DCSIMG

Bouncing Ben’s Olympic Glory

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  • by Neil Hudson
 

Millions of people will have seen him on television during the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies and he’s currently on TV as an acrobatic spoon for Yorkshire Tea... Neil Hudson spoke to Ben Brason about jumping on stilts, fire breathing and jumping from a perfectly good plane at 30,000ft..

I was Born in Kings Lynn a little town in Norfolk but have lived in Leeds for four years.

I have two professions, being an entertaine/circus performer and when I’m not performing I am working here in and around Leeds teaching gymnastics.

I am the Head of Men’s Gymnastics at Aireborough Gymnastics Club in Rawdon and then teach in many different schools around Leeds, Castleford, Normanton, Pontefract and Darrington - if anyone would like to start gymnastics at Aireborough they can contact the me on aogc@hotmail.co.uk

In my performance work I do acrobatics. I have an acrobalance act that has toured all over the UK with my acro-partner Dan Lannigan, we offer flips, balances and dynamic duo moves that wow crowds with death defying stunts.

I am also a member of an acrobatic stilt troop that currently perform all over the world called Team Power Stilts.

This is on spring loaded stilts doing flips and tricks all whilst on stilts. I am also a firebreather and have performed this skill all over the world.

These skills are great for parties, corporate events, club nights and general shows, if anyone would like to book performances from either skill they can contact me on benbrason@gmail.com

Some of my performances include the London 2012 Opening Ceremony, Closing Ceremony and Paralympic Ceremony.

I have toured the whole of the UK with a show called pirates adventure - my role was an acrobatic fire breathing pirate.

I have just got back from Dubai where i was performing a show in Global Village, doing acrobatics and acrobatic stilts. Im on TV at the moment on the Yorkshire tea advert as an acrobatic spoon.

I have one sister called Lizzi who is currently studying at Nottingham Trent University studying Animal Science.

My Mum and Dad have been so help full throughout my whole career in gymnastics and career as a performer and coach. I really couldn’t have done it without them, my Mum is a school secretary and my Dad is a driving instructor for Academy Driving School... so you can guess who taught me to drive.

The best thing about Leeds is the people of Leeds, I have made so many friends for life here and on top of that the places to go and socialise in Leeds are great too, there are so many great restaurants, bars and clubs in Leeds. I love the fact in the city centre its always so lively and there are performers all over, singing, dancing, and I’ve even seen some doing circus skills in the city too, which of course I think is great.

My first job was at the age of 14 and I started as a gymnastics coach at Kings Lynn Gymnastics Club, just teaching the recreational children, I really enjoyed teaching and straight away knew that was something that I wanted to do.

I feel the best advice is more of the sayings that I have heard, I follow two sayings. ‘Take your opportunities’ and ‘do what you love, and love what you do’.

Following these two sayings I feel if you take all the opportunities you can to do what you love then surely you cant go wrong - that would be my advice to any person starting their career, not just in performance but in any industry.

I feel one of my guilty pleasures is getting really into TV programs such as Deal or No Deal or Countdown, I try to play along at home. I even shout at the TV.

I’ve met alot of people in my career so far, I’ve worked in shows with artist such as Coldplay, Rhianna, Jay Z, Dizzie Rascal, Wretch 32, Emily Sande, Russel Brand, One Direction and Ray Davies.

Clean jokes hmm, I don’t know allot of clean ones, I spent a summer as a pirate last year so here is a pirate joke: why does it take so long for pirates to learn the alphabet? Because they can spend years at C!

Something that may surprise people is I have an unusual talent for balancing things on my chin, I can balance a stick, a chair or even a stepladder on it, during performances I often set a stick on fire and balance this on my chin.

On a day off or when I am not working I usually train hard, either lifting weights in the gym, training in the garden with my acrobalance partner Dan, or training stilts somewhere in Leeds.

In the next year I will go back to tour the UK once again in the pirates adventure show, so I am looking forward to setting sail on that once again.

I am also hoping to get another performance contract abroad performing but we will have to wait and see with that.

In coaching I have my boys competing in another competition so I am looking forward to seeing them compete at there best on all six pieces of apparatus, and look forward to training them up for it in the gym.

I am also currently training to break a Guinness World Record, I hope to break it within the next year, the record is the most continuous back flips on spring loaded stilts.

I was recently working in Dubai and did a skydive from 30,000 feet. That was one of the most dangerous things I think I have ever done. I loved every second of it.

I really enjoy cooking, and when I can I do like to cook a good meal for people, one of my speciality’s is making a good lasagna. My favourite food is fajitas, cook them at least twice a week!

Contact Ben at Airborough Gymnasitcs Club: aogc@hotmail.co.uk; or benbrason@gmail.com

 

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