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,
Hello :) If you’re reading this blog then you are likely familiar with Acro Enso. In short, Acro Enso will be the first large scale movement arts studio in Reno with a focus on partner acrobatics, cyr wheel, and dance; and with a full offering which will include everything from yoga and general fitness to clowning and magic. If you haven’t done so already, you can read our first blog to learn about our name, our mission, and our intention. Today we’d like to share the story of us. Some people call us Duo Enso but most know us as Cyrus and Keisha. We are clowns, artists, performers, teachers, dreamers, life partners; and together, we are pursuing the work of facilitating meaningful play. Read on to learn about Cyrus, the founder who dreamed up Acro Enso. Check in next week for part two to meet Keisha, his partner in play.
My name is Cyrus, but you can call me Cecil. Or Cirrus, Serious, Cypress; I’m particularly fond of Citrus. People seem to have a difficult time with my name, but I’ve come to realize that it’s a wonderful reflection of the many different facets of myself. My parents couldn’t decide on a name when I was born. They went back and forth for so long, the hospital nearly christened me Boy Luciano just to get me out the door. Unable to choose a name, but unwilling to allow me to go by Boy for the rest of my life, my Mother and Father delegated the choice of the cornerstone of my identity to a computer. In essence, the person I call me was birthed from the beautiful randomness generated by the endless 0’s and 1’s that make up the machines which have come to control all of our lives. But to some extent, isn’t this true for each and every single one of us?
As in the choice of my name, the path of my life has been varied, meandering, and at times seemingly random. Movement can be found in threads of memory reaching back to the earliest days of my life. Skiing, climbing, hiking, and martial arts are among the activities I enjoyed growing up. It didn’t occur to me how much I loved moving through the world in my body until I came down with Lyme’s Disease when I was 9 years old. Unable to even walk, it became excruciatingly clear to me what an amazing gift it is to move one’s arms, legs, fingers, and toes, unencumbered and free from pain. Not knowing if I would ever recover, a passion was born inside of me to cultivate and hold close any and all movement in whatever form it was available. When it became clear that I would fully recover, I decided I would never take this gift for granted.
It wasn’t until four years ago when I picked up my first Cyr Wheel that the thought of a general movement arts studio focusing on the cross-section and cross-pollination of movement and creativity really crossed my mind. After many iterations and a life altering deep dive into partner acrobatics with my partner Keisha, we now find ourselves ushering this delicate, magical idea into the world. Having played bagpipes and studied poetry and mathematics in college; having worked as a river guide engaging people in beauty, fear, and the sacred; having put my time in a cubicle and witnessed firsthand the underpinnings of life lived almost completely in the future tense; Acro Enso is a life calling and a mission statement. Acro Enso is the answer to the question I ask myself: what do I want to wake up doing every day for the rest of my life?
In life, there is a first for everything. A first breath, first step, first kiss. A first love, and a first loss. Right now, you are reading the very first blog post published by Acro Enso - which is another first. Acro Enso will be the first large scale movement arts studio in Reno with a focus on partner acrobatics, cyr wheel, and dance; and with a full offering which will include everything from yoga and general fitness to clowning and magic. Happiness is our first principle, and we hold the firm belief that meaningful play is a necessary foundation for a healthy, happy, and well-balanced life. We are also of the opinion that meaningful play is not limited to any particular age, body shape, experience, gender, or race. Whether you are young or old - new to movement or a seasoned pro - whether you like pink balloons, blue balloons, or no balloons - our mission here at Acro Enso is to provide a home, a community hub, and a safe container in which you can find connection in your own body and with others through meaningful play expressed in authentic movement.
Your first question might be: Why Acro Enso? What does this name mean? As in most things that we do, we chose this name with a very specific intention. In modern parlance, the word acro is most often associated with acroyoga, made popular by the organization which bears its name. If we dig further, it is not difficult to see that the word acro is derived from the word acrobatics, which elicits in most people thoughts of the circus. But what is this word, acrobatics, and where does it come from? Acrobatics is most commonly defined as something along the lines of individual or partner skills involving strength and dexterity, including body rotations, twists, flips, balances, jumps, and turns. This is actually the definition given by the National Institute of Circus Arts based out of Australia. Evidence of acrobatics throughout human history can be traced back to most ancient civilizations and cultures.
Looking back in time, there are the acrobatic women who danced during festivals in ancient Egypt, and the children of the Qin dynasty who performed balancing acts on high poles for the royal palaces. Even in the early Minoan civilization there are records of people practicing ceremonial bull leaping!! Acrobatic movement consequently is an umbrella term which ecompasses everything from horse vaulting to trapeze to cyr wheel to L-based and standing partner acrobatics likely going back as far as humanity itself, and is expressed through a multitude of traditions, philosophies, cultures, and forms. In its most basic form, acrobatics - which we will call acro - is the expression of humans playing with the physical world in a never-ending game of exploring and pushing limits. In other words, Acro is meaningful play.
And what is enso? As we state on our website, enso is Japanese for Circle. Historically, enso is the Zen meditation and spiritual practice of self realization, and symbolizes strength, elegance, enlightenment, harmony, and simplicity. Enso is the universe, in all its presence and absence, with the acknowledgement that form and void are interdependent of each other. Hence, enso is also nothing. Enso represents perfection through the beauty of imperfection. An open enso is said to allow for movement, development, and the perfection of all things. In practice, the enso is drawn in a single fluid stroke and is believed to reflect the mind when it is most free to let the spirit create through the physical body. Just as in life, once the enso is drawn, it does not change; and in its form, it evidences the character of its creator and the context of its creation. Enso is authentic movement. Put together, Acro Enso is meaningful play through authentic movement.
Welcome to the Acro Enso vision. We are so much looking forward to cultivating a connected and vibrant community centered around this idea of meaningful play through authentic movement. It is our wish that this first breath of life is the beginning of many first experiences, and that it is a gentle breeze which will nourish our dreams and allow them to take root and thrive.
Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions, ideas, concerns, or desires you might have. We love to connect and communicate, and would love to hear from you!! We are looking forward to opening soon, and in the meantime, we encourage you to continue to explore your play and to live freely and happily.
In true Reno acro tradition, Namastizzle ~