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Interview with Adrienn Bánhegyi, the rope-skipping world champion, and Cirque du Soleil artist

 

Lexi: First of all, can you tell me about how rope-skipping came into your life? Maybe, I could also ask, have you always been such an agile, even as a child?

Adrienn Bánhegyi: I began rope-skipping 20 years ago. The idea to try rope-skipping came from my father, Attila Bánhegyi (the Head of the Rope Skipping Club of Szombathely, teacher majored physical education- geography). He saw a film in which there was a scene taken on a playground, where some teenage girls presented different tricks with two ropes. Sport has always played the most important role in our life.

 

 

Lexi: What was the point since when it has meant more for you than simply keeping fit?

A.B.: Actually it has always meant more for us than simply keeping fit, because we started rope-skipping not only with the aim of keeping fit, but we also used it for a kind of community development, and for the integration of children with specific educational needs with the help of sport.

Lexi: So can we say that you also had teaching ambitions?

A.B.: My parents are both teachers, and they always look for possibilities to improve the skills of their students with specific educational needs.

 

Lexi: You have already had a lot of pleasant experiences, and your Facebook page is full of your experiences gained worldwide. Can you tell me a bit about the most special moments of your life?

A.B.:  I managed to visit a lot of places with the help of rope-skipping. It was a great experience for me to perform in the Madison Square Garden in New York. This summer I was in Orlando, for a few months, replacing one of the jump rope artists in a Cirque du Soleil show. Perhaps one of the most beautiful and memorable trip was the one in St. Johns’s in Canada, visiting beautiful trails along the coast, with an amazing scenery.

Lexi: How did you get employed at Cirque du Soleil?

A.B..: I received an email 8 years ago, from the international rope-skipping federation, saying that Cirque du Soleil is looking for rope-skippers.Then we sent a video with my sister to their headquarter in Montreal, not too long after that we were invited for an audition in France.After a whole day of testing, we were given a certificate which meant that we entered the pool of candidates, who can expect employment opportunity at Cirque du Soleil in the future.

Lexi: Can you tell me about what an average day of you looks like at Cirque du Soleil?

A.B.: I don’t only work for Cirque du Soleil, I work for different different, I often perform in theatres, TV shows, and I also give trainings for professional athletes, so that they can develop their coordination skills, their condition and their concentration.So my days are always different, sometimes it is full of trainings, while at other times it’s full of performances. From time to time, it happens that I spend more time on airplane or at  airports than with my ropes.

Lexi:  Could you tell me about how you prepare for a performance? Could you give us an insight behind the scenes?

A.B.:  We usually start with make up. Now I’m getting quicker and quicker, but in the beginning, it took me a long time to learn every single step. Then comes a general warm-up that is followed by some rituals, and then we go on stage.

Lexi: This summer we could also hear about a tragedy from the media. Sarah Guillot-Guyard (or in her artist name, Sassoon) fell down 15 meters into the depth, when, towards the end of the performance, she was pulled up high. How can  you handle such a tragedy?

A.B.: At that time I was actually working in Orlando, we heard about what happened in Las Vegas. The company has always done everything to support the artists and technicians, and they provided the possibility to consult with sport psychologists and other professionals, in case needed. Of course, they double checked all the equipments to make sure the shows keep going as safe as possible!

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