Kirsten Terry finds her passion in contortion

Common activities such as basketball, football and soccer are common interests shared by many students. For junior Kirsten Terry, her pass-time is separates her from her peers.

Terry is not like an average student at Decatur. She has found a hobby that she’s deeply fallen in love with and mastered: contortion. “Once I graduate from high school I have dreams and aspirations of attending Ѐcole Nationale de Cirque, otherwise known as the National Circus School that is located in Montreal, Canada,” Terry said. “I have been deeply interested in circus arts for three to four years. As I learn more and see new skills developing I become more and more intrigued.”

Despite her long-term enthusiasm, she didn’t have the opportunity to begin proper training until the past year. She is now an apprentice under Liana Repass, an aerialist with Infinity Circus. “I am planning on training to achieve my goal of being in a professional circus such as Cirque du Soleil,” Terry said. “At present, I am training in ground work, contortion, and in aerial, specifically the Lyra/aerial hoop” said Terry.

Her interest in performing has stemmed from discovering her natural flexibility. The love she’s developed for these arts actually started in yoga. From there she began teaching herself at home. “I would look up poses and figure out how to recreate them” she said. Terry decided to pursue a career as a circus performer when she had the opportunity to see a contortion act at a school talent show. “That performance immediately drew my focus to the movements and endless possibilities of the body,” said Terry. Because of her professional training, she sees herself improving quickly.

Her family supports her contortion one hundred percent. “Kirsten is a natural, I’m extremely proud to watch my daughter succeed in an activity that makes her happy” said her dad. “ My big sister is amazing, I love watching her create new moves while she practices at home,” said Terry’s sister. “She inspires me to go after my dreams even if they are different and unusual.”

Her passion creates positivity when she performs, as well as in every day life. “When it comes time to perform I get so excited and [I] feel alive rather than getting nervous,” Terry said. “Spinning on my lyra makes feels like I’m in a dream-like state but still fully aware and embracing every moment as it comes.” Performing gives Terry a boost of unbelievable confidence and adrenaline that she can’t describe. “I have never felt from anything but Circus Arts,” she said.

She is elated her audience finds amazement in what she does. “The audience’s response and [applause] is what gives me joy and fills me with even more of a desire to continue on this path” she said. Terry plans on continuing contortion for the rest of her her life.