I joined Circus WOW in 2000 to become part of an enthusiastic and wide-eyed group of women inspired by Penny Lowther’s vision of a Wollongong women’s circus. We had no idea what we were doing, or where this journey would take us, but we were keen to come along for the ride regardless! A group of women of all ages, sizes and interests; some were passionate about clowning and performance, others were keen to try acrobatics and aerials. All were willing to try anything, and support the women around us as they delved into this exciting new world.
For me, the early years of Circus WOW were filled with joyous challenges; overcoming crippling self-doubt to convince myself to perform on stage, meeting and befriending some of the most amazing women I’ve ever had the privilege to know (and falling in love with a couple of them), and eventually, coming to the realisation that the circus was my true home. I loved the people I met through the circus, and the way that creating a show could bring everyone together to work towards a common goal. I loved how my body felt, as it got stronger and more flexible, and the increased awareness and connection I felt with my body. The feeling of being upside down, spinning and climbing and taking risks was so exhilarating. I even loved and relished the feeling of gritty exhaustion; coming home late at night from training, sticky from sweat and rosin with dirty feet from the warehouse floor which we could never get clean.
There were so many amazing adventures that I shared with the WOW women; trips to the Tasmanian Circus Festival, the joyous insanity of producing a full length circus show, What’s Her Story?, in our second year as a circus, and the emotional roller coaster of clowning workshops and creating performances together. I’m so grateful to this amazing company, and the women who make Circus WOW what it is. I’m looking forward to another twenty-one years of creating art, forming new friendships and watching circus transform the lives of extraordinary women.