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Old 2013-04-27, 03:51 AM   #1
Liz
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Question I need to move up in circus!

Well, I am currently in the beginning group for the circus I perform in. I'm really sick of being in the 'lower' class, and I really want to make it into the Advanced group.

Tryouts are at the end of August. The prerequisites for the advanced group are:
Must be able to ride backward in all directions in a controlled manner
Must be comfortable turning backwards
Must be able to perform 2 specialty mounts
Must be comfortable moving forward & backward on a giraffe unicycle
Must be able to perform 90-degree turns forwards and backwards
Must be able to hover 360*
Must be able to perform running mounts in controlled manner
Must be able to bunny hop (hop on the unicycle)

I can mount, and I can ride forward in a controlled manner, and I'm pretty comfortable on a unicycle.

Do you guys have any tips on how to master these? Any feedback and tips would be very appreciated! Any ideas for some easy specialty mounts?

I don't even know where to start!
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Old 2013-04-27, 04:44 AM   #2
allwobbly
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I'm no expert here but I think the ability to ride well enough to do all these moves will take a lot of practice.
What is Hovering 360 ? I have never heard of this.
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Old 2013-04-27, 05:24 AM   #3
johnfoss
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Please tell us more about your circus. Is there a website? How many students? Is it school-related or separate from regular school? What country?

To learn those skills, start riding a lot. Do you have your own unicycle?

Two specialty mounts that are impressive and easier than they look are a side mount and a kick-up. Search those terms on this site (button above) for detailed instructions.

Practice riding backwards, which may be the hardest of those items. It's also a fundamental skill that will help with all the others. While working on the backwards riding, also work on the idling/hovering. They are similar skills, best learned together. Once you can start riding backwards, immediately work on controlling where you go. Work that into riding in circles backwards. Most people are very weak at backwards riding, so if you get good at it, you will impress!

Save the giraffe for later. Once you master idling and riding backwards, the giraffe will be a piece of cake. Only hard thing about the giraffe is getting used to sitting up there.
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Old 2013-04-27, 08:20 PM   #4
Liz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnfoss View Post
Please tell us more about your circus. Is there a website? How many students? Is it school-related or separate from regular school? What country?

To learn those skills, start riding a lot. Do you have your own unicycle?

Two specialty mounts that are impressive and easier than they look are a side mount and a kick-up. Search those terms on this site (button above) for detailed instructions.

Practice riding backwards, which may be the hardest of those items. It's also a fundamental skill that will help with all the others. While working on the backwards riding, also work on the idling/hovering. They are similar skills, best learned together. Once you can start riding backwards, immediately work on controlling where you go. Work that into riding in circles backwards. Most people are very weak at backwards riding, so if you get good at it, you will impress!

Save the giraffe for later. Once you master idling and riding backwards, the giraffe will be a piece of cake. Only hard thing about the giraffe is getting used to sitting up there.
The circus is part of the YMCA! It is completely separate from school. We are the oldest community run circus in the world. The website is ycircus.org. If you want to check out the promo video, you can find it here: There are about 300 students, from ages 3-89. Tryouts are in August, and the classes begin in September. We work from September-January on learning new tricks/skills, and then we begin the show routine. We have 9 shows (Friday, Saturday, Sunday, of the first three weekends of May). It's in Redlands, California. (United States) There are over 30 acts, ranging from juggling to trapeze to unicycle.

I do have my own unicycle! I have a 20" and a 24". Thanks so much for the advice, Johnfoss! I'm going to begin practicing today!
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Old 2013-04-27, 10:30 PM   #5
Shmolagin
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That is a lengthy list, but you could hypothetically get it done by august. Just make sure to practice for a set time (maybe an hour) every day, you can probably get it done.
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Old 2013-04-28, 02:02 AM   #6
johnfoss
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It's cool to see that the Great Y Circus is still in operation. I learned about it from reading old copies of the Unicycling Society of America Newsletter from the mid-70s. They were going strong then, and I seem to remember they had some pretty cool novelty unicycles.

BTW, how come the acrobats and gymnasts get to wear sexy outfits, while the unicyclists dress like nerd school uniforms from the 1960s?
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Old 2013-04-28, 02:14 AM   #7
Shmolagin
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how come the acrobats and gymnasts get to wear sexy outfits, while the unicyclists dress like nerd school uniforms from the 1960s?
Someone should sig that!
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Old 2013-04-28, 05:01 PM   #8
Liz
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BTW, how come the acrobats and gymnasts get to wear sexy outfits, while the unicyclists dress like nerd school uniforms from the 1960s?
I laughed so hard at this, because it's SO TRUE. The advanced unicycle class sometimes get to have pretty cool costumes, but the beginning and intermediate unicycle classes (who perform together) are like the peasants of the circus. *rolls eyes* Our costume this year is an ugly leotard, a tutu, and tights. What's more, my juggling act's costumes are comprised of our other act's costumes.

