Category Archives: Circus

Virgin burn!

I have been practicing. Ok, maybe I have been a bit obsessed, but I have been practicing my fire staff skills every spare minute. Study break? Staff. Lunch break? Staff. Circus practice? Staff. Now in case you are wondering what a staff is, fire staff is a stick with two wicks – one on each end. When you soak the wicks in kerosene then light them, the staff makes an amazing hissing noise and feels pretty badass as well. But with all the excitement comes a bit of danger – you could light yourself on fire. For this reason, I wanted to have my moves down. Once I was ready, I picked a date – the last day of finals and got stoked! Here are some pics from the result – my first burn! Don’t worry – I didn’t light myself on fire!

The Circus

After buying the silks, it seems that every person I talk to has done either circus or some circus activity in high school. One of the people I talked to, an engineering 3-2 transfer from Vassar College, was even in the Vassar College Circus. We decided that there was a serious gap in the number of circus activities at Darmouth. The idea for the Northern Lights Circus Club was born. Since then, we have been recognized by the college, received funding, and bought a ton of circus stuff.


So far we juggle, hang from silks, perform acrobalance as shown below, and spin fire. With Jacob, president, Hannah, treasurer, and me as the vice pres, we’re having a full out blast. I have been getting into the silks, firestaff and acrobalance, and I am hoping to spin fire before the end of the term!




I wanted to get in shape in a better way by adding dynamic movements like tumbling, handstands, and rope climbing – real full body movements. When I went to buy a manila rope,  my roommate stopped me and proposed silks, a circus version of rope climbing. I agreed, so we bought one. Here is the deal. Unlike rope, silks stretch and not only do you climb up and down, but you wrap in different ways so that you can hang without the use of sheer grip.
The first session I struggled to climb the fabric once without getting pumped out of my mind – or have my forearms feel like they were a solid mass of lactic acid. The day after was just as bad, and I was beginning to think that I would never be able to write normally. Then something happened, and I started getting endurance. My search to get back into shape has me meddling in another activity that if you asked me three months ago, I never thought I would be doing. Still, the rue circus act is just our everyday college life!

A firey winter carnival

Alright. Here is the deal. You are going to take this towel. Yeah, I know it’s just a hand towel, but if we soak it in water it should work. If anything lights on fire, just yell at me the body part – like Jacob, ass! Or Jacob, arm! If I don’t put it out – you put it out. You got that?
While everyone else was preparing to drink their brain out at winter carnival, I was spotting, Jacob, a fire spinner for the opening ceremonies. Jacob, Hannah and I decided to start a circus club, of which includes fire arts and Jacob was already a pro. So, I figured what the heck, I’ll spot. Low and behold, despite the below freezing temps, he went on to take off his shoes and perform barefoot. I think I’ll keep my shoes on in the middle of winter at least until I can figure out the whole spinning part!