
Each year we have a big performance in our very own circus tent. Last year we set a new record and had 471 people in the audience. In this performance all the artists perform in at least 1 number and at most 3 numbers. This show is around 2 hours with a 20 minute pause halfway through.
We also do different smaller performances where we either perform our own numbers or use/modify a past performance.

Banner image credit Fredrik Schlyter

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