Aerial artist Anna Ostroushko ’14 has a confession. “I’m terrified of heights,” she says. “I still freak out when I’m up there sometimes.” Up there is often 30 feet off the ground, flying from a trapeze as part of the Saint Paul circus troupe, Circus Juventas.
Hamline has its own small troupe of Circus Juventas performers that include Ostroushko, Avery Young ’15, David Rawlins ’15, and alumnus Joey McEachern ’11. Rawlins, Young, and Ostroushko perform aerial acts, including trapeze, silks, Mexican Cloud Swing (a giant rope swing), and Spanish Web, a type of climbing rope in which performers wrap themselves and spin free—“really fast.” McEachern gets his air time on the teeterboard (imagine jumping off a ladder onto a teeter-totter) and the German Wheel, a large wheel approximately 6.5 feet wide, on which he flips and spins.
“The first time I caught for trapeze, they said I was like an old lady behind the wheel of a big car—terrified. I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable with it since then.” — Joey McEachern ’11
“What’s helped me most with my fear of heights has been learning to trust my partners and, more importantly, myself. The circus has given me an enormous amount of confidence. It’s helped me be proud of who I am.” — Anna Ostroushko ’14
“I saw a Circus Juventas performance when I was 10. I thought the aerial acts were the coolest thing ever. I just had to try it. I find it so exhilarating to be up in the air. I love the rush.” — David Rawlins ’15