Gympie aerialists among 300 to perform at circus festival
SEVEN Gympie aerialists will be among 300 of Australia's best circus performers that have descended on Brisbane for 10 days of shows, competitions, displays and workshops under four big tops this week.
Rebecca Holliday, Chelsea Connelly, Jasmine Falloon, Hayley James, Mia Kennedy, Layni Kennedy and Hannah McLaren have the chance to show off their skills in front of high-calibre judges from around the world.
McLaren is relatively new to the sport and it was through a chance meeting with Aerial Dreaming - Event Entertainment and Aerial School owner and Tamara Allcorn that she decided to try aerials.
"I have been an aerialist for just over two years. I saw Tamara at a bridal expo, I am a photographer, I had a stall and I watched her and I said to her 'if you ever teach I want to do it' and started learning straight away," she said.
"It has been insane, in two years we have gone from nothing to Australian Circus Festival it has been incredible. My biggest improvement has been my strength, change in body and mindsets and the positive change in your mind has changed every aspect of my life."
McLaren said she still remembers the day she found out they were going to perform at the festival.
"Shock and disbelief for days that we made it in but it was a hard process. It was a year-long process with the audition.
"Getting the routines for the auditions, videos and sending that off and then finding out you are in with other things that had to be done. So it has been a huge process but I never thought I would get in."
Similar to many Falloon dreamt of running away and joining the circus and she was inspired by watching aerialists on television.
"It is still my dream but I guess this is one step towards that dream," she said.
She is excited to compete with mixed emotions and plenty of training.
"We have done a lot of strength to get used to lifting each other," she said.
"We are all really supportive of each other and excited. I want to see how well I can go and if I get something from it, it will be the cherry on the top."