Podcast Ep.3 – Jonathan Last – Circus Acrobat, Gymnast, Movement Teacher, Freerunner, Handbalancer



“We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing”

– George Bernard Shaw

Being old is simply a state of mind. Age? Just a number. “You’re as young as you feel,” we hear time and time again, but it’s one thing hearing it and another actually believing it.

So when does it all change? When do we go from being young, carefree children filled with wonder and fascination with the world, to being boxed-in by what others think and tell us? When I was little my biggest concern was whether or not I’d get to buy the newest limited edition Pokemon cards!

But it does change. We begin to let our circumstances define our identity. We experience loved ones passing away; we get bullied at school; we get told, “You’re too fat to do this,” or, “You’re too skinny to do that.” We allow the labels put on us to actually become who we are.

What if I told you that that’s not who you are?

At fifteen, I was told by a loved one that I was too old to start acrobatics; that essentially I shouldn’t attempt one of my childhood dreams. The last thirteen years of free running, dance and movement have left me with some of the most beautiful God-given moments of my life: climbing to the top of many buildings with friends to watch the sun set over Oxford; dancing in a church with a group of my friends till the early hours of the morning; filming in Rotterdam with roads closed-off JUST so that I could run down them; attending movement workshops in Amsterdam with some of my best friends (being so tired that we fell asleep at the airport and missed our flight… it’s funny now). These are just a few of countless beautiful memories I’ve had, none of which would have happened if I’d believed the words that were spoken over me when I was just starting out.

Which words have you allowed to define you or knock you off a childhood dream? And what have you locked away because it now seems too frivolous next to the demands of daily life? I can’t say I’ve kicked against everything that’s been spoken over me (yet) but one thing I have definitely held onto this whole time is my childlikeness; the permission to play. And that is part of what I want to encourage in others through these classes. It is possible to reach a high standard in something without losing the fun and playfulness you have when you start out. So whether you’ve always wanted to try new kinds of movement, or you’ve been doing it for years and it’s got stale (or anything in between), come along and see what we’re about.

And, classes aside, why not choose today which negative label you want to get rid of in your life? Think where you could be in a year’s time if you started now!

Have a beautiful day and know how loved you are!


Here at Bristol Movement Collection we’re passionate about using these incredible bodies we’ve been given to the fullest, so we offer a place where you can mix and match different disciplines of movement. We massively love seeing students obtain new abilities, grow in confidence and achieve things they didn’t think possible, and we encourage a healthy dose of childlike play and wonder throughout. It’s about exploration.

Who are we?

We’ve been teaching different forms of movement for over nine years – things like hand balancing, gymnastics, free running, circus and contemporary movement. We love teaching very much. We love seeing people adding new vocabularies of movement to their ever-growing repertoire of locomotion (thesaurus win).

We love finding the synergy when two or more disciplines meet and create something beautiful. What happens when you put together floor work from contemporary dance and hand balancing? Or combine free running with ballet? We see this kind of contrasting partnership in so many aspects of life – in nature, in urban environments, cultural crossover, language, street art… anything from a thorny rose or thunder & lightning, to different nationalities, classes or faiths doing life together. Why shouldn’t we mix it up a bit in how we explore movement?

This is simply why we’ve set up these classes. We have some incredibly talented teachers and we can’t wait to see what develops as we combine our collections of disciplines to create something beautiful… and fun!

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