Alliston Nikolette Joins the Circus………….School!
Kelby Jones, who has been with the Nikolettes since she was 5, has been accepted to the National Circus School in Montreal.
Kelby went up the ranks from 1.5 hours a week doing recreational gymnastics to competing at invitational competitions to provincial qualifiers and spending 16 hours a week in the gym. The Nikolettes became her 2nd home where she gained many great friends in both her team mates as well as coaches. These friendships will last her a life time, which she found to be one of many great attributes when joining such a close knit club.
After competing at the 2012 Championships, Kelby decided to try another avenue but still wanted to maintain keeping fit. That is when she looked into Aerial Silks. Finding the closest circus place that offered silks was in Newmarket.
After attending a pre-selection tour with only 2 months of any circus arts under her belt, she received a letter advising that she was selected to attend the audition for the National Circus School. This was a whole new field that she wasn’t used to. In February of 2013 Kelby attended the Toronto Circus school where they held the audition., what an eye opener! There were kids there from all over. Kelby sailed through the flexibility, strength and tumbling challenges and even faired well in the dance portion, however, when it came to acting and improvising a skit by herself., she was out of her comfort zone. This section, she feels was the reason that she wasn’t picked for the school last year and was bound and determined that she would jump outside the box and this wasn’t going to hold her back this year.
Over the summer of 2013 Kelby attended the National School Camp in Montreal for 2 weeks where she met kids from all over. They came from Hong Kong, Mexico, England, and California, just to name a few. She enjoyed these two weeks and got to try many other disciplines including hand balancing, which she performed in the show at the end of the summer.
Bound and determine to succeed at the Audition that she was again selected for this year, she made it through all aspects of the testing including an interview that she had with the panel. There were only 16 students selected at the audition in Toronto from over 500 that tried out. From Toronto, the panel of judges headed to Vancouver to audition the students there that were selected to perform.
It wasn’t until end of April (2 ½ months after her audition) did Kelby get the email saying that she was selected to attend the National School of Circus this upcoming school year.
This will certainly be a challenge for Kelby. Not only is it a grueling physical schedule, half day academic and half day circus arts, but she has to take her Grade 11 courses in French! Needless to say., she is now enrolled in evening French classes to brush up on the language so she will understand what the teachers are trying to say.
Kelby credits that she wouldn’t have made it as far as she has without base skills that she was taught through the Nikolettes. The discipline, strength, core and flexibility are what excelled Kelby to get a leg up in making the cut.
She is going to miss her ‘pep talks’ from Denise. Denise saw potential in Kelby when she was quite young and pushed and ‘poked’ her to make all the corrections that are necessary to obtain the proper form and technique. Kelby often comments and gets excited because Denise has continued to take the time and continue the relationship that she has had with many of her past athletes. Because of this, being an athlete of the Nikolettes, you have a SECOND family and you will cherish this even when your competitive time is past.
Kelby was also lucky to have been coached by Rod who instilled the strength and endurance that is required of top athletes. Because of this extensive training, Kelby continues to push herself and maintain being physically fit.
Kelby rejoined the Nikolettes just over a year ago with the tumbling program and Marty. A big part of the circus is being able to do flips and fly through the air on the trapeze. With the teachings from Marty she was able to learn a different aspect of doing back handsprings, tucks and lay outs. Not only is Marty a very talented coach, but he is also very patient and an enthusiastic man that only wants the best for his students.
“Dare to Dream…………….Wishes Do Come True” !
Submitted by Cindy Jones at the request of David Connolly.
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