Miss Mess

An invitation to interview Miss Mess was one I leapt upon like a seagull to hot chip! Mastering the art of hula hooping is a feat few of us can claim, so to meet and watch a rare exception in action was akin to front row seats at the Cirque du Soleil.

In Livingstone, currently volunteering with Circus Zambia on a project called ‘Clowns for Condoms’, Jess and team teach HIV awareness and prevention through circus and clowning in high density areas. After 12 weeks, these young people make and perform a circus show to disseminate the HIV education to their wider community. Sexual health and circus is something Miss Mess holds close to her heart, as a youth worker with over 15 years experience she began to see an obvious link between youth work and health promotion:”Who else are these kids going to ask for advice and listen to? Sadly, not often their parents so what better way to teach young people serious topics than through the laughter of circusing!”

 “The hoop is wonderfully circular, you put yourself in the middle and all the energy comes flowing back to you, it’s empowering just as is making the right choices for your sexual relationships. And yet this essential knowledge has been neglected from school curriculums.”

Having worked with Performers without Borders in Nicaragua and Kenya Jess’s personal vision soon began to take shape. With plans to start a sex education circus in the United Kingdom aimed at secondary school students Jess hopes to support British schools in the delivery of modern 21st century sexual relationship education. If you can think of a good name for it inbox her on www.facebook.com/miss2mess 🙂

“Hula hooping! Oh how I love the simplicity and never ending possibilities of a plastic circle! It has been a way into the world of circus, a gateway prop into clowning, fire spinning, acrobatics, handstands and more recently aerial silks.

A hobby; a way to make money, friends and community and most importantly a way to spread pure joy and smiles through the ever crucial medium of social circus – taking circus and performing arts to vulnerable children.

Not just giving these children the gift of laughter but also teaching them the skills of communication, trust, confidence, and teamwork through learning these healthy skills themselves.”

Catch Miss Mess and a whole lotta hoops live at the Spanish Burning Man in July this year!

Photo by Vanessa Nielsen 

Leave a Reply