On Saturday 30th August competitors from around the country took part in the very first Lincolnshire Aerial Championships in the Big Top at Russell’s International Circus, Mablethorpe.

The competition was organised by Emma Nicholls from Freestyle Fitness, a circus school in Louth.

There were six categories. Amateur static trapeze, professional static trapeze, amateur lyra (aerial hoop), professional lyra, amateur silks and professional silks.

Competitors were a range of ages with the youngest being just 14 years old. For many of the participants this was their first public performance and they all did amazingly well. The opportunity to perform in a big top in front of an appreciative audience was a real plus and will hopefully be a draw for anyone considering entering this event next year.

All competitors had to perform in front of five judges. These were:

- Rusty Russell

Owner of Russell’s international circus.

- Deb Roach

Australian pole legend and aerial arts performer.

- Shereen Hussain

Professional aerial dance performer, including works for Zu Aerial Dance, the Circus Project and High Top Circus.

- Cherie Alcock

Aerial arts and gymnastics coach at Chermond gymnastics school.

- Naomi Entwistle

Professional pole and aerial performer and instructor for Freestyle Fitness.

Scores were collected and judges’ consistency was monitored by Gilly Brown and Lesley Ann Chamberlain.

Scores were judged on a variety of criteria with a heavy leaning towards overall performance which gives anyone the chance to compete, not just those with the fanciest tricks.

The winners were as follows:

Amateur Trapeze

- Winner - Natasha Rushbrooke (Chermond Gymnastics Club, Norwich)

- Runner Up - Lorna Plant (Freestyle Fitness, Louth)

Professional Trapeze

- Winner - Kizzy Packham (Russells International Circus)

- Runner Up - Lisa Graham (1st Class Pole Fitness, Melton Mowbry)

Amateur Hoop

- Winner - Rio Willett (Freestyle Fitness, Louth)

- Runner Up - Sharon Burton (Emma’s Pole Dancing School, Derby)

Professional Hoop

- Winner - Clare Bennett (AOF Air, Hull)

- Runner Up - Fern Hussey (AOF Air, Hull)

Amateur Silks

- Winners - Kaiya Plant (Freestyle Fitness, Louth) and Alisha Page (Chermond Gymnastics club, Norwich)

- Runner Up - Rachel Sanki (Freestyle Fitness, Louth)

Professional Silks

- Orissa Kelly (Du Sol Productions, Hemel Hempstead)

- Runner Up - Helena Oldcorne (Du Sol Productions, Hemel Hempstead)

Overall Performance

The winner was Kizzy Packham (Russell’s International Circus).

The competition is hoped to be the first of many. Bringing the arts of circus based skills into the public forum and hopefully encouraging others to try this aged art of fitness and fun. Next year’s event is already being planned with a new Facebook page set up under the name UK Aerial Performance Championship.

Check out this highlights video made by Bellitudo Photography: