As of today, I’ve had four meetings with Kimmie and have been able to make more progress towards my goal of learning 15 different poses!  In the first two sessions, we focused more on laying a basic foundation so I could work on a few poses at the same time.  For my third and fourth mentoring sessions, we continued building on the poses I learned in the beginning, focusing more on my technique than actually executing the pose properly.  For example, I often forget to point my right foot during routines, so we’ve been working on improving my grace in that area.  In addition to this, Kimmie teaches me a few new exercises I can work on at home that will improve my coordination, strength, and flexibility.  We’ve also been working on warm-up exercises I can do on the hoop, such as shoulder shrugs (hanging from the hoop without feet touching the ground and shrugging your shoulders so you lift yourself up and down), and front balance (I believe that I talked about this in my last post, but it’s basically just balancing on the hoop with your stomach).


I’ve also learned several new poses and variations to poses that I’ve learned previously.  For example, Mermaid has a variation where you cross one leg over instead of keeping both legs together.  Since it’s a little hard to describe the poses I’ve learned, I’ve included two new progress videos where I’ll list each pose in order:


Progress Video 2 (February 9):

This video includes Mermaid (single leg variation), Tree Branch, Arm Chair into Split-Step, Man-in-the-Moon, and Amazon.


Progress Video 3 (February 16):

This video includes Mermaid, Arm Chair (with a knee-cross variation), Tree Branch, Man-in-the-Moon into Amazon, and Reverse Angel into Running Man.


Post #3 Questions:

1) What went particularly well during your mentoring sessions?

Overall, Kimmie (my mentor) is a kind, approachable mentor that encourages my growth in a positive manner.  No matter how tired I might be, Kimmie is always patient with me and is willing to let me take breaks to get water if needed.  At the same time, she encourages me to do my best and makes it easy for me to put all my effort in. If I’m having trouble with a particular pose or trick, Kimmie will say something like “You got this!” or “You can do this!” to help me push through.  If a pose needs correcting, Kimmie will give constructive criticism and pointers in a gentle manner that allows me to improve and fix whatever I’d been doing incorrectly. During a mentoring session, I feel comfortable enough to be able to ask for help when I need it (which, me being shy, is quite a big deal), and always feel welcomed by both Kimmie as well as the circus school where I attend my lessons.  


2) What logical challenges affected your communication?  What factors affected your ability to interact effectively?

Most of the time, the communication between Kimmie and I tends to be quite smooth – Kimmie gives clear advice and instructions and if I don’t understand something I usually ask for clarification.  However, due to other classes going on in the background, the circus school we meet at can become quite noisy and it can be hard to hear what Kimmie is saying. It can also become quite hard for my mentor and I to communicate if I am on the hoop.  


3) What three strategies could improve the quality of your mentoring interactions?

  1. I could spend more time asking about Kimmie’s career as a circus instructor/performer. Due to the nature of our mentoring sessions, we tend to focus more on learning new tricks or poses, but we don’t often have time to talk outside of this.  
  2. We could talk more about how to execute poses while I’m not on the hoop.  This would allow me to absorb more information.  
  3. I will continue to ask for clarification if I don’t understand something. 

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