Teacher Feature: Nathan Brumbaugh
Our new staff spotlights continue with an interview with modern dancer Nathan “Nay Nay” Brumbaugh, who will be teaching a variety of ground-based Series and Drop-in classes with us starting this week. Nay Nay will also be directing our upcoming world premier aerial dance production Swings Asunder!
Sky Candy: How long have you been involved in the circus arts/your chosen discipline? How did you get started?
Nay Nay: I have been studying movement all my life. Ballet, modern, contact/improv, martial arts, gymnastics, and started working professionally as a dancer 18 years ago. 14 years ago I started working with Capacitor Dance Theater, out in SanFrancisco, CA. That was the first time that I started performing with aerials. At the same time I started creating, dancing, and clowning with the original casts of Vau De Vire Society, and Fou Fou Ha.
SC: What has been the hardest thing about being a circus artist? What challenges do you face?
NN: The hardest thing about being a performer has been my social, and family life. There have been many times where I get a gig in another city, or another country and I will be gone for a good amount of time. You work really hard for your craft and lots of times it makes for a lonely road, but it’s who you are so you keep living!
SC: What is your favorite thing about being a circus artist? What is your favorite thing about teaching the circus arts?
NN: My favorite thing is that it lets me be creative and flowing, I dislike being or feeling stagnant. I also get to play with fantasy and my dreams. When I am teaching I love to see those AhHa! moments!
SC: What do you love most about your favorite discipline?
NN: I love seeing people find their voice or their expression with their bodies. When people make that connecting with their being it opens up their world to performing. Performing is about being vulnerable and putting out your authentic self, getting out of your head what’s “right” and “wrong” and doing what is organic and authentic. Authenticity speaks louder than any trick or spectacle that isn’t, and we find that authentic being once we connect with self.