Cirque du Zoom

‘Cirque du Zoom’ - How a project manager started a circus school over Zoom
By Holly Hutchinson

Holly Hutchinson

After nine years of working as a project manager in the cutting edge world of aerospace & train manufacturing in Derby; I’m ready to swop my laptop for a handful of diamantes and a leotard. Nope this is no joke, I’m seriously ready to quit the corporate world and start my own circus school. Who am I though?

My name is Holly Hutchinson and I’m the founder of Circus Strong; a community interest company dedicated to keeping circus alive and providing safe judgement free classes for the LGBTQ+ community. But why do I want to leave my safe decent paying project management job for the not so stable world of circus. The COVID pandemic has showed that if anything like that happens again I’d lose my source of income over night and potentially be bankrupt within a year. Well there’s two part to this. One is how I even entered the world of circus and the second is around embracing technology from day 1.

So 10 years ago I was a very angry man called Steve who came from a good home in Manchester. I was well educated, had friends, a social life.. but I just wasn’t happy. Everyday I was just getting angrier and angrier and I knew I was going down a dark path. Then when you add the suicidal thought, depression and just general drunken idiocracy you know you have to wake up and accept the truth. You have to be willing to accept your different and the only way to true happiness is to embrace the real you. It’s scary to go against society’s expectations and open yourself up, but the only other option is facing years of misery and feeling trapped. So…I just accepted reality and 4 years ago I started the process of transitioning to Holly.

Now when I started transitioning I somehow discovered an aerial and pole studio in Derby. I’d never done any form of dance/gymnastics as a kid but somehow I took to it and it literally changed my life. It didn’t matter that I was a 6’4 transgender woman with mental issues like depression, suicidal thoughts and anxiety. I was in a supportive environment that simply let me be. Then when I started competing and winning I started getting paid gigs. But there was one thing that really struck me about the circus world; It didn’t matter when in the world I was or what competition I was at there was always a supportive atmosphere and friendliness that I’d never come across.

           Holly Hutchinson 1Holly Hutchinson 2


So 4 years later I’ve done telly work, am a 4 time champion on the aerial silks & I’m ready to start helping people through the medium of circus. Now one of the key things that Circus Strong does is we blend the world of Cross Fit and circus in one providing you with a much more fun fitness alternative.

Due to the pandemic we’ve had to push the start of our face to face classes back to September; but were launching our online classes on the 15th March and they are free for one whole month. Our online classes are a great way to start training the circus way and meeting people. You don’t need any equipment other than yourself and Zoom. So why not discover an alternative to the gym and join a fitness revolution?

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