Ellen Curtis: My WOW Story

‘I had my first taster of Circus WOW in 2009 when I went to a Heidi Hillier Hoops class. It didn’t take long for me to be swept up in the physical and fun challenges of aerials and hoops, and it was especially awesome to have some new friends! Not long after, I joined the committee and have been on the committee ever since, with a few years as Chair. I was thrilled, because after finishing uni and starting work, it wasn’t long before my long life of commuting, work, and gym stretched ahead of me and I was thinking “Is this all there is?”.

When I found WOW, it was exciting for me to find a way to be involved in my local community. I also loved WOW as a creative outlet, the awesome trainers, and opportunities to perform with my Mum, and now with my daughter.

I remember being really chuffed when Kate Clarkson first suggested the chair position to me. What a confidence booster! And to have the nomination supported by other Women was uplifting. I no doubt made mistakes while chair, but the committee is nurturing, forgiving, encouraging, and a space that fosters personal growth. There can be times of stress. But we (mostly) navigate these stresses carefully and compassionately.

Joining the WOW committee, and being chair, has also led to professional growth and promotion in my other non-wow job as a social worker. I refer to skills learned in WOW in job applications, a wide range of skills like writing minutes and grants, chairing meetings, networking, diplomacy, MYOB, project management, policy and procedure development, managing a Facebook page and strategic problem solving. WOW features on my CV.

Being on the WOW committee has given me space to develop, practice, trial, learn, reflect, and apply. I’m now a boss person (acting), and can thank WOW for helping me build my confidence and skills for use at work.

My favourite thing about being on the committee is the cool awesome funny women I get to hang out with each month. It can be a serious business managing a circus, making sure the money’s coming in and people are paid, checking in that we’re staying true to our values, getting performances happening, working on new ideas, making sure insurance is covered… and it’s made great by the other women there.’

Ellen Curtis