If you've been inspired by what you've seen at #TOKYO2020, then this week's creator spotlight is definitely for you! We spoke to @jessica.barfoot, who has been wowing our community with her jaw dropping stunts and gymastics routines.
A professional acrobat by trade, Jessica started off two years ago as a stunt performer onboard cruise ships, captivating the crowds with mind boggling routines. However, when the pandemic forced the UK into lockdown and with no sailings on the cards, she began posting videos of herself performing some seriously impressive stunts around her house.
With over 282.4k followers on the platform, Jessica's success shows no signs of slowing down - we sat down with her to find out what inspires her...
What do you love most about TikTok?
Being quite a busybody I don't usually have time to scroll through social media that much. What I absolutely love about TikTok is the ability for me to jump onto the Following and For You Feed and scroll through so much diverse content, which is strangely relaxing compared to other platforms. It's my first "go to" these days; I love not knowing what you'll scroll through next whether it be emotional, educational, or inspirational.
Why is TikTok right for your content?
As I have quite a few hobbies and talents I love that I can post a variety of content which attracts attention from a range of different audiences. As you can see from my feed, my content ranges from gymnastic challenges and fitness workouts to food, travel, home design and general life hacks. I am so passionate about all these different areas and love sharing my talent and knowledge with the world.
What is your favourite recent challenge or track on TikTok?
Ah there's too many! I definitely love a good flexibility, core or handstand challenge. However, being a gymnast, I love a "flip" as some would say. The box challenge is a personal favourite where you do a flick in the shape of a box. Aside from that I love getting my audience to count how many somersaults or flicks I do. This would usually consist of a 'line' full of different tricks.
What is your goal on TikTok?
If I were to have a goal on TikTok it would getting as many people involved in sports as possible. For me it's my escape and I want to show others that it can be for them too. During 2020 it became even clearer that it's such a massive part of my life and so I want to keep sharing my experiences, whether it is a challenging mental issue or just me having fun. I think everyone should get involved in sport in some way possible.
What else is or who else on your TikTok For You feed?!
Absolutely everything! Sushi, travel, gymnastics, fitness, tricking, parkour, yoga, Redbull, fails, animals, news, Olympics, honestly I can't name everything it's insane! I don't know whether it's true that your phone listens to you but it seems that whenever I scroll through, something I've been thinking about is always there! Recently there was alot of pre swimming meditation on my For You Feed... I had a swimming test a few days after and I still think this is crazy.
What is your favourite TikTok you have made to date and why?
Good question! Sadly, I don't have a favourite. I love a good fail compilation because as much as its funny seeing me land on my head multiple times I also want to show younger athletes that nobody is perfect and practice really does help! I also love high diving and showing my friends and myself off to the world! The Javellin Jump is a personal favourite of mine. Other than that I can safely put my hands up and say that Tiktok makes my life a whole lot easier when I'm making videos - it still baffles me that the music syncs perfectly.
Why do you think sports content is suddenly booming on TikTok?
I'm no genius but I think Covid fast tracked our own personal wellbeing. Whether mentally or physically, I think lockdown has really made us all more self- reflective. Mental and physical health is now such a big thing, whether that's spent at the gym working it off, going for a walk round the block with your friends or taking time off your phone and reading a book. From my personal experience, when the ability to train and perform was taken away from me early last year, it affected my mental health. I was never one to care much about my physical appearance, I just wanted to perform. However as I couldn't do this, I started focused on challenges on TikTok and posting workouts to maintain my fitness in order to return to performing. I believe that sports content has also increased due to other fitness talents around the world creating fun and healthy foods and workouts which has meant that there has been more interest in keeping fit! I really think TikTok has captured this to its fullest and will continue to!