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Emma Henshall

Soul of Trapeze

Dancing in the Air Emma Henshall

Interview with Emma Henshall

I grew up in the south east suburbs of Melbourne, in a typical Australian family. My parents tried me in sports, but found that I was more interested in turning cartwheels or picking flowers in the outfield than engaging in the game. My mother would never let me go into gymnastics, for fear of injury, but now she hardly blinks when we talk about trapeze.

I started circus at 16, after years of dance and at 18 touched the trapeze for the first time. My parents, my brother and in particular my grandma were always so supportive of me. Their interest in trapeze is a blessing and I’m so grateful to have them behind me all the way.

Trapeze is representative of many things for me. It is an opportunity to fly, to simultaneously feel freedom but control, because trapeze is a technique as well as an art form. For me the trapeze is my life work. I do not see it as a metal bar and two ropes. It is also a place of creation. I want to show what I have and what I can make. In trapeze the moment of anti gravity is only a breath at either end of its graceful arch. It is such a short time that you must be entirely in the moment or you will miss it and it will be gone forever. I can now recognize this moment not only in trapeze but also in life. I know I have my opportunity to capture my dream and encourage others to do the same. I live in trapeze. I enjoy to train, I always strive to go further and go beyond what I feel I am capable in achieving.

I began training trapeze at NICA under the direction of Olga Sidorova, a truly innovative and legendary trapeze artist. Olga, is the person who instilled in me, the soul of trapeze. In my first year of study I was awarded the May Wirth Memorial Trophy for the most outstanding female student. In my graduating year I met Shana Carrol, a remarkable trapeze artist who encouraged me to train in Montreal under the direction of her ex coach Victor Fomaine. I have a platform to speak from the soul and communicate something unique and meaningful that cannot be heard from anywhere else.

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