Teacher Feature: Cory Allen
Sky Candy: How long have you been involved in the circus arts/your chosen discipline? How did you get started?
Cory: I have been doing circus since late 2008. I have had trained in just about everything, but my main focus has been on hand balancing, contortion and lyra. I got my start after seeing a flyer at my work (Starbucks) on the cork board and thought I would give it a try. After my first class I fell in love and knew this is what I had to do the rest of my life. So I hired a coach and the rest is history.
SC: What has been the hardest thing about being a circus artist? What challenges do you face?
C: The hardest thing for me has been trying to establishing myself as an artist. A lot goes into doing what we do and it requires 100% self-motivation. Sometimes it’s hard being your own light at the end of the long tunnel. Every day is a new challenge. Whether it be trying to learn a new skill, working on an old one or trying to work around an injury. Yet without the challenges we face as artists there would be no motivation to get better, so each challenge I come across I use to fuel my passion.
SC: What is your favorite thing about being a circus artist? What is your favorite thing about teaching the circus arts?
C: My favorite thing about being a circus artist is 100% without question, being able to perform. I love when you finish your act you worked so hard to make perfect and getting that applause. I have never been able to come across a more gratifying feeling after a job well done. Second to performing is being able to pass along my knowledge to other aspiring performers. I love seeing a student grow and knowing I had a hand in helping them progress makes me feel very proud to have been able to make an impact.
SC: What do you love most about your favorite discipline?
C: My favorite discipline would have to be hand balancing/contortion. I have always been attracted to the strength and flexibility involved. Just watching a hand balancer in action is just so amazing to me. One thing I find that hand balancing offers is a great understanding of the body. There are so many different things that you need to focus on. It really makes you think about where your body is at all times. It’s such an overall intense workout and once you finally get that handstand off the wall it feels like the biggest accomplishment ever.