What is a Sacred Spotter?
Let’s start by leading you through the colorful streets of Portland, Oregon to the largest convention center in the Pacific Northwest. Inside the main room you’re greeted by a warm breeze of try hard b.o. from hundreds of determined acrobats. Here at the Divine Play Festival - a three day long training event - is where Cyrus and I (Keisha) met up with Emily Montesinos (a Lift Certified Teacher). During the time we spent here with Emily, I learned about her project - The Sacred Spotter Movement - and now we’d like share this movement with you. For those who don’t know, a Sacred Spotter is a trusted person who is trained on the methods of beneficial spotting for individual or partner acrobatics.
Why Do We Need Sacred Spotters?
Emily shared her concerns with us that Sacred Spotters aren’t used or talked about enough in the growing acro community. It’s easy to see how this leads to unnecessary injuries, and gives our tribe a poor reputation of being unsafe. Cyrus and I experienced this issue first hand at one of the advanced workshops of the festival. I’d fallen unexpectedly from a dynamic standing skill straight on to the knee of an unaware spotter. I was too injured from the hard fall to finish the workshop and after some recovery I was very hesitant of who my spot would be for the rest of the festival. It seemed that even some of the advanced acrobats lacked proper spotting experience.
Support Your Sacred Spotter
Fortunately, Sacred Spotter education is spreading with the help of instructors like Emily and the rest of the teachers at the Lift School of Acrobatics lead by Aaron Lind, Christine Moonbeam and Eric Asay. We attended one of their immersions in Colorado this year and had great success not only because of their excellent teaching but also because of their comprehensive spotting instruction. At Acro Enso, conditioning classes will be available to anyone who would like to expand their experience in proper training in acrobatics. It is an honor to earn the title of a Sacred Spotter! Follow Emily on Instagram, @sacredspotter and use the hashtag #sacredspotter in your social media to support the movement of quality spotting in acrobatics. We’d like to thank the Lift School of Acrobatics for inspiring this post and their continued education in our community. Check them out at their website to learn more.
Thanks for reading and as we say in Reno, Namastizzle!
Welcome back, if you missed part one of this blog featuring Cyrus, the man who dreamed up Acro Enso then check out our previous post to meet this awesome clown! If this is the first time you’re hearing of our new gym for partner acrobatics, dance, and cyr wheel opening in Reno then visit our website for more info! Now, let’s complete our founder’s introduction.
Hi :) My name is Keisha and I’m a biochemist who fell for the circus. Coming from a place of poverty, I decided at a young age to devote myself to academics to earn a better life. My family couldn’t afford much so I worked diligently to earn a seat in college. I enjoyed science so I studied for a biochem degree… Now that I’ve finished school I’m trading in my lab coat and goggles for a tutu and clown nose and here’s why.
My first introduction to the circus world occurred in my second year of college. I discovered the partner acrobatics community in Reno while visiting an earth day event in the park. A group of people from the Reno Tahoe AcroYoga Kula were basing and flying each other out on the grass and I was quickly drawn in by their warm welcome. After my first flight on a stranger’s feet I fell in love with partner acro. From that moment on I was always looking for someone to play with on campus, at parks, or at the climbing gym I worked at. I loved the unique challenge of partner acrobatics and more so I loved sharing the connection and joy of this hobby with genuine like-minded people. The Kula is a playful family that holds each other up and they gave me a safe space to explore a whole new a way of life.
My circus education continued to grow thanks to this awesome community. I learned skills like fire spinning, high-lining and juggling from this talented group and I loved it all! Not long after, the universe introduced me to some professional circus artists from a traveling show called Spectra. Performers from the show came to the gym to climb while I was on shift and we ended up sharing our passions with each other. Their amazing contortion, aerial, and hand balancing skills were mind blowing! We played until their contract was up and before they left they asked if I wanted to come with them to Berlin to train acrobatics! I was astonished and completely torn because a part of me truly desired to leave everything and join them, yet the other part of me knew that I should stay and finish the last year of my undergrad. I reluctantly declined and Spectra moved on, but a burning fire for circus was lit inside me.
I was grateful for my degree when I finished school, but my heart had learned a new calling along the way. So I decided to not head off to graduate school right away, and instead I focused on my passions like acrobatics. This is when Cyrus, a climber I knew from the gym, approached me with a deal. He wondered if I would trade acrobatic training with him for cyr wheel lessons. I’d seen him spinning on the polished floors of the climbing gym before and I’d always been interested so I eagerly accepted his trade. Little did I know, this handshake deal would be the start of a beautiful partnership in life, play, and business. Before I knew it, I was slipping on a bright red nose and climbing onto Cyrus’s shoulders to embrace a way of life that my heart has always desired. Now here we are!
We’ve made it to the end of this blog but we’re merely at the beginning of this journey. We’re thrilled to open our doors and to encourage others to discover their inner play just like we did. We’re looking forward to growing a wonderful relationship with a community built on love, health, and happiness. We’re so excited to play with you all soon at Acro Enso!! Check in next week for more and as we say in Reno,