Circus-crazy Pontypool teen running away to follow dream
6:30pm Thursday 7th March 2013 in News
A TEENAGER has hopes for the future that involve running away to join the circus.
Oliver Park, from Tranch, near Pontypool, always enjoyed the circus as a child and this interest was enhanced when he watched a Cirque du Soleil performance while on holiday in Florida six years ago.
He said: “As I was only nine years old, even though I was quite interested in the circus I didn’t do anything about it until last year.”
Then he saw that The Riverfront in Newport was hosting a circus skills workshop.
He decided to pop along and got to try his hand at juggling, stilt-walking, unicycling, diabolos, ribbon, devil sticks and tightrope.
This is when Oliver’s interest in joining the circus peaked and he searched on the internet for other training programmes.
He stumbled across the No Fit State Circus workshops in Cardiff, and decided to join their youth circus.
He said: “In August I couldn’t even do a forward roll, but through practice I have come a long way very quickly. I’m specialising in tumbling at the moment. I have never done anything like it before, so I’m really enjoying it.”
He trains for two hours, twice a week, and when Oliver has perfected his acrobatic skills, he hopes to move into a different area of expertise.
Other areas include manipulation skills such as juggling, diabolo, poi, staff, aerial skills that include flying trapeze, rope, silks and static trapeze and equilibristics such as tightwire, unicycle, walking globe, and stiltwalking.
Last year, as a part of the group, he opened Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland.
He explained that he found getting into performance mode in front of an audience easy, as he had previously been a member of the Congress Theatre, which helped him grow in confidence.
He said: “Being outside performing my act was a new challenge as it was quite windy, but I really enjoyed it.”
He’s currently preparing for his GCSEs at Croesyceiliog Comprehensive School, but hopes that one day he will have a career in the circus.
He added: “I’m just circus mad.”