Michaela Heyer is a coach on the Circus Course – ‘3 Month Introduction Course in Contemporary Circus Arts’. Michaela started her acrobatic career in the form of equestrian vaulting (acrobatics on horseback) at the age of 13. She worked as a trainer and also vaulted herself on a competitive level until the age of 20 when she moved to Ireland. She started working as a circus performer in 2007 and her main skills are aerial silks, Chinese pole, doubles trapeze and partner acrobatics.
Hi Michaela! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I moved to Cork in 2000 to study Computer Science in UCC. It wasn’t until I finished my PhD in 2007 that I discovered Circus and made it my full time job. I used to do acrobatics on horses so really I guess it wasn’t that strange that I fell in love with circus straight away. Most of my time is spent either training, performing, rigging or driving/travelling to gigs. Sometimes it feels like I actually spent more time driving to the gig than actually performing/rigging! In my free time I like to read or escape to the sea. I really enjoy cooking and baking and often bake my own bread and vegan treats when I’m not on the road.
Can you tell us about your journey into Circus?
One of my ex boyfriends was part of the original ‘Cork Circus’ and introduced me to unicycling. We used to have regular open training sessions and that’s where I met the ‘Amani Acrobats’ and found my passion for acrobatics (actually I re-found it as I had been doing acrobatics on horses when I was younger). I started performing with them and soon after Ali and myself formed ‘Hakuna Matata’. Around the same time I discovered aerial acrobatics and my love for silks and started training and performing that too. A few years later I did a Chinese pole workshop and found yet another passion. I’m one of the founding members of what is now ‘Circus Factory Cork’ and it’s great to see how contemporary and grown and developed in Cork and Ireland since I started.
What can students expect from you as their coach?
“It’s quite important to me that my students realise that they are all different.”Michaela Heyer
I take safety very seriously and can be quite strict and tough with my students in that regard. However I’m a gentle soul really 😉 It’s quite important to me that my students realise that they are all different. We all have different bodies. Some are naturally stronger, some are naturally more flexible etc. so I won’t expect the same from everyone and don’t want my students to compare themselves to anybody else. I want people to work within their own limits and their own bodies. However I will expect everybody to work/train hard while making sure you’re still having fun. Sounds like a paradox? Welcome to Circus 🙂 I consider myself very open and approachable and would hope that students will feel comfortable chatting to me about any problems they might have. In return I expect everybody to have a positive attitude, to believe in themselves and to try everything at least once!
What’s your favourite memory of performing with Circus?
There’s so many, I’m not sure I can pick a favourite. I very fondly remember the collaborative shows we used to do with Cork Circus in the Lough Community Centre and also in the Spiegeltent. Also touring our aerial street show with Sorcaluba brings back great memories. I also had fun times performing my street show ‘Funky Fi’ abroad in Portugal, Australia, France etc.
What are you most excited about with the 3 Month Introduction Course in Contemporary Circus Arts?
Sharing my love for aerial and acrobatics with the students and being part of their journey into circus.
If you were a Super Hero, what would your superpower be?
Being able to ‘beam’ myself from one place to another, it would cut out all the driving I’m doing!!
We love Michaela’s coaching style. We complete agree that everybody is different and are naturally better at some things. Are you ready to work hard and have a lot of fun doing it? For more information about this course, join the free Zoom information session and download Circus Course brochure!