KMB: Bat City Circus

By Monica Brant – February 1, 2022
Brian Fitzsimmons

Happy New Year AFM Readers! 

It is a brand-new year — another chance to try new things and stretch our comfort zone while learning new activities, and AFM is just the place to discover those great locations.

2021 was my official 4th year (though spread out over the years) to work with AFM and produce “Kick Mo’s Butt” features. It has been a joy working with the amazing staff plus all the interesting coaches who have tested my skills and athleticism. At the tender age of 51, I am grateful that I am still able to “play” and enjoy so many different methods of training. It goes to show how a lifelong commitment to being athletic pays off. 

Monica hanging on silks.

As I coordinated this month’s feature with our great editor (Landry) and photographer (Brian), I was curious about Bat City Circus. Would I be flying across the room at great heights on a trapeze or maybe trying to walk on stilts? When I think of the circus, these thoughts floated through my imagination and, of course, I was eager to try anything set before me.

As we entered, Eve Richter Dinnan, owner and instructor of Bat City Circus, greeted us warmly and shared the story of the location, which is still under some construction and improvements. 

We learned that Eve has become not only a trainer of all “circus” techniques but was also the transformation winner of the AFM competition in February 2014 with an amazing weight loss record of 130 pounds! She was heavily in training and boxing and then moved into the “circus” techniques, which led her to open her own studio, Bat City Circus. 

Moving into the actual KMB session, Eve led me through some dynamic movements and static stretches to set the body in motion.

She had a full plan for me to work through four or five obstacles, and we started with — usually the hardest for beginners — silks. I enjoyed some beginner movements on them such as the foothold and climbing. I have climbed ropes many times and love the feeling of being able to hoist myself up the rope, and this is certainly similar but different. Hand/grip strength is important!

Monica on a trapeze.

Eve allowed time for me to learn a few pieces of the technique before moving me to the trapeze, which is secretly what I was most excited about. Eve demonstrated the mount and a couple of different positions to try while sharing details such as hand positions and body parts that will be used interestingly, and of course, the dismount. 

I am a visual learner, so this was important to me that I could watch her perform the movements. Then, she turned me loose to see what I recalled.

Since I have played with bars throughout my life, plus worked with many obstacles in OCR/ANW training, I have some understanding of moving around a bar. However, never a moving bar nor trapeze swing! 

Thankfully, I was brave enough and have body awareness so I was able to maneuver through some beginner positions and felt pretty excited that I was able to pull them off. Rest assured, Eve was conscious of the trapeze height and kept it low to the floor mat so I did not have to deal with height concerns, but I could see how that would affect someone’s ability to focus on the movements while keeping the swing still. So much to think about but so worth the reward.

Eve has a fun and quirky sense of humor as well. She has something of interest to say about everything, and the time flew by quickly.

After pulling me away from my new favorite, she set up the Lyra (imagine a hanging, twirling hula hoop) low to the floor and claimed she was being generous that she did not put me on the Lyra without any tape to help with my grip.

I was thankful for the tape. I can see how much more challenging it would be without it. Note: if you are new to Lyra, ask for the taped one! 

Monica on a lyra.

Since we were nearing the end of the session, we moved faster and Eve used the Lyra next to me, instructing me along the way as she moved through different skills and appeared to have seamless transitions. I did my best to keep up with her, and by this time, my body and mind were slowing down a bit. I discovered long ago that when you are exercising and using your brain to learn movements, the brain takes a lot of the energy for itself, leaving the body with less to utilize.

As the Lyra was spinning, I felt that was the case for me, but I ended satisfied in my “try” with an eagerness to return and try them again sometime in the future. Eve had more for me to test out, such as the Hammocks and Cyr Wheel, but those will have to be another time. 

I certainly received a small taste of a variety of apparatuses and got a slight feel for the art and would cherish another opportunity to work with Eve. 

I highly recommend anyone slightly curious find your way to BCC and allow Eve to show you some aerial tricks that I know you will be able to enjoy!

Be sure to tell her Mo sent ya..  😉

Stay fit, Love Life and God Bless!

Monica Brant


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