“It’s a really good bonding experience because you’re literally supporting the other person,” Shockley said.
The student showcase provided members of the studio of all skill levels an opportunity to show off their new skills. One student who participated in the showcase, Isabella Buchanan, has only been taking classes at Cirque de Vol for a month. She performed a silks routine, which included flips, splits, climbing and more — all while suspended in the air.
“It’s a lot of upper and lower body work," Buchanan said. "It’s really fun, and I enjoyed it a lot.”
Slabaugh said participants had roughly two months to practice for the showcase. Students practiced their routines both during regularly scheduled classes they had paid for and free open-gyms.
Though given guidance and support from their instructors, students participating essentially planned their own routines, right down to their costumes, makeup and background music.
“It really helps and encourages people when the general public, even if they’re not necessarily like, ‘Oh I want to do that,' just to have them come and show support is really awesome,” Slabaugh said.
Shockley, a regular at the open gyms, had nothing but good things to say about the studio. She offered words of encouragement to those interested in trying something out at Cirque de Vol.
“It’s a really fantastic, encouraging community," she said. “I would just want people to know that it does look hard, and it’s not easy, but everyone can do at least something.”
Slabaugh reinforced the point that Cirque de Vol strives to bring circus arts to those who would not be exposed to them otherwise.
“I think the main takeaway is just to see how creative your next-door neighbor is when you come to a showcase,” she said.