The “Greatest Little Show on Earth” returns this weekend as the Sarasota Sailors swing into trapeze action to dazzle their audiences with gravity defying feats of athleticism and bravery. A Sarasota tradition for over 67 years, this is one show under the big top you will not want to miss.
The area’s best and brightest youth circus performers have been sprouting from deep circus roots that have beckoned their families to the high wire for generations. For other students, a rare opportunity to participate in circus-related studies is found in Sarasota, unlike many cities across the nation. And for audience members, a complete respect and admiration is felt for these young people soaring for the stars.
The Circus Conservator houses Circus Sarasota, which the city bills as its hometown circus. Nearly 80% of ticket sales from well-attended shows in a European one ring big-top venue help support many community outreach programs that serve area children and elderly in care facilities. One of the many legacies that circus magnate John Ringling left for Sarasota was making it the winter home of his popular circus. The Circus Conservatory hosts popular programs like the Human Therapy Program, Education Program, and the beloved Sailor Circus Academy that preserves Sarasota’s legacy as the “Circus Capital of the World.”
This weekend’s performances by Sailor Circus celebrates more than one million spectators of the “Greatest Little Show on Earth.” Encompassing six decades of work, area students are privy to visiting circus superstars who are eager to impart their knowledge to eager apprentices. Legends including Nik Wallenda and Trio Mosco have delighted and educated students for years. Originating in 1949 as part of a gymnastics class, Sailor Circus Academy now serves students in grades 4 through 12. Additionally, circus summer camps are offered to provide students with a beginning instruction on some of the techniques required to perform under the big top tent. The arena, tent, and inspiring guest speakers are offered to area groups for rent as well.
Over 100 artists will be a part of the Sailor Circus Spring Performance for this year’s show and the event is promising to supersede all expectations. A calendar of only eight amazing shows beginning Thursday, March 31st are on tap for this season so the community is encouraged to purchase their tickets soon. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children. For more information, please visit www.circusarts.org.
Photos: Circus Museum courtesy of Zinnia Jones on Flickr, commercial use allowed
Such a Graceful Aerialist by Carol Vanhook on Flickr, commercial use allowed