UC Observer logo
UCObserver on SoundCloud UCObserver on YouTube UCObserver on Facebook UCObserver on Twitter UCObserver's RSS Feeds
Photo by Alexis Sabino

Verbatim

‘My determination is tested in daily training when I push myself to the limit.’

By Nancy Loucks-McSloy


Savhannah Crittenden is a performing artist and one of 10 youth worldwide to be accepted this year to Move With The Beat (MWTB) Academy, a prestigious circus school in Melbourne, Australia. She worked with academy director Meaghan Wegg, who has toured globally with the famous Cirque du Soleil, to prepare. The 18-year-old recent high-school graduate and member of Metropolitan United in London, Ont., started her training last August.

On getting started: The first time I saw Cirque du Soleil was a big top show in Toronto called “Kooza.” A ballerina brought me on stage, and I danced alongside her. Instantly, I knew I belonged on stage. I was fascinated by the delicate balance of poise and strength demonstrated by every artist. I started doing gymnastics when I was two years old, and when I was seven, I went to a camp at the National Circus School in Montreal [where she learned the basic techniques of cirque, a form of performing arts that uses circus techniques to tell a story]. Cirque was definitely for me.

On teaching others: I feel that I was put on earth to express my talents. I have a great passion for teaching this beautiful art form, and I had my own studio in London that allowed me to share my passion. I taught, in group and individual settings, 80 students from ages 4 to 40. I loved seeing the smiles on the faces of the audiences and children.

On church: My father is a minister, so I have always gone to church. I have danced in Christmas concerts since I was four and have always felt supported there. Metropolitan United even gave me space in the basement to run my own cirque studio. My church family has gone above and beyond anything I can imagine to support me. The studio space is maintained, office staff has helped with scheduling and other details, and everyone has promoted and attended my shows.

On MWTB Academy: I was scouted by MWTB at the 2016 cirque competitions in Grand Bend and Chatham, Ont. One evening after a long day of training, I found out that I had been accepted. I had a constant smile as I celebrated with family. I have worked hard for this, and my family has supported me.

I know that the two-year training will be the best in the world. I look forward to learning more about incorporating my personal and life experiences into my art form.

On hard work: This past summer, I trained for six hours each day and studied for two. Cirque takes form in many parts of my life, including training, seeing shows and attending expositions.

My determination has been tested in major ways many times, and is tested in daily training when I push myself to the limit. I have learned that I can use my inner strength when everything is hurting. 

This interview has been condensed and edited.



Readers’ advisory: The discussion below is moderated by The UC Observer and facilitated by Intense Debate (ID), an online commentary system. The Observer reserves the right to edit or reject any comment it deems to be inappropriate. Approved comments may be further edited for length, clarity and accuracy, and published in the print edition of the magazine. Please note: readers do not need to sign up with ID to post their comments on ucobserver.org. We require only your user name and e-mail address. Your comments will be posted from Monday to Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Join the discussion today!
Promotional Image

Editorials

David Wilson%

Observations

by David Wilson

If statues could talk

Promotional Image

Video

ObserverDocs: Stolen Mother

by Observer Staff

The daughter and adoptive mother of one of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women share their story

Promotional Image

Society

July 2017

From far and wide

by Various Writers

Meet 11 immigrants who are putting down new roots

World

June 2017

A suitcase for Cuba

by Christopher Levan

You’ll find more than giveaway toiletries and hand-me-downs in the writer's luggage. Each carefully chosen gift offers a glimpse into the lives of Cubans today.

Justice

June 2017

Undocumented

by Kristy Woudstra

Up to half a million people are living in Canada without official status. The ‘sanctuary city’ movement is growing, but the fear of deportation persists.

World

June 2017

Resisting genocide

by Sally Armstrong

In August 2014, ISIS attacked Iraq’s Yazidis, slaughtering thousands and forcing women and girls into sexual slavery. Today, the survivors are fighting for their ancient way of life.

Society

April 2017

Dear Grandkids

by Various Writers

Six acclaimed Canadian authors write letters from the heart

Society

March 2017

Called to resist

by Paul Wilson

Liberal Christians in the United States test their faith against a demagogue

Promotional Image