3 high training

The 3 high is my favourite trick. I trained as an actor, so unlike the rest of Square Peg, I didn’t go to circus school. All the circus skills I have now I learnt through working with Tim, and the Company. When we performed our first show in 2010, I had only just learned to have 1 person standing on my shoulders. This, in circus terms, is called a 2 High.

Then, as part of Roundhouse Circusfest we watched ‘Le Grande C’ by Compagnie XY. This show was a huge inspiration for me, the cast were all building spectacular human towers, 3 and 4 people high. That’s when I told Tim I wanted to be a base, and soon after we tried the first stages of building a 3 high with me at the bottom. We use the Koala climb, taught to us by Compagnie XY. This is probably the slowest way to build a 3 high, but it really teaches all 3 of you about your role in the trick, and allows you to train it in stages. It’s also the foundation for getting to the fabled 4 high! (For more info on Roundhouse CircusFest click here and for more info on Compagnie XY click here )

I love the 3 high because it is just human bodies. There’s no apparatus, there’s just the 3 of us, standing one on top of the other. I also like the 3 high because it’s fascinating to watch it build. All three of us have to work very hard in completely different ways. Nikki, our flyer has to be very precise with her climb, and brave to get used to the height and wobbles. Antonio has the tricky job of balancing Nikki on his shoulders, whilst allowing me to balance him- the middle is often said to be the hardest role for this reason. Then there’s me, with my feet on the floor and 120 kilograms of fellow performer stood on my shoulders. It’s my job to not wobble. To be the floor for Antonio. To cheer on Nikki! When the tower is built, and we stand 3 high, it’s a fantastic feeling!

Tomos James

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