“If you take care of your mind and body, you can move mountains.” -Kelsey Jamieson
I’m so glad Kelsey agreed to do this interview, and provide all these BREATHTAKING photos, because my first experience with her was rather embarrassing.
I was working the front desk of my yoga studio when these two striking young students showed up wearing Cirque du Soliel logo’d gear. Being the inquisitive cheese-ball that I am, I said ‘Neat jackets. Are you guys actually with Cirque, or did you win those or something?’.
Blink. Kelsey replied. ‘We’re with Cirque.’. Awkward. I internally shook my head at my own tendency to speak so bluntly. But my embarrassment was quickly replaced by pure fascination. I started quizzing them about handstands, acrobatics and being with the world’s most renowned contemporary circus.
To my delight, they offered to do a couple handstand classes with me (!). I became somewhat obsessed with their level of awesomeness, and Kev and my friends were soon rolling their eyes as I yammered about my new friends, as I often do when I am exposed to a new standard of amazing in my life.
Kelsey and her husband Preston perform as a couple, and are capable of the, as in THE, most stunning acrobatic demonstrations I’ve ever seen.
I am absolutely honoured and delighted to share their breathtaking photographs as well as her insightful and incredibly grounded answers to my questions. Without further delay…
Peace + Hotness Interviews Kelsey Jamieson – Cirque du Soleil Superhuman and Arbiter of Peace
Kelsey, you’re super hot. Your hubby is a babe. You have a successful career performing with Cirque Du Soleil, and you can do things with your body that very few people will ever do in this world. In fact, on some levels, it’s hard to comprehend that a human can do the things you do. From my outside perspective, it seems you’re living your dream. Would you say you have a loving relationship with yourself? Do you feel peaceful? Do you give yourself credit for all your successes?
I give myself permission to take pride in my accomplishments… which can be receiving a new contract, learning a new trick, or as simple as taking an hour away from this crazy world to meditate. If you give yourself credit for your successes, no matter how little, you are building that loving relationship with yourself – which in turn, leads to peacefulness.
Amazing. When did you start training in such high level acrobatics, and how old were you when you decided you wanted to perform with Cirque?
Preston and I both come from a dance background. In our mid 20s we decided to make the switch into acrobatics… it was a tough journey, but totally worth it. Cirque du Soleil was never specifically our goal, but we are very grateful that that’s the path we were lead to.
I bet. Was there ever a time when you felt like you were too hard on yourself, and did that feel like a necessary mindset to meet the needs of your training?
Historically I have quite the track record of being too hard on myself, but it’s a mindset laced with negativity that is not conducive to growth.
Well said. Are you ever still hard on yourself?
Preston has inspired me with his attitude of support and dedication, and his outlook to be the best you can be at THIS moment. One of my favourite quotes is, “Be mindful of your Self-Talk. It is a conversation with the universe.” -David James Lees
How have you found your relationship with your body has changed over the years?
It’s beneficial for my own joints, and for Preston’s joints (as he’s the one throwing and catching me) for me to maintain my weight to avoid injury to us both. There was a time when it was frustrating trying to maintain a specific weight, and the more you stress about it, the more of an issue it becomes. I find that if I eat a well balanced diet full of whole-foods 80-90 % of the time, my weight maintains itself.
Let’s repeat that. “…the more you stress about it, the more of an issue it becomes. I find that if I eat a well balanced diet full of whole-foods 80-90 % of the time, my weight maintains itself.” Kelsey, this is the underlying message of Peace + Hotness. Thank you.
So your relationship with food sounds very positive and stress-free. Any thoughts on how our readers can help make the transition from preoccupation with food to a more peaceful one?
I love food. And your body knows what it needs. Trust your own instinct and intuition; you are the expert on your body and your life. Listen to your body’s wisdom and messages, not just the mind’s idea of what the body needs. I just had a giant bowl of pasta… for breakfast. It was delicious.
So how would you describe your current diet?
I try to maintain a whole-food vegan diet.
Good call. What are some foods that you MUST have, and foods you never eat?
I’m admittedly addicted to blueberries and avocados! I prefer to avoid anything processed… but indulging occasionally is perfectly alright. Hence… the pasta.
I imagine your focus must be ninja-esque in order to perform your amazing feats. Do you meditate or do any intentional concentration exercises?
Disciplines such as martial arts and yoga (and I will selfishly throw acrobatics in there) – which combine body, mind, and spirit – all furnish an exceptional means to develop deeper trust in the body’s spontaneous ability to learn and to move. Harmony in the body is greatly dependent on balance in the mind, so definitely yes, I meditate. Also, in the moments before performing our act, Preston and I have a ritualistic goof-off, followed by our individual visualization exercises.
I love that goofing off is part of your ritual. You guys are so great.
Here’s a fun one for ya. I’ve seen your little booty in tight shorts, and you seem to have an ass that completely ignores gravity. Any tips on how we can gravity proof our asses?
WHAT?! HA! That’s awesome. I had no idea! Genetics? Spontaneous dance attacks? Your guess is as good as mine!
How long did it take you (and your honey) to train for the ‘standing on the head’ trick? That blows my mind.
Fun fact: It’s our easiest trick. We put it in our performances for a little “rest-time”. When we were initially practicing, it was more difficult than now of course… I’d say the most difficult part was Preston learning how to stabilize his neck properly to avoid injury.
Incredible. Do you practice yoga regularly?
I do not regularly practice yoga… though I’m sure it would benefit me greatly. I do, however, try to stretch daily… if I don’t there is pain everywhere. The body is meant to be used, and yoga is a great medium for use.
You and your partner just got married. Congratulations, you two look very happy…beyond standard wedding photo happy. You don’t have to answer this if you don’t want to: I can’t help but imagine you guys must have some AWESOME sex. How do you feel being active, and working out together so much affects your connection with Preston?
Thanks! Our connection grows daily… emotionally and physically… which is amazing to say about someone you’ve been with for over 10 years. We are with each other almost 24/7, and sometimes I find it hard to tear myself away from the constant incredibleness-that-is-Preston to get in some self-reflection and meditation time.
Both of you are incredible, in so many ways. How do you feel about goal setting? Has that contributed to the incredibleness-that-is-Kelsey?
I believe goal setting to be extremely beneficial. The older I get, the more important I believe it to be.
Having reached this formidable level of success in artistry – being paid well to do something you’re clearly destined to do – do you feel as though you have arrived at your definition of success in your career?
My definition of success in constantly in flux, I enjoy new challenges and am constantly seeking to better myself – mind, body, and soul.
What’s the average age of a Cirque performer? What’s on the agenda for you when/if you retire from performing?
If you take care of your mind and body, you can move mountains. My teacher was 70 and held me above his head like a steel pole. A porter (the base in an acrobatic duo) I once worked with was 47 years old and made me feel ancient. In a few years I’d like to start a family, but other that that, my picture of the future changes daily. Saving the Earth would be nice though.
Nice! I too want to save the world!
I was so excited to see your video from the Oscars! Any fun stories to share about that experience?
Normally we’re watching their faces on the screen, and here they all were watching us! It was a whirlwind experience.
Any last tips for our readers on creating peaceful hotness?
You can study the wisdom of experts, but you must find your own truths.
Thank you Kelsey. You are beautiful. A product of peace and a radiant light of hotness. I hope we can do another handstand class the next time you’re in town.
Do you know someone who’s peaceful and hot? Someone who can inspire others with their story? Email me! I’d love to interview them for our MuseDays Tuesdays.