My Circus Days

December 29th, 2016 | Posted by Kathy Levyn

I guess you could say I ran away and joined the Circus. We traveled around the U.S. and Canada on the Ringling Brothers Circus train. The showgirls, the clowns, animals, and staff had different kinds of accommodations. Ours was a room 6’x 4′. We could paint it and decorate as we chose, and the bed and table were the same cushions just configured differently. It did take getting used to such a small space, yet at least it was only mine. We even had our own small refrigerator, and I had to put a lock on mine, since food was sometimes taken. We could cook on the train, yet showering was only at the arenas that we were performing in. That took getting used to as well, because all of us girls were in the same room with many shower heads.

We had 2 shows a day and 3 on Saturday. The only time off was traveling days between cities, which was fun to sit on the vestibule separating the train cars, and watch the scenery.  I enjoyed the opportunity to dance at the different venues all over the U.S.  Also, we had to do an Ariel ballet (web) 25′ in the air. It took me the longest time to get the strength of climbing up, doing a routine, and climbing down. There was a web sitter on the ground controlling the rope for the different moves. Because of my dance training, I was very graceful way up in the air. For a few years after, I had dreams of that web act and was glad to wake up in my bed.

I met all kinds of circus people from everywhere in the world. I danced on an elephant tub as a huge African elephant rushed by me. Luckily, I did not have to ride a horse or elephant, which I did not want to do.

I was with the show for a year. The management wanted me to continue, yet I had other dancing ideas for myself. I grew up in many ways with my circus experience, and am grateful. I left the circus for the so called glamorous life in Las Vegas. That is another story I will share.

Written by Kathy Levyn

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