Jessica’s performance and training background is in figure skating, having trained as a competitive figure skater from the age of 8 to 18, everyday before and after school. Having quit skating, Jessica lived a normal(ish) life and eventually became a full time secondary school teacher. Initially, she took up Aerial Hoop as an after school hobby to keep fit. But after a while she felt her old body coming back, with all those forgotten feelings of training and performing flooding back. Before long, she’d quit her full-time teaching job and signed up for a full-time foundation course in Circus Arts.
Jessica is trained in most Aerial disciplines, but feels most at home on an Aerial Hoop. She has merged her two passions of skating and Aerial to form a number of acts on roller skates and on the Aerial Hoop - the best of both worlds!
In Jessica’s own words, ‘I love how aerial challenges me both mentally and physically. It’s painful and difficult but nothing beats the feeling of learning a new move or performing in front of a crowd. It makes me feel superhuman and that I can achieve anything I put my mind to. I also love the social aspect of the Aerial world. All the different types of incredible people I have met, and the sense of family, community and support wherever I go is infectious’.
When Jessica’s not in the air she runs a live music night called JJ’s SoulShack with her singer/songwriter sister Juliette Ashby. It’s been up and running since 2009 and has had residencies at various London venues including The Jazz Café, Camden and Islington Metal Works, where in 2015 they put on their first festival. If she’s not in the show, (or running the show), Jessica loves being in the audience at circus gigs, cabarets, live shows and music gigs, supporting other artist friends or just treating herself to a fun day/night out.
Jessica’s also a bit of a foodie, and enjoys eating out or cooking for family and friends when there’s a big enough space to entertain in. She also likes to practice Pilates and Yoga (Which she also teaches!)