Circus performers ready to get back to the studio after training at home

By Megan Baynes, PA
·2-min read

Two circus performers said they are ‘ready’ to get back into the studio, after resorting to practising their skills at home during the national lockdown.

Circus artists Abbie Mason, 24, and Ben Jones, 28, have spent weeks training at their home in Birmingham this year after lockdown restrictions saw the place they regularly attend closed.

The couple adapted to their new regime by moving most of the furniture out of their living room so they could have space to practise. Now they use the space to complete indoor workouts using hoops and blocks, completing pull-ups and spins in their doorways.

Coronavirus – Mon Nov 30, 2020
Circus artists Abbie Mason and Ben Jones train at their home in Birmingham (Jacob King/PA)

Ms Mason told the PA news agency: “The light on the ceiling, I hit it so often that we had to get a rope and tie it off to the door – to try and pull it up so that we didn’t smash all of the furniture. It’s been interesting.”

The pair who run the fitness studio, FPS Fitness, where they used to train, said they are excited to reopen on Wednesday, even though Covid rules mean they can’t run the same level of classes.

Both have been working in the industry for years but said “eight months of contracts just disappeared” when the first lockdown was announced in March.

Coronavirus – Mon Nov 30, 2020
(Jacob King)

“I don’t think people realise how much the entertainment industry has been shot down because of this,” she said.

Mr Jones said: “During the first lockdown we went super hard for the first few weeks. We thought we could learn to do things we have never done before. Then after the first few weeks, we were like, why are we trying so hard?

“We took a couple of weeks off, and then I decided to do things that were going to make me feel better. I’ve been dealing with injuries for the last year and it was an opportunity to fix that.”

Coronavirus – Mon Nov 30, 2020
(Jacob King)

The pair said lockdown had given them a chance to rethink both their careers which they said were time-limited. They have used the time to train different skills.

In October, the Government came under criticism for an advertising campaign which suggested a ballet dancer could “reboot” their career by moving in to cyber security.

“In our specific situation it’s difficult as people don’t always appreciate that this is a skill that we have worked on since childhood and can never really stop working as it needs to be maintained,” said Ms Mason.

“However, lockdown, rather than the Government campaign, has been an eye-opener for us, as this industry for us specifically does have a shelf life, and it has forced us to explore our options for when our bodies don’t allow us to do this anymore.”