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Motus Pocus

This past weekend marks the end of the spooky days of October, and the passing of the inaugural Motus Pocus Jam held in Leuven, Belgium at the illustrious Hal5 parkour gym. Motus Pocus was brilliantly named by Rachel Gough, who also brought us the utter joy of seeing Giles in drag, and immortalized this image on the internet. 

The event came together with little preparation or warning, and was only announced 16 days prior to the festivities. “We were in Norway and Rachel was wondering if we were actually going to do this. We started fleshing out names and ideas, and in about half an hour we had a full picture of the event we wanted,” explained Giles over the background of Darwin’s morning walk. “Then we DM’ed Nico Vanhole, and asked if we could make this event happen, he gave us a solid maybe, and we rolled with it. It was all very last minute, which is how we work best in some ways.” I think many would agree, flying by the seat of our pants is where Motus seems to be most comfortable. 

Belgium seems like an interesting choice for a parkour team based in the UK, but Motus is slowly becoming less and less UK centric. With Jordan in Norway, and Camila and Rachel having just moved to Belgium themselves, Hal5 became the simplest option. “Not only is it one of the best gyms in the world, and Nico and everyone involved there are some of the nicest people in the world, but with Camila and Rachel in Belgium, we had a good shot. We can be in Belgium from where we live in a matter of four or five hours, so it’s no trouble to get out there for a weekend. We really want to continue working with everyone at Hal5, hosting events, and building a relationship.” 

The ultimate reason to even have a Halloween themed jam is of course, the costumes. Ignoring this crucial element would be Hallow’s Eve heresy, and those who didn’t come in costume were justly humiliated, as is the way. “Honestly, only about 35% of people dressed up, which was a little disappointing, but we made sure to ridicule anyone who didn’t dress up. We had Rachel writing insulting things on their foreheads, and spraying people’s hair blue if they weren’t in costume.” Luckily there are those who dressed for the occasion, “The winner of our costume competition was this girl who had spray painted ‘FIG’ onto this gymnastic leotard, and along with some other costume elements, she was supposed to be the future of parkour. We gave that a win because not only was it a good costume, but it was horrifying.” Giles laughed, “There was a guy in a huge bunny costume, kind of a Donnie Darko situation, but he had sellotaped a cache of carrots to his chest, like a bandolier of ammunition.” In true Giles fashion, he can remember none of the names of these wonderfully costumed people, but rest assured that there will be video footage of the event. “The video will be out this Sunday, because Kelan is a wizard. We got quite a lot filmed actually, lots of cool stuff happened, and I’m sure people will enjoy it.” 


The future of Motus Pocus is undetermined. In theory, in a year’s time another Motus Pocus could easily rear its head, but Giles makes no promises. “I have no idea if we’ll host this annually. A year seems so far, but at the same time it could rush by so quickly. I saw somebody wearing an ‘Ankle Thing’ hoodie at the jam, and realized that it came out two years ago. I have no idea what even happened to last Halloween. So who knows? We might do something similar next year, or completely forget Halloween even happened. I think we want to do more impromptu gatherings and meetups, and every now and again drop in a proper event.” With the renewed vigor coming from Motus, it seems like more good things are on the horizon, and I look forward to more events, competitions, and drag in the near future. Maybe next year the boys can do a Rocky Horror Picture Show poster. Wouldn’t that be a treat?