Siberia to Cirque du Soleil
Interview with Dancing in the Air Founder, Olga Sidorova
When you moved from your home in Ishim, Siberia to Yekaterinburg, how did you fund your classes and school?
In Russia, circus is part of everyday people’s lives and every big city has a permanent circus and circus school, and tuition is free for those who pass the audition. I realized I didn’t have much time as I never did gymnastics and I was already a teenager, so I decided to fully dedicate my body, mind and time to training.I found about 4-6 circus studios in Yekaterinburg and went to all of them. If I learnt everything at one studio I moved to another.
How did you balance your time? Did you have much homework?
I went to regular school every day and all homework for school I had to do in the morning before classes. When I walked to school I passed the children’s playground and so I would do several chin-ups, pull-ups, leg ups and hold myself from heels and neck. When I travelled on public transport I read circus books. I wanted to be 100% in that world. It helped me focus and push my potential further, to stretch the limits of what a human has to do for themselves.
Did you have discouraging thoughts or felt like giving up?
No, it wasn’t even a question to give up. Every day I saw people on stage flying, so if they could do it, why couldn’t I?
What level of skill and fitness did you have to achieve before getting to the trapeze?
I just remember I always would create my own training. I lived on the third floor, so to go there I must go by my hands! It is funny because I had been training with my dog as a partner. I did a handstand on one step then my dog did a handstand on another. If we fell we had to start all over again from the first floor. Sometimes it took us hours to get home, we would just get stuck between floors, and people passed us all the time wondering why would we need to walk home upside down?