One of the best parts of my November Asia Trip was meeting the super bendy Elena Khaw.
I invited Elena to come to Brunei and introduce Aerial Silks, as well as aerial hoops. From our first Skype call to picking her up at the airport and spending the 3 days with her at BruXFit, What stuck with me most about Elena was just how passionate she was about this sport she does as a job.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:
I got into aerial Lyra about the same time as I did silks in 2009. I was never drawn to it because I felt inbalance and very awkward but after awhile, I knew how to position the bar on my balance points and the pain, I got accustomed to.
HOW DID YOU FIND YOURSELF BEING INTERESTED IN HOOPS?
My favourite part of the hoop is that it’s a nice and solid and it looks elegant. Well, I think I’m also biased since I like hoops a lot more than the other apparatus I perform with.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF HOOPS? AND MOST CHALLENGING?
The challenging part is that because its solid, your body needs to mould around the hoop versus where if you’re on the silks, the silks moulds around your body. So flexibility wise, I think the hoop is a bit tougher cause you kinda need to “squeeze” into certain positions.
WALK US THROUGH A DAY IN THE LIFE OF ELENA
My life is very routine. It almost never ever changes.
I wake up, go for a run or do some light stretching, have a green smoothie, cook my lunch & dinner before I head to conduct my morning classes- usually a couple of classes. I then travel to the aerial studio where I will rehearse with my teammates for shows or if I have time, I train myself and polish up on techniques. The training lasts between 2-4 hours. Then I would try to take a 1-hour breather before I hit the gym to lift or run depending on what I did in the morning and then off I go to another studio to teach another 2 or 3 classes. I take Sundays off now. Which I’m super happy to have. *grins*
ANY HOLISTIC REMEDIES THAT YOU USE?
Hmm….Holistic remedies. I never quite thought I used them until now when I reaaaaally think about it. Apple cider vinegar in my 2 glasses of water upon waking up. Probiotic tablets before I go to bed every night.
Green smoothies with a small slice of ginger and a small knob of turmeric. I plan to help the less fortunate more. I would like them to learn different ways of expressing their emotions healthily.
WHAT DO YOU HAVE PLANNED FOR THE FUTURE?
I want to work abroad more, get into theatres, conduct more workshops abroad -laugh, share, inspire and be inspired.
I struggle with my time. To excel in something, certain things need to be sacrificed. I spend most my time in the studio which means the lack of interaction with people who aren’t in the similar industry. I also struggle with injuries I have obtained over the years but that’s part of our battle being in this line of work.
I love my job because I get to move the way I want to, express myself through music and then share my knowledge and experience with my students. I love it because people think they have to start when they are a kid but it’s not true. I started out late. About 19 or 20 with absolutely zero backgrounds on dance, gymnastics or movement of any sort. It shocks people when I tell them at what age I started but it also tells people that you can start at any age, really. Don’t let that mental block stop you from trying that new thing. My teammates also started late. Probably later than I did at mid-20s and early 30s.
YOUR STRUGGLES/WHY U LOVE IT/WOULD YOU CHANGE IT?
Would I change it? Doubt so. I love what I do and not many people would be able to say “I’m getting paid for my hobby”…..