Thanks for joining us for the May edition of our Aerialist of the Month feature, where we feature inspiring students and professionals in Edmonton’s circus community. This month we are featuring Firefly instructor Kelly Proudfoot, who has been teaching with Firefly for 4 years and is an all-around amazing person and aerialist that we are lucky enough to have at Firefly!
Before finding circus, Kelly had previous gymnastics experience and was an avid cheerleader and had coached cheer for 8 years. This background, along with her apparent passion for circus, certainly helped her development into the creative aerialist and stellar coach she is today. As such, ever since she began coaching her students have been big fans of her teaching style! I reached out to a long-time student of Kelly’s, Elaine Ching, to ask for her thoughts on Kelly as an Instructor:
“Kelly is an amazing aerialist whose support and encouragement has always pushed me to achieve things that I had written off as impossible. Her lighthearted, can-do attitude and love of 90’s music makes every session a joy to be in. Someday I too will have the confidence to hang from my feet and belt out Backstreet’s Back. Her infectious passion for all things circus is evident in the smiles of accomplishment in her classes. Kelly’s growth as an instructor has continually been passed down to her students driving each of us to reach to new and exciting heights!”
Haha, nice pun Elaine! Obviously, Kelly is doing something very right when it comes to her coaching. Keep up the good work, Kelly! We were able to ask Kelly a few questions about her circus journey and her advice for students.
How did you get involved in circus?
I have been involved with competitive cheerleading for most of my secondary and post secondary life. Once I moved into being a full fledged adult I realized that cheerleading no longer gave me the same thrill it once did. One of my former team mates had mentioned that she had been taking aerial silks at Firefly and I knew this was the sport for me. Aerials met my desire to continue with a physically demanding activity that involved acrobatics, cardo and of course performing.
How do you balance your career, school, and circus?
I use google calendar a lot! Being a full time Teacher Consultant is a very busy job, on top of doing my Masters in Educational Leadership. For me, circus is the thing that keeps me sane. No matter how busy I am, I purposely make sure to schedule time for circus training. Circus is my stress relief, it is the place where I can work my cares away, where I can socialize, and where I can let my creative juices flow.
Tell us about your recent trip to Vermont!
I recently came back from a workshop weekend at NECCA (New England Centre for Circus Arts, where I had an opportunity to perform a hoop routine that has been an ongoing work in progress. I had the opportunity to work and learn from a variety of performers across the United States and even Canada. It was a great experience that just continued to confirm my love for circus. I am excited to come back and share what I have learned.
Let There Be Height is coming up in about a month! Any advice for students participating in Let There Be Height for the first time this year?
Don’t stress and have fun! This is an opportunity for you shine and show off the skills you have been working on in class. If you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask to your instructor.
Thanks so much for answering our questions, Kelly! That was some great insight and an inspiring look into your circus life. Keep up the great coaching and the killer training, and we’ll see you in Trapeze and Hoop class!