'Feels like true flying' says local circus performer
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Local circus performer, Deanna Papineau, always wondered what it would feel like to suspend in mid-air hanging only by her hair.
"I love giving something to people they've never seen before," said Papineau, who has now masterly skilled an act performed by only a handful in Canada.
"Hair suspension is an old, traditional circus discipline. Handed down from family generations. If you were born into a hair suspension family then you got to learn the art.”
Papineau, who is the first in her family to pursue circus art, tracked town a Hair Suspension Artist in Europe. She traveled to that country to learn from the expert one-on-one.
“I'm just floating,” said Papineau, who explains how it take one hour to wrap her hair around a special rig before she can even begin to suspend.
Papineau is also a skilled artist in aerial silks, straps and the “lollipop” performing at galas, weddings, in music videos and in concert halls across the country.
But she was forced to refocused her skills after COVID-19 gathering restrictions canceled all of her indoor and outdoor performances which was her only source of income.
In mid-2020, she offered yoga and aerial skills training online. In December, she opened a private studio inside “Pure Cycle” in Lakeshore.
"I teach anyone from ages six all the way to an older adult. I think my oldest is 75 and they are a badass," said Papineau, who currently coaches 60 students.
"It's weird…which I absolutely love," said Sydney Easter, one of Papineau’s clients. "It's important to have a coach who is understands your body and what you are capable of doing and what your skill set it because if you are up 15 feet high and you don't know what you're doing it’s a huge problem.”