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Simon and Samara
Simon started his voyage of circus discovery back in 2002 when he arrived in Sheffield as a fresh-faced student and was immediately entranced by a group of fire performers outside a club. Questioning them (at length!) led to the discovery of The University of Sheffield’s Circus Club, The Flying Teapots, where Simon was introduced to all things manipulation based, immediately developing an interest in combining martial arts theory with poi and staff manipulation.
In 2008 Simon started volunteering with Swamp Circus Trust, attending circus workshops and learning how to teach manipulation and equilibristics skills to adults and children of all ages. In 2009 an opportunity came up to take a voluntary apprenticeship with Swamp, where Simon was introduced to aerial performing for the first time along with learning how to create routines with fire and LED props including poi, contact staff and staff juggling. This was also where Simon discovered acrobalance and hand balancing and made the decision to pursue circus as a career.
Since 2009 Simon has trained at Greentop Community Circus, expanding his acrobalance and manipulation skills to produce shows performed at events all over the world including festivals in Europe, cabarets in the UK and street performing in Australia, Japan and Singapore. He has volunteered at Greentop as the resident stage manager for the monthly cabarets for 3 years, runs weekly skillshare sessions and teaches circus skills all over the UK . In the last year Simon has been training on the trapeze and aerial straps & working on his acrobatics to expand his performing base, now working as an acro and aerial duo with Samara.
Samara started training aerial circus skills and flexibility in January 2010 after practicing and competing in Pole Dance at an Amateur level. Using her acquired upper body strength and love of hanging upside down she took to trapeze easily and shortly after started volunteer work, learning & teaching a variety of circus skills.
In October 2010 she successfully auditioned for Greentop Community Circus ‘Circus in Performance’ (CIP) Course and took up aerial hoop. Leaving behind her PhD work and childcare job, she took up circus training full time on the CIP course in January 2011. This opened up a variety of new circus disciplines for her to both learn and teach, including manipulation, equilibristics, clowning, contemporary dance, aerial and acrobatics.
Samara now performs both as a solo artist and a double act with Simon, specialising in aerial silks, hoop, trapeze and acrobalance. She also teaches classes all over the UK in flexibility, aerial skills and manipulation props. She is currently expanding her performance knowledge with training in acrobatics and contortion, along with developing fire dance routines to captivate future audiences.