Carleen Betteridge

Carleen Betteridge

How did you get into flying trapeze?
I owe my introduction to flying trapeze to an amazing friend who encouraged me to try it out while I was travelling in South Africa. Despite feeling all the usual fears that most people experience, I fell in love with trapeze immediately and knew I was hooked! I loved the freedom, the adrenaline rush and excitement of all of it. I was desperate to continue my new found hobby back in the UK, and fortunately I found out about Gorilla Circus, which was launched about a year later. I think when Ezra and Debs realised they couldn’t get rid of me, they thought they’d put me to good use as staff! I’ve had the opportunity to work on some incredible projects with Gorilla Circus such as filming an advert for Jimmy Choo and more recently, performing at the Formula 1 in Bahrain!

What tricks do you throw in a show? Which is your favourite?
At the moment, I throw splits and legs across to catch and a layout as my dismount trick. I’m enjoying working towards adding more difficult tricks into my repertoire and would love to get my hocks salto up to show standard over the course of this year – it’s such a beautiful trick and the one I want the most! I’m also hoping to use my legs catch practice as part of a passing leap soon too.

What do you like best about teaching flying trapeze?
I like helping people achieve things they never thought they were capable of. I love coaching those who really work hard and persevere to get a trick that they are finding challenging; finding that one thing to say that makes a skill click in someone’s head and it suddenly all makes sense for them is really rewarding. I also coach trampoline and gymnastics so teaching flying trapeze adds more variety into my work which is fun. Overall, I just think I’m fortunate to be able to work in a beautiful park, and when we’re lucky, in the sunshine and that I can make a living doing something I love as part of an amazing team!

What advice would you give to someone who’s on the fence about trying flying trapeze?
Jump! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  You’ll probably leave with a huge smile on your face and won’t be able to stop talking about it for weeks afterwards. If you get the trapeze bug and become a regular, you’ll meet some incredible, fun and supportive people who will more than likely become some of your closest friends and you’ll improve your fitness and strength without realising it! And in the unlikely event that you decide it isn’t for you, you can still cross flying trapeze off your bucket list and have a story to tell! 

What feedback do you give the most often to students?
Open your eyes!! Get out of your head and into your body. Commit to the trick 100% – it’s much more likely to work if you actually believe it’s going to.

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