The Upside-Down Girl Emma Wright
The Upside-Down Girl Emma Wright

The Upside-Down Girl

Emma is from Dunstable, but often you can find her in her natural habitat, on a hoop or a trapeze around Cambridge. She is a woman of many talents and can help you get fit in more than one way – on an aerial hoop, in the gym, hula-hooping, on a trapeze or she is open for any new suggestions. Stick around and find out more!

We all want to know how you start aerial hooping!

Emma - Upside Down on an aerial hoop
Emma – Upside Down on an aerial hoop

NotSoClueless: So why aerial hoop?

Emma: Makes sense to start from the beginning. I was never really into fitness, especially as a kid.  I used to hide in the library. My mum used to force me to do sporty things, but I used to smuggle a book in and sit in the corner and read. I got dragged to my first pole dancing lesson by a friend, who just wanted some company. I did it as a favour for her, but after a month she quit and I became addicted.

I continued doing pole at university and one day a girl came in with different kind of bruises. She told us she tried silks at Cambridge Community Circus. I took one of the classes; I didn’t enjoy silks, but saw that there were also trapeze lessons. I gave that a go, I like the idea of having a bar and I loved it. I spent a while learning how to trapeze and it is quite a natural transition to go from trapeze to aerial hoop. The moves are very similar. I then ended up spending more and more time on aerial hoop. It’s interesting that now it’s my main thing, even though it was one of the last things I learnt.

NSC: How long have you been hooping for?

E: 18 months, so not very long really, but I have been doing circus for 4-5 years all together.

NSC: When did you take the leap from student to teacher?

E: It all happened quite accidentally. At Cambridge Community Circus we would all get together and practice and on one of the days the teacher could not make it for a beginner’s class. I offered to teach and help out and now I teach all of the time.  We learnt by using you tube, crash mats and prayers! It was skill share basis class, the person with the most experience would teach the rest. I also got a lot of workshop experience when I traveled with the circus school for three and a half months around the UK in 2013. I ended up preferring the workshops with the kids to the performances.

NSC: Do you plan on pursuing a career in circus arts?

E: I eventually want to open my own circus school. Probably not in Cambridge, there are lots of schools here already. I also feel bad opening a school here and taking students away from the people who helped foster my talent.  I want to also explore more other things, like being a PT.

NSC: A little birdie tells us that you have a philosophy degree from Cambridge – how does that tie in with Aerial hoop?  

E: In many  ways I owe the University of Cambridge a lot for my current career, despite the fact that I am not using my degree directly.  I was a massive nerd as a kid, I still am! That will never change. Both of my parents are book worms, my dad always does new distance learning courses. That’s my background. I wanted to travel actually and not apply to university. My school convinced me to apply and go to the open day in Cambridge. One thing led to another and I stumbled into doing a philosophy degree at Cambridge.  I loved my RE teachers and I enjoyed the subject the most, so I always knew if I was going to go to university and study it would be that.  I really didn’t think I was going to get in. I stumble through life in general – I think the best people do it. It’s best to wonder and see what happens.

NSC: What are the physical benefits of aerial hoop?

E: They are quite obvious – strength. It is physically demanding and your body needs to adapt. It works your upper body and core. Unlike the gym where you are hyper aware that you are working a specific muscle, the benefits of aerial come as a side effect, which is excellent.  This is how I ended up getting into fitness. I wanted to learn new moves. Its exercise where you don’t realise you are exercising. It also helps with flexibility and body awareness. I think this is great. Lots of people treat their bodies as just a ‘container’ that moves them around, but aerial hoop helps you focus on posture and makes you more aware of your body in general.

On the Spot Questions

Describe yourself in 3 words…

Ambitious. Quirky. Passionate.

What animal would you be?

A house cat.

Go to cocktail on a night out?

G&T if it’s a classy night out, otherwise a Margarita – I love tequila.

Celebrity crush?

John Snow. Matt Murdock – I appreciate how tight his trousers are in the new Daredevil series.

Celebrity girl crush?

Anna Kendrick. I love her she is so funny.

If you want to know more about Emma, you can find her on her website:

About the author


Nevena loves languages and literature. She likes to spend her time learning new languages and skills, and you can often find her either on an aerial hoop or on a mountain skiing.

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