Acrobatic Sunderland lecturer is flying high

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An acrobatic lecturer is literally jumping through hoops in a bid to help other women in Sunderland.

Sarah Dobbs, a lecturer in creative writing at The University of Sunderland, decided to take a three month sabbatical from inspiring students in her day job to concentrate on her after-work hobby, aerial acrobatics.

Sarah Dobbs. Pictures taken at Tempest Dance studio in Washington

Sarah Dobbs. Pictures taken at Tempest Dance studio in Washington

Now, she is hoping to use her hobby to encourage, support, and build confidence in other women.

Sarah, who has been teaching at the uiversity for the past four years, said: "When I first started doing aerial hoop I felt stronger, both physically and mentally, it helped me a lot.

"The more I did, the more my confidence grew. I loved the dynamic, gymnastic side of it and I wanted to take things to the next level."

Sarah decided to take an extended break from the university and take up a professional course ran by My Aerial Home based in London.

Sarah Dobbs. Pictures taken at Tempest Dance studio in Washington

Sarah Dobbs. Pictures taken at Tempest Dance studio in Washington

There she honed her skills alongside professional acrobats in the hope that she would acquire enough knowledge to pass on to other women back in the region.

She said: "When I first started going to classes I was terrible, I couldn’t do them and I really struggled. But, over time, I improved a lot. I suppose the message I wanted to get over was that if I could do it, anyone can do it.”

Now Sarah has co-founded Uncaged Aerial Theatre Company with professional rope artist, Emma Bloomfield.

She said: "We want to bring movement and writing together within the community, encouraging both expression and freedom of expression.

Sarah Dobbs. Pictures taken at Tempest Dance studio in Washington

Sarah Dobbs. Pictures taken at Tempest Dance studio in Washington

"We hope to bring together a performance in time for the Creative Writing Festival this October."

Sarah, who has travelled as far afield as Venice to train, also teaches regular aerial classes in Washington.

She added: "I’m back teaching at university now after what has really been a life-changing experience. The chance to share what I’ve learned is something I’m really excited about."

The first aerial and narrative workshop runs at Dance City in Sunderland on April 7 and is funded by SunGen, University of Sunderland.

For more information visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/explore-aerial-and-narrative-workshop-tickets-54860966628.