Fly high at Davie's trapeze school - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Fly high at Davie's trapeze school

By Lauren LaPonzina - bio | email

DAVIE, FL (WFLX) -  All over the world, millions of people pay millions of dollars to see the performers of Cirque du Soleil fly.

Many get their start inside an unassuming gym in Davie called the Florida Circus School. 

The best-of-the-best train under the watchful eye of circus master Eugene Baranok. He started the school six years ago, but he's worked in the circus his entire life. "Speed! Let go! Chest up," he yells to one student.

Most of the performers training here are professionals who perform in Cirque du Soleil. But Tina Reine was used to performing on Wall Street. 

She's got an MBA from Columbia University and more than a decade of experience as a commodities trader. But after seeing one cirque show, that was all over. "I saw a Cirque du Soleil show and was so wowed by the silk aerialists. I said, 'I have to do that! It's like dancing in the air.'"

She's still in the banking industry, but lives in Florida now and helps Baranok run the circus school. She performs on the aerial silks apparatus locally in charity events.  "I'm 45 years old. I had my first class when I was 43."

Aerial silks, trapeze, the German wheel, hand balancing -- you name it, Baranok teaches it, and you, too, can learn it here. 

Baranok holds open class, 7 days a week, whether you're 4 or 40.  

Even some senior citizens participate!

Yes, they even convinced a most inflexible news anchor to give it a whirl.  "Bend your knees, bend your knees," they instructed Lauren LaPoniza.

"What do you think," Lauren asked.  "You think Eugene would hire me?"

Well, she may not quite be Circue du Soleil material, but she had a ton of fun nonetheless. "I think I'll keep my day job."

To sign up for classes at the Florida Circus School, visit their Web site

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