Tell us a little bit about yourself :)
I am 18 years old and I was born in the north Italy. I grew up in Zurich, Switzerland where I prepared myself for the auditions at the "state acrobatics school in Berlin". I was 14 years old when I moved to Berlin to become an aerial acrobat and go to high school at the same time.
How did you get introduced to aerial art?
When I was 4 years old, I was a noisy troublemaker and my mother was getting crazy. She would send me to a little youth circus in Zurich twice a week so I would get calm. It worked well and I fell in love with it. Afterwards I visited all kinds of circus and varieté shows, and I realized that one day I want nothing more than to be a person performing on these stages.
When did aerial art get “serious”?
Everyone comes to the point when you get asked what will you do when you grow up. For me, it was clear from the start that I want to become a professional acrobat and I explored opportunities where I can finish school and do acrobatics at the same time. My grandmother helped me by finding the state acrobatics school in Berlin and I applied to it the same day.
It was such an exciting adventure to leave home so young.
Can you share your biggest challenges ?
It took me some time to get used to the pressure. I was never one of those people that learn or form muscles very quickly. I had to work very hard so my coaches would be satisfied. It was a big challenge for me to learn not to take it personally when my coach would say that I wasn’t good enough. I worked harder and harder and realized that it really doesn’t matter if he thinks that I wasn’t good enough and that it is important that I believe I can make it.
How do you handle pressure?
When I perform on the stage, the pressure is very high. I want to appeal to the audience and there is the pressure if my performance will be on point at the moment. However, what keeps me going is that I always remember that this is what I really love and want to do and that that particular moment is the perfect opportunity to show everyone what I have learned so far.
Can you share your thoughts on self consciousness?
I am still nervous before I perform but I am getting more confident and relaxed with each performance.
What was your most embarrassing moment (in regards to aerial art of course ;)
There is a rope hanging under my aerial chair and one day, I was practicing a salto from the chair on the rope. In the beginning, I was practicing with a safety belt. My coach was supposed to hold the rope to safe me if I would fell down, but he forgot to put on his gloves and when I fell down, he flew right after me and we were both hanging 3 meters above the floor and didn’t know how to get down.
How did aerial art influence your life in other ways?
As an acrobat you need a healthy lifestyle. In the beginning, it was very hard for me to say no when my boyfriend, who was not into sports at all, ordered pizza and drank wine in the middle of the week. I felt like a spoiler and kind of uncool. But then I realized that this healthy lifestyle is part of my world and I started to get more self-confident.
What does your daily routine look like ?
My day starts at 7:30am when I prepare my breakfast. Then I stretch myself before I go to the training, it helps me prepare for the day. Afterwards I go to training for two hours and next I have theory lessons. Then I have 45 minutes time for lunch which I prepared the day before. Then the training starts again which includes the warm up with stretching, hand balancing and after we work on our performance and the trinks. In the end of each session we do strength training. Then I go again to a theory lesson until 7:30pm. Afterwards, I go home and do the work around house.
And what about your flexibility training ? Where does that fit in ?
I found out that I am more flexible if I run for about 15 minutes before stretching, then my body is completely warmed up. I throw my legs in every direction and roll out my whole body on a foam. If my coach stretches me its always extremely painful because he thinks we are not flexible enough. We have to lay on a enhancement while two coaches pushes down the legs until we are in the oversplit.
What keeps you motivated?
I get motivated every time I see a show, because after every show I feel an extreme energy inside of me and I get very excited. Other motivation source are my friends and classmates (Instagram: @nicita_ster and @tim_krgler) who do acrobatics too, we push each other forward even if someone has a bad day or does not feel like training.
My favorite motivational Instagram pages are @gymaholic_site and every kind of International acrobats like @fournier_mc or @laure_dp. They show me what I am able to reach one day.
What are your future plans/goals/dreams?
In my future I plan to create an aerial straps act. I have done it for only one year so far, and there are still a lot very cool tricks to work on, but I really love it. The second thing I want to do is getting experience in acting because it makes a big difference if you have acting skills on stage. I want to communicate and entertain the audience physically and orally.
Any tips for passionate people starting out aerial arts?
I think it does not matter if you are a chemist, an architect or an acrobat. You have to love what you are doing otherwise it is very hard to motivate yourself or to make progress. Don't give up too fast, great things needs time.
Every time I get crazy because things are not working, I have to tell this to myself.
Anything you’d like to share?
I have no website yet but my Instagram account is: @gullirb