Circus Juventas Professional Students Land First Paid Gig at Circus World’s Opening Weekend - StageLync
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Circus Juventas Professional Students Land First Paid Gig at Circus World’s Opening Weekend

t’s showtime for performers in Circus Juventas’ professionaltraining program based in Saint Paul, Minnesota.  Seven elite contemporary circus performers head to Circus World, in Baraboo, Wisconsin, for their debut performance, Fools Gold, at the AI. Ringling Theatre, 7 p.m., Saturday, June 24. The weekend heralds Circus World’s summer opening with “Baraboo’s Big Top Parade & Circus Celebration,” and a theme of Go WestCircus Juventas Professional Programstudents perform the Post Parade Evening Show, a comedic take on the California Gold Rush packed with a thrilling, spectacular display of circus artistry, acrobatics, and clowning. They perform in the famous AI. Ringling Theatre, an expansive auditorium (714 seats) originally built in 1915 by Albert Ringling, one of the circus Ringling Brothers. Tickets range from $12 to $25. Buy tickets here: .  Find more information here on the special weekend celebration, Go West at Circus World and Baraboo’s Big Top Parade.

“We are six months in to this new professional program under our Circus Juventas big top in Saint Paul, and already we have our first seven students booked for a big show at Circus World,” said Rob Dawson, arena manager and professional program co-director at Circus Juventas. “All we can say is – see them now, before these dedicated contemporary circus performers launch into their fulltime careers.”  Before taking this position with Circus Juventas, Dawson performed in Cirque productions, Mystere and LaNouba, as a flying trapeze catcher, Chinese poles acrobat and silk soloist, and eventually moved into a head coaching position for Cirque.  Internationally recognized circus director Sun Yanhong joined Dawson to co-lead the program. Yanhong brings accolades from her years with China’s Flag Circus and Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion.

The list of professional students making their debut in Fools Gold! in Circus World:

  • Sophie Uri, 23, aerial hoop
  • Storm Hovan, 22, spanish web
  • Linsey Johnson, 20, static trapeze
  • Emme Martini, 20, aerial straps
  • Aiden Chang, 20, fire staff manipulation
  • Vincent Geruntho, 26, juggling, unicycle, clown
  • Zeke Pranis-Ricci, 18, unicycle, clown

Fools Gold! synopsis: Join us at a crossroads of fearless outlaws, greedy prospectors, saloon dancers, and wild west buffoonery! Get lassoed into the Circus Juventas Professional Program in a race for gold! Two Yankee clowns venture in search of a legendary treasure. Colliding with wild west legends in the windswept town of Tumbleweed, they stumble upon the law-abiding, fire-manipulating sheriff and gold-fevered aerialists flying high in a saloon of ill repute. The Gold Rush is a perfect stage for frontier juggling and unicycling escapades and a hat-tipping display of acrobatics & high steppin’ dance. Your heart will skip a beat in stand-offs between true love and bad ideas, greed vs generosity, hearts of gold, and the spirit to chase our dreams! Who will steal the loot? Who will fall in love? Will they make it back home? Come find out on our journey to Fools Gold!

Circus Juventas’ history of developing young talent

Over the past 28 years, many alumni from Circus Juventas’ advanced youth program have gone on to professional careers with Cirque du Soleil, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey, the Wallenda Family, Bello Nock, The Royal Hanneford Circus, Cirque Mechanics, Cirque Eloize and many other professional circus organizations. Internationally recognized circus director Sun Yanhong, who brings accolades from her years with China’s Flag Circus and Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion, will assume official co-leadership of the professional program alongside Rob Dawson. They will build on the singular goal: get students out into the professional world of circus.

Last December Cirque du Soleil, the largest contemporary circus producer in the world, based in Montreal, Canada, chose Circus Juventas in Saint Paul, Minnesota to be one of two select talent development centers in the United States. This means Cirque du Soleil’s NextGen Talen Development Program will hold annual workshops at the Circus Juventas big top to share expertise and best practices in the field of human performance and provide high-caliber training opportunities to emerging talent.

About Circus Juventas

Circus Juventas is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and the largest youth performing arts circus school in North America. For more than 25 years, co-founders Dan and Betty Butler have seen their dream grow into a year-round program that serves more than 2,500 children and youth with a diverse array of circus arts training and performance opportunities in a non-competitive setting. Circus Juventas’ mission is to inspire artistry and self-confidence through a multicultural circus arts experience that encourages leadership and life skills, teamwork, athleticism, artistry, pursuit of excellence, and community service. For more information, visit

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