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Coach’s Corner: Jessica Jay

Editor’s Note: This post was written by Tour Communications & PR Intern Emma Burke

In addition to myself and a handful of first-year troupers, the 2019 Circus Smirkus Tour welcomed a number of new staff members as well. One of this summer’s most welcomed additions is Jessica Jay, one of our aerial coaches whose warm smile and positive attitude I look forward to greeting every day.

Jessica is the owner of the aerial training facility, Sora Aerial Arts, and artistic director of the professional entertainment & aerial theatre company Sora Contemporary Circus located in Lexington, KY. Jessica works as an aerial teacher trainer with the world-renowned aerial theatre company, Paper Doll Militia under the direction of Rain Anya & Sarah Bebe Holmes, and has a long list of movement and aerial certifications and awards.  I sat down with Jessica to ask her questions about both her professional life and her experience thus far at Circus Smirkus, in order to gain a greater appreciation of the amazing role models and mentors our coaches are to Smirkus troupers.

Emma:What acts do you train or specialize in?

Jessica: My two main specialties are fabric and aerial pole. I also perform corde lisse (aerial rope), aerial sling, cube, partner acrobatics, and dance.

Emma: What circus shows have you toured with throughout your career?

Jessica: I was a company member of Blackbird Dance Theatre for 4 years as an aerialist, choreographer, and ensemble dancer. For the past several years I’ve been working with aerial theatre company Paper Doll Militia, as well as running my aerial school, Sora Aerial Arts. I continue to perform for variety shows, corporate events, festivals, etc. as well. After I leave Smirkus this year, I’ll be working with a “cirque nouveau” company and choreographing 7 aerial acts for contemporary dance company Movement Continuum for their upcoming production of “Neverland”.

Emma: This is your first year at Circus Smirkus. How has your experience been so far?

Jessica: My experience at Smirkus so far has been wonderful. The culture among the staff and troupers is so positive and uplifting, and the level of talent here is unmatched. It’s an honor to work with such a dedicated, passionate, and gifted group of people.

Circus Smirkus

Jessica with aerialists Ora Lin, Serafina Walker and Jacob Crow

Emma: How would you describe the troupers at Circus Smirkus?

Jessica: Crazy talented young artists who seem to truly understand the phrase “work hard, play hard.”

Emma: What’s your favorite thing about being a coach?

Jessica: It’s hard to choose just one thing, but I’d say the best part of being a coach is helping your students reach their highest potential as athletes and artists, and helping them accomplish feats they thought were never possible.

Emma: What are you most excited for this summer?

Jessica: I’m most excited to see the show come to life!

We can’t wait to see the 2019 Big Top Tour: Carnival either! Make sure to get your tickets today to see these incredible young circus artists this summer!