Why I love: Being Peter Pan

Wendy Hesketh, aerial artiste
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The Independent Online

When I was little, my dreams of flying were so convincing, it used to take me until about midday to realise I couldn't do it. I'd even perfect my technique in my dreams, steering and landing. Now I do that every day, performing on the end of an 80m rope.

I wanted to fly and I wanted to dance, so I put them together in the form of a technique I call bungee-assisted dance. I helped design a harness that's unobtrusive, so I can move in slow motion, like something out of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It's beautiful seeing the audience's faces looking up at me. Adults become children.

Flying is now so natural to me I forget I'm on the end of a rope with a man operating a counterbalance. I'm very wee – only 5ft tall – but when I'm in the air I don't feel small. I feel like an albatross.

Monkey! is at West Yorkshire Playhouse (0113 213 7700, www.wyp.org.uk) from 14 June

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