“Let’s do something different,” I said to Daniel. I read about the upcoming circus event at SwimKids USA on the Arizona Mama website and thought it might be fun to check out. “Let’s go see a circus.”
Daniel, being the good natured kid he is, readily agreed. He then started to sing, “Da da da da da da circus, da da da da da da afro-circus, afro, circus, afro, polka dot, polka dot, polka dot, afro!” from “Madagascar 3.” I couldn’t help but smile.
The SwimKids USA location is where Daniel learned to swim eight years ago and Shannon used to take gymnastics, so we knew the venue was relatively small. We were unsure what kind of circus to expect, but we were excited to find out. In the end, not only were Daniel and I impressed by the show, we were wowed!
The location, SwimKids USA, is obviously known for teaching kids to swim, but they also teach gymnastics and dance. The show began with several gymnastics students and their instructors demonstrating some cool tumbling and flips. Also featured were adorable and talented dance troupes, made up of students as well. The main attraction, however, was the Taylor Circus Stars. Comprised of a local family, the Taylor’s show was a mini-circus, minus the animals. Their portion of the show began with a magic trick that mesmerized the children and the show only got better from there!
One by one, each member of the Taylor family would introduce their particular talent. Their performances included juggling, tightrope walking, gymnastics, fire-eating and the circus staple, a clown.
Daniel and I watched in amazement as the Taylor’s teen-aged daughter walked across the tightrope with pure elegance. My photography does not do her justice–she actually stood on her toes in ballet shoes and walked across the wire! Her talent was not limited to grace on the tightrope–she also juggled while walking the wire! She then balanced a spinning plate as she effortlessly glided across the tightrope. The children and parents alike were captivated by her performance.
But she was far from done. The same young lady and her father entertained with a dual juggling routine where they tried to out-do each other. At one point, she juggled six balls at once to the delight of the audience. She then entertained with a contortionist act that would have made Gumby proud!
The clown engaged the children and made them laugh. Mr. Taylor truly amazed the crowd with his fire-eating act. A little girl standing next to us and turned to father to exclaim, “Daddy, he’s gonna eat it!” Daniel and I were in agreement that this circus was definitely exceeding our expectations!
After the Taylors concluded their portion of the show, a few dance instructors from SwimKids USA showed the crowd their moves. One of the teachers performed a traditional Thai dance where she was half woman, half bird. It was elegant, graceful, and cultural as well!
At the show’s conclusion, the audience members were invited to meet the Taylor Circus Stars and to ask questions. They informed everyone about their upcoming shows at the Phoenix Herberger Theatre, where they promised additional acts to enchant the audience. Daniel asked Mr. Taylor about his impressive five-eating act. He warned Daniel that it was a dangerous trick, especially when trying to protect a beard!
Daniel also had the opportunity to meet the Taylor’s outgoing teen-aged son, who provided some comic relief and magic in the show. Daniel was excited to meet his first “little person”, and the two of them hit it off.
As Daniel and I wrapped up our afternoon of entertainment, we discussed our favorite parts of the show. I then asked Daniel if he had any aspirations to be a cirucs performer.
“Only if I get to wear a polka dot afro,” was his reply.
I guess if my family ever puts together a circus troupe, I know who will be our clown!