Four young urban St. Louisans are currently touring with the renowned traveling circus troupe Cirque du Soleil. after learning the trade through Circus Harmony, St. Louis’ only circus school.
“It’s just amazing. I’m so thrilled and excited for them,’ said Jessica Hentoff, artistic/executive director of Circus Harmony. “Circus Harmony is a very small school but we have had a rather significant impact on the social circus and now the professional circus world!”
Circus Harmony’s mission is to use the teaching and performing of circus arts to motivate social change by building character in individuals and building bridges between communities. Their performance troupe, the St. Louis Arches, was founded in 1989. Over the years, Circus Harmony has become known as one of the leading pre-professional circus schools in America.
Three young men — Melvin Diggs, Sidney ‘Iking’ Bateman and Terrance ‘T-Roc’ Robinson — are currently touring with Cirque du Soleil’s show, “Luzia,” Through which they will travel to Vancouver, London and Moscow. A fourth St. Louisan, Chauncey Kroner, is in Montreal, rehearsing for Cirque du Soleil’s holiday show, soon opening in Chicago and then New York City.
When the boys return home to St. Louis, they help mentor other Circus Harmony students, teaching tricks and choreography while acting as role models for younger members.
“Without Circus Harmony I would have never known anything about circus or had the opportunity to pursue it. In return, Circus gave me my first foot steps toward the correct direction in life. To this day I am still on that path Circus Harmony opened for me. With a full heart, I can say I’m currently living out my passion every day because of that opportunity I was offered so many years ago,” said Diggs.
Circus Harmony performs regularly at the City Museum, 701 N. 15th Street. To learn more or find a schedule of performances, visit www.circusharmony.org.