Name: Miranda Walker
Pillar: Arts, Music and Entertainment
What is your dream?
My dream is to be an internationally acclaimed circus artist, and to both teach and perform all around the world. I want to show that my own dynamic, exciting style can take aerial hoop into a whole different area, where skill and talent count for more than appearance. I believe my passion for excellence and dedication to what I do gives me an opportunity to empower women to reach outside their comfort zone so they can make a difference too.
Tell us a bit about you.
I was that kid in the ballet class that did three spins when everybody else did one… Inevitably I moved into gymnastics as well, and finally diving. Then I went to see a circus when I was 12, and suddenly I had a light bulb moment and knew what I wanted to do. After trying out the various aerial equipment, I got up on the hoop and it was a match made in heaven. My passion has continued unabated since then, fostering a determination to conquer just about anything that's possible on hoop.
How have you demonstrated commitment?
Currently I train five or six days a week. Much of this involves open space training at my local circus school, and I also travel to the National Institute of Circus Arts and Circus Oz regularly for specialty coaching. I also do many performances at local fetes and other events, as well as various professional gigs around Melbourne. This has given me a lot of experience performing in front of an audience. I also put a lot of time into producing quality content for my Instagram account.
What challenges do you face?
Reaching an elite level in anything requires money and time. We constantly negotiate the balance between what I’d like to be doing, and what we can afford. Another challenge is maintaining peak physical condition. A lot of what I do is very demanding on the body, and some of the more flexible/contortion elements can stress the body over time if not handled correctly. Thankfully we have found both an excellent myotherapist and chiropractor, but again, treatment costs money.
How will you use the money?
Recently I was given the opportunity to participate in the Moscow Circus Festival in late 2017. This is a huge international opportunity, and participating means I can interact with high level aerialists from around the world, as well as gaining exposure to a lot of the movers and shakers in the international circus world. I would use the AFTS grant primarily for the costs of airfares, accommodation and preparation. As part of my preparation, I would love to be able to receive more specialist coaching, and buy some aerial equipment of my own.
How do you plan to give back?
As I'm so passionate about what I do, I just want to share it with anybody and everybody! This year I have been able to coach at a studio in Melbourne, and I have also presented workshops at other aerial schools, and conducted private one-on-one coaching sessions. I will also continue to build and interact with my online community. I have gained so much myself from this interaction, and at the same time it’s exciting to be able to help others stretch to reach goals as well.