The costumes are recycled. They are usually changed somehow with sparkles, ribbon, etc. But there are SO many costumes, so I don't understand why we get the weird costumes. *shrugs*

It's funny because my friend in an acrobatic class goes shirtless. SHIRTLESS.
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Old 2013-04-28, 05:02 PM   #9
Liz
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Someone should sig that!
If I new how to sig it, I totally would.
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Old 2013-04-28, 07:31 PM   #10
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First learn backwards riding after i masterd that i found one foot so much easier and working on backwards one foot as we speek
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Old 2013-04-28, 08:45 PM   #11
Shmolagin
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If I new how to sig it, I totally would.
Scroll up to the top to see all of the unicyclist.community tabs. Click "User CP" and then there will be a sidebar with a bunch of options including "Edit My Signature".
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Old 2013-04-29, 01:25 AM   #12
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My opinion on the costumes is from seeing old film of the St. Helens riders, not performing but riding in the halls as part of a Charles Kurault TV show from around 1970. Catholic school uniforms and unicycles!

Anyway, it probably makes sense for the larger performing groups in the Great Y Circus to have simple costumes because there are so many people in them.
Quote:
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The advanced unicycle class sometimes get to have pretty cool costumes, but the beginning and intermediate unicycle classes (who perform together) are like the peasants of the circus. *rolls eyes*
Arent' the jugglers the peasants? Juggling is so much easier to learn. I was surprised to see so many glimpses of (boring) ball juggling in your video above, but no clubs, or anything else, being juggled.
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Old 2013-04-29, 04:19 AM   #13
Liz
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Arent' the jugglers the peasants? Juggling is so much easier to learn. I was surprised to see so many glimpses of (boring) ball juggling in your video above, but no clubs, or anything else, being juggled.
A lot of the ground acts are frowned upon (Except for acro, and German wheel). Jugglers are considered low class performers too. Basically, I'm a super peasant right now. (I'm in both unicycle and juggling.) Next year I'm joining rings, so hopefully I'll move up in the ranks.

I'm not quite sure why they chose the footage they did. Both the unicycle and the juggling acts weren't very well represented. We've got tons of club jugglers, so I'm not sure why they didn't include that in the video. I agree, normal ball juggling (cascade) is very boring. Once you add in a few more balls, or some tricks it gets a little more entertaining.

We used to juggle torches, but the fire marshall shut that down right away. Guess we'll have to move on to knives!

@Shmolagin, Thanks!
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"BTW, how come the acrobats and gymnasts get to wear sexy outfits, while the unicyclists dress like nerd school uniforms from the 1960s?"
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Old 2013-04-29, 03:44 PM   #14
SalManilla
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Hey Liz,

Sadly there is a lot of truth in what you say about the hierarchy at the GYC. The aerial acts are full of prima donnas, and those acts receive favors since most of the board members are/were aerialist and are trainers for those acts. If they did unicycle when younger, it's viewed as just that. Something they used to do when they were young, and don't view it as something to do now, or worth seeking out new ways/tricks to put in show. Such as trials riding.

Remember that the unicyclist do receive a lot accolades from the public attending since most realize that it's not an easy thing to do, and are very impressed that you can balance on one wheel when most of them have trouble balancing on one foot.

Costumes for the acts depends a lot on the amount of time and effort that the act trainer is willing to put into acquiring/designing/making and if they have any vision. In your case the trainers this year are two young males who I don't picture pushing for anything special for spending the time to sit down behind a sewing machine and making costumes as some of the other trainers do.

As for what to work on. My girls spent their time riding, riding, riding. Like John said work on riding backwards, idling/hovering, tight circles, etc. When it comes to mounts, the kick-up is a good one to learn (as you probably know it's being used to start off the advanced act this year), side mount (as John said), and suicide.

Also, find a trick online that you like and feel that you would be able to learn and master it. Then show it off and make sure that next seasons trainer knows that you have a specialty trick and they will most likely work it into the show.

With the giraffes, after this season is over check on borrowing one. They have been really good in the past about lending them out for performers to practice at home.

My girls (Heather and Amber) and I would be happy to talk with you and help in anyway that we can. Look for us around circus.

Keith (A.K.A. Sal Manilla)
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Old 2013-04-29, 06:35 PM   #15
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It's funny because my friend in an acrobatic class goes shirtless. SHIRTLESS.
I do not think you should go shirtless, Liz.

If your friend unicycled off the roof, would you want to unicycle off the roof too?
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