Wallenda walk inspires young circus performers - WFLA News Channel 8

Wallenda walk inspires young circus performers

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SARASOTA COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Nik Wallenda's historic walk across the Grand Canyon may inspire others to join the circus.  'Circus Sarasota' is a summer camp for children in Sarasota currently underway. 

The current session has sold out.  There are 75 boys and girls learning how to juggle, high wire walking, and hanging from a trapeze.

News about the camp has spread fast.  11-year-old Dana Habedank says she heard about the camp and immediately signed up.  She admits, her parents thought she was crazy at first. Now, she says she's considering the circus as a profession. " I would really love to do the circus." said Habedank. "I mean, this circus has helped me going to build up to Dolly Jacobs and her in the straps and everything. "

Rikki Hettig-Rolfe Meaux is an instructor and former student.  She comes from a circus family and has been performing since she was a child.  She believes Nik Wallenda's walk educated the public about the circus.  "And it also it helps bring people into understanding how much work it takes." Said Meaux. "Through things like last night, how they showed his preparation. How he trained and things like that. Giving a perspective that he's just not stepping out on the wire, like whoop, here we go. You know a lot of training involved."

Pedro Reis is the founder and CEO of Circus Sarasota.  He agrees. He says the circus is a serious business and is anything but a side show. "People had this preconceived perception of the circus." Said Reis. "The circus side show, the bearded lady, Siamese twins.  It's not that. Not at all. It's the absolute art of discipline."

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