Wayne Skivington does not have a traditional career, and the ripped gymnast had to take the risky move of quitting college in order to achieve dreams. But it was a move that ultimately paid off, and now the social media celeb has more than 35,000 followers on Instagram – largely thanks to an incredible talent that he’s passing on to his son.
Skivington himself was born in Hannover, Germany, while his dad, a soldier in the British Army, was stationed in the country. However, the Brit eventually moved his family, including little Wayne, back to the United Kingdom in 1994.
Indeed, the Skivingtons moved from Germany to Devon in the south-west of England. Later, sporty Wayne, who had been into gymnastics since the age of four, joined a gym club in the town of Honiton.
But it wasn’t until Skivington started with a gym called King Edmunds in Gloucestershire, England, that Skivington truly aspired to turn his passion into a profession. This was because this particular club had a reputation for producing athletes capable of competing on the world stage.
And, sure enough, while Skivington trained at King Edmund, he was selected to represent his country. This surely must have been a proud moment for his dad, who had also stood up for Britain, albeit in a different field.
No doubt boosted by this success, Skivington aimed to add to his understanding of sports with several coaching courses at the U.K.’s Leeds Metropolitan University. He had not been studying long, however, when his calling took him elsewhere.
Indeed, at the age of 19, Skivington flew to Palm Springs, California, for an international gym competition. On the way home, though, he and his family stopped in Las Vegas to see Cirque Du Soleil, and Skivington was spellbound.
Although he was still pursuing a sports degree at the time, Skivington sent Cirque Du Soleil a show reel. The company was suitably impressed, and in 2008 it offered the 20-year-old gymnast a job in Las Vegas. Skivington quit college at the end of his second year and left to join the circus.
And you can today catch Skivington, now 28, performing a sexy number in Cirque Du Soleil’s Zumanity. When he’s not onstage, however, he is often working as a coach in hand-to-hand acrobatics. Outside of work, though, he shares custody of his three-year-old son Rowan, and it’s this relationship that’s turned Skivington into an internet sensation.
In fact, Skivington has apparently been teaching his son the tricks of his trade and posting the results on Instagram. Certainly, with a schedule that includes four-to-five hours of daily training, it seems that Skivington has been keeping his boy occupied while also getting his work done. That’s some impressive multi-tasking.
Rowan is not only gaining a first-hand education about acrobatics, though; he’s also an active partner in some of his dad’s stunts. Indeed, one of Skivington’s Instagram photos show him balancing his son on his back while performing push-ups.
In others pictures, Skivington gets his son to help him with his poses. Needless to say, the whole scene is pretty adorable, and thousands of fans clearly agreed.
In fact, Skivington has been using his Instagram account for less than a year, and as of June 2016 he already has nearly 36,000 followers. More tellingly, within the first 10 weeks of posting his exercise routines with his son, 24,000 people were following his profile.
“I posted some of the videos on Instagram for my family and friends back in the U.K. to enjoy,” said Skivington in an interview with the Daily Mail. “But the comments and likes from strangers were amazing.”
“His own personal climbing gym. How fun for the little guy!” was one comment from an Instagram user. Indeed, many are greatly impressed with Skivington’s hands-on approach to parenting.
“I’m so pleased my fun bonding sessions inspire and bring pleasure to others and I have been inundated with social media sites contacting me with all kinds of offers,” he said. This is not likely to end any time soon.
Skivington thinks his exploits have been so successful online for a few reasons. After all, the pictures not only show a parent involving his kid in what is otherwise a grinding, daily exercise routine, but they also show how the dad makes life fun while instilling the child with confidence.
“Sometimes fathers can find it harder to connect with their sons,” said Skivington. “So people love to watch the bond between us.” He enjoys being a role model to Rowan too, bonding with him through movement and exercise.
Following on from the success of his Instagram profile, Skivington has begun developing a website. It will help parents teach simple movement exercises to their children – hopefully, these will be not quite as advanced as the acrobatics that made him famous.
“I have received a lot of messages from people telling me how much I have inspired them to be better parents,” said Skivington. “I will continue to post my videos to hopefully help others.”