When University of Sunderland lecturer Sarah Dobbs says she is jumping through hoops – she literally is jumping through hoops.
The Lecturer in Creative Writing decided to take a three month sabbatical from inspiring students in her day job to concentrate on her after-work hobby, aerial acrobatics.
Now, she is hoping to use her hobby to encourage, support, and build confidence in women across the North East.
Sarah, who has been teaching at the University for the past four years, said: “When I first started doing aerial hoop I felt stronger, both physically and mentally, it helped me a lot.
“The more I did, the more my confidence grew. I loved the dynamic, gymnastic side of it and I wanted to take things to the next level.”
So Sarah decided to take a three-month break from the University and take up a professional course ran by My Aerial Home based in London.
There she honed her skills alongside professional acrobats in the hope that she would acquire enough knowledge to pass on to other women back in the North East.
“When I first started going to classes, I was terrible, I couldn’t do them and I really struggled,” said Sarah. “But over time, I improved a lot. I suppose the message I wanted to get over was that if I could do it, anyone can do it.”
Now Sarah has co-founded ‘Uncaged Aerial Theatre Company’ with professional rope artist, Emma Bloomfield.
She said: “We want to bring movement and writing together within the community, encouraging both expression and freedom of expression.
“We hope to bring together a performance in time for the Creative Writing Festival this October.”
Sarah, who has travelled as far afield as Venice to train, also teaches regular aerial classes in Washington.
She added: “I’m back teaching at University now after what has really been a life-changing experience. The chance to share what I’ve learned is something I’m really excited about.”
The first Aerial and Narrative workshop runs at Dance City in Sunderland on April 7 and is funded by SunGen, University of Sunderland.
For more information visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/explore-aerial-and-narrative-workshop-tickets-54860966628