Unpacking Injury in Circus: E3 Sarah Poole

Circus News

Unpacking Injury in Circus: Flying with Excess Baggage with Amiel Soicher Clarke–E3 Sarah Poole

In this audio series, Unpacking Injury in Circus, former circus performer and current behavioral neuroscience student, Amiel Soicher Clarke, explores the lived experiences that influence injury management for circus performers, using his analytic auto-ethnographic thesis as a guide. In this third episode, Amiel sits down with Sarah Poole, the Director of Higher Education at l’Ecole de Cirque de Quebec. This is the first part of a two-episode discussion, where Sarah and Amiel have a candid discussion exploring how injuries can be minimized and foster agency and adaptability as leaders and coaches at post-secondary circus institutions.

Amiel Soicher Clarke is a previous trampolinist and teeterboard performer and current acrobatic trainer at the National Circus School in Montreal. In tandem with teaching, he is a student in the Honour’s Behavioural Neuroscience program at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada under the guidance of Sport Psychologist and qualitative behavioural sciences researcher Dr. Theresa Bianco. His focus of study uses a trauma-informed approach to the psychology of injury management decisions that circus performers experience, with an emphasis on knowledge mobilization for general audiences. This is both his first time contributing to CircusVoices and first time presenting his field of research. He looks forward to hearing the perspectives and sparking a discussion with the broader circus community that he holds so dear.

Sarah Poole is the Director of Higher Education at the École de cirque de Québec.  For the last fifteen years, she has had the opportunity to develop her teaching practice in the circus milieu in a wide range of contexts.  She taught aerial disciplines for fourteen of those years at the National Circus School in Montréal after completing its one-year intensive Coach Training program in 2008.  As a specialist coach, she has worked on many original productions for Cirque du Soleil (MESSI10, KURIOS, CRYSTAL, SAND) and for Cirque Éloize (SEUL ENSEMBLE).  She has regularly taught aerial technique and creative research workshops in Europe (European Aerial Dance Festival, Les Rencontres de la Danse Aérienne), in the United States, and throughout Canada.  She has also worked as a consultant in educational programming at En Piste.  She is currently completing her research in circus pedagogy for her MA studies at Concordia University, and holds a Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership from McGill University.  Originally a New Yorker, Sarah has lived in Québec since 2003.

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Amiel Soicher Clarke
Retired Performer, Coach, Researcher -Canada, Ireland, UK
I was a trampolinist turned teeterboard performer with various Cirque du Soleil productions. Currently am teaching teeterboard at the National Circus School in Montreal, Canada. In addition, I am the principal researcher under the supervision of Sport Psychologist Dr. Theresa Bianco studying the biopsychosocial dynamics contributing to circus performers' injury management decisions.
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Amiel Soicher Clarke

I was a trampolinist turned teeterboard performer with various Cirque du Soleil productions. Currently am teaching teeterboard at the National Circus School in Montreal, Canada. In addition, I am the principal researcher under the supervision of Sport Psychologist Dr. Theresa Bianco studying the biopsychosocial dynamics contributing to circus performers' injury management decisions